Determining a Military Family’s Monthly Expenses
You should review your finances any time your family starts on a new career path, and the military is no exception. Know how much money you really need to purchase essentials for your family — food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and insurance. Most of these required expenses are provided by, or supplemented by, the military. The following is a list of the types of expenses incurred by a typical military family.
Home mortgage or rent
Utilities: electric, gas, water, sewer, trash pickup, and basic telephone service
Protection: Life, disability, homeowners, renters, health, and auto insurance
Healthcare/medical and dental care
Savings: minimum of 10 percent of gross income
Groceries: basic essentials only
Clothing and clothing maintenance
Personal: toothpaste, deodorant, haircuts
Household: laundry detergent, toilet paper
Automobile loan or lease payment
Other: tolls, parking, public transportation
Real estate and property taxes
Other debts: school loans, personal loans, credit cards, and so on
You won’t find an expense category for dining-out, entertainment, subscriptions, health club memberships, summer camp, birthdays, charitable contributions, cable television, or mobile phones. These types of expenses, although very common and convenient, are discretionary expenses.