Friday, December 16

When BAH topples more than $15...

I struggle about whether or not to post this since everyone will have varying different opinions and outcomes on the matter. But for the sake of blogging and being honest, this is honesty...

Yesterday put us in a bad mood collectively. Okay, maybe not a bad mood. But a surreal mood. It was like a collectively kick to the taint. And it taint pretty. (Sorry, I had to.)

Because I'm Facebook friends with awesome milbloggers, it came 'round the circle that BAH (Basic Allowance for Housing) rates were published for the new year. On average, rates continue with the average cost of living increase. I get it. I learned about inflation in high school. It'll always be there. In some form or another. And you just learn to live with it. No more "Back in my day..." because those days are gone. Gone are the days of $1 extra large Slurpees. Those puppies now cost you $1.85. Communists...

So last night, being the curious person I am as I read the conversation that BAH at certain stations were dropping and some were rising, I had to inquire into our own well-being. I plugged in our little location and his little rank to see what little dip his BAH could possible take.

And like a blonde, I completely forgot his new BAH figure thanks to his promotion over the summer. I thought, "meh, not that bad." I read it out loud to Mr. Wookie. Ohhh......I was wrong. Hehe...woops.

Apparently this isn't good. This isn't a little dip. This is a DIP. So I feverishly Google all I can about the BAH rates for the new year. Blah...blah....a third of all duty stations are taking slight cuts. Blah blah...our exact duty station is one of the hardest cuts made to BAH across all hands. Oh, but D.C. feels the need to pad their BAH 10%....and some hole in Texas... So despite the beautiful Californian December sun, now those that are even the tightest of budgets have to figure out how to make those ends meet with this news.

This isn't good. This isn't good for anyone in our area. We live in practically Malibu which makes the cost of living and property taxes out of this world. So the chunk taken out of BAH is a solid chunk. And to compare, I looked up our beautiful location of Norfolk, Virginia. That dip is $15. I could do $15. I'd love $15. I'd give $30. But for us, he's been reduced to a rank-lower for BAH. Promotion...shomotion...

But then I was told about the promotion restructuring that's occurring. Starting sometime in the future, there are longer timeframes between commissioning and your first promotion....and then your second promotion. So what took Mr. Wookie 4 years to acquire as a new Lieutenant, will take Ensigns SIX years to acquire. Wow.

So we wallowed for a good couple hours. I think he was more down than I. But we have to look on the upside. Yes, his housing is down. But I'm working. I'm making good money. We're not near foreclosure (that and you'd have own a home to lose it...wah wah). We budget for a zombie apocalypse (not kidding about the weaponry, kidding with the Extreme Couponing). We'll be fine...I just worry about others....

Life isn't fair. Do I feel like our duty station is being axed apart without reason? Well...yes. Why our station? I know there will be plenty of sailors where this cut completely effects their livelihood. All hands are being cut at least $100 from their BAH (obviously an E-5 or an O-5 will have more cut than an E-1). For young sailors with families, this is a rough pill to swallow. A hundred dollars can be the difference in making or breaking...

And to only have a marginal removal to our hypothetical BAH in Virginia. That's mind-boggling to us. Norfolk is cheap to live in. California...that's the hidden gem of this duty station. Come here, lounge in the sun, pay for sunscreen, and expect low quality housing for high dimes. If you don't want to live where shootings and stabbings occur, you have to live in the decent neighborhoods. And when demand exceeds supply...

So goodbye 7.4% of BAH. You've apparently overstayed your welcome. Now please, take your coffee mug to the sink and softly close the door on your way out. You wouldn't want to wake the dog. She likes her sleep.

I hope others have faired better. I truly do. We're hearty, us Oregonians. This won't get us down. But there's always a fellow milbloggers that takes a larger hit. And for that I offer massive hugs, vodka tonics, and a hangover-free morning. Seriously... Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass, kiss his ass, kiss your ass...


  1. Wait, I'm confused as to saying goodbye to 7.5%. You aren't losing BAH unless your husband loses rank or you PCS. Otherwise, you are grandfathered in. So while YOU guys won't lose any BAH, anyone moving to the area at his same rank will get less.

    Unless you are planning to move and have to rent out a house you own (because people will have less BAH to spend on rent), it shouldn't affect you.

    Ours went down the last two years, but we are grandfathered in.

  2. I was just about to tell you to talk to wifeofasailor ... :) Potentially good news, right?

  3. I read your next post, so I hope everyone is right too- that would be pretty rotten, otherwise. :(

  4. Sigh. While our BAH in Honolulu only went down $18, our prospective next duty station's BAH went down $100. That really sucks considering we've been looking at houses there for a long time. Fortunately, I am always frugle with BAH, and would rather have extra to put towards utilities. I was fine with a house $200 less than what BAH allowed. Honey wanted to spend more.. guess he'll be really disappointed.