Finances as a 4 degree

J.NordicSkier7

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I know lots of money comes out of the paycheck, especially at the beginning of the Academy, but how much will be left to save or spend? Will I be able to afford going home during breaks (It's ~$300 to get home and back) ? I know we get more "spending money" as we pay off loans. Thanks. :cool:
 

HNeedle

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base pay now is ~ 894 dollars for every cadet. 4digs get 430 taken out to pay for all the stuff you get in basic. you also get taxes taken out, life insurance, food, barber, laundry, dry cleaning, tailor shop. so 4 digs see between $120 and $200 most months of the year.

after breaks (thanksgiving, christmas) you may get a larger paycheck because you didnt eat here. money is pretty much always taken care of, and as a 4dig you run pretty low on it. but you have nothing to spend it on, so you can save it or blow it....

like i may've posted somewhere before, my parents say that since i have a job now, they dont have to help me with anything. lol imagine paying a phone bill and saving up for plane tickets or weekends :) definitely stresses money management. but no complaints, it's all doable!

lookin forward to my tax refund... $575! woooo
 

J.NordicSkier7

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Great, thanks. At least my parents are paying the phone bill still. 5 phones worth of service costs the same as 4, lol. :cool:
 

packermatt7

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I use the "you still pay for my brother" excuse. I'll try to milk that one as long as possible :wink:
 

HNeedle

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yep i've got a nice little picture of what our pay breaks down into, and that's where i got my info from. the explanation is a bit dated, since we got a raise this year in both base pay and basic allowance for sustinence (BAS)

i've never seen less than maybe 115 in a paycheck
 

hornetguy

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If you've worked during high school, then that would significantly help you out to have money saved for making trips later.
 

fencersmother

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I have one twin who spends his every dime and another who has saved every dime. I'll let Hornetguy figure out who's who on that score.

OP: depending on where you live and the cost of the plane ticket plus shuttle to/from Denver,etc., it may be difficult for you to go home often. We pick up the flight costs for our sons. It was $1000 for Thanksgiving and another $750 for Christmas, 2-1/2 weeks later.
 

HNeedle

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saving up beforehand is definitely the thing to do... highly recommend it for all those who have jobs. if not, no worries, you'll be fine here.just helps to have a little extra cash when you head out for the weekend or wanna buy random stuff (ski/snowboard gear) etc
 

Christcorp

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After you get your bank account taken care of; which is also in your appointment package; you'll have a place to put money. My son; knowing he was going to the academy; politely asked us, grandparents, sister, etc... to give cash as high school graduation presents. He's got enough in there to last him a while. Probably until larger pay checks his junior/senior (C2C/C1C) years. Plus, birthday/christmas/etc... we simply give money. And with us living a few minutes from an air force base; and the same bank on base; we're able to deposit it into his account and he has it immediately. Of course, we are fortunate that we don't have plane fare to worry about. And my son, being as cheap as he is, saves most of the money. But there are a lot of cadets who do quite fine on the $150 +/- a month they get. There is very little that you need to buy. But it is nice to have when you want to take a day off and go to town and see a movie or go out to dinner. But plane fare home for xmas, spring break, and summer could be tough. My son's room mate is an international exchange student. He has figured out that he MIGHT be able to go home 1 time in the 4 years. He's hoping in between his 2nd/3rd year summer. Then 2 years later when he graduates. But there's a lot of cadets to help them out. He came home with my son for Thanksgiving and to another cadet's for christmas. So, it can definitely be expensive depending on how you look at it.
 

13ryan13

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It is my goal to save $1500 from now to when I leave to deposit into my bank account. For those who know, is this number high, low, or just right?
 

13ryan13

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These subjective answers render me very confused... Matt, just say yes or no and I will do what you say. The power is yours :)
 

packermatt7

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These subjective answers render me very confused... Matt, just say yes or no and I will do what you say. The power is yours :)

Well, there's stuff like skiing and snowboarding and other clubs you would have to pay for, plus Spring Break type stuff.
You may have to shell out for plane tickets as well.

Of course, you do get paid while you are a cadet.

The cadets can probably help more w/ expenses.
 

Christcorp

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These subjective answers render me very confused... Matt, just say yes or no and I will do what you say. The power is yours :)

Ryan; go back to my serenity prayer. You say that $1500 is your goal. Do you think you can change your goal to $3000? Do you think you can get it to $6000? Just set your goal to whatever you do, and do your best at reaching your goal. There are things in life you can change and things you can't. And knowing the difference means to just do your best. If all you can save is $1500; does it matter if it's "Too Low"?

Here's the hardcore truth. There are some students at the academy who's appointment was their ONLY way out to a better life. They literally came to the academy with the money in their wallet. Couple hundred dollars. They survived. They did well in school. They still found ways to have fun and enjoy the experience. Even the experiences that cost money. The truth is, you really don't need any money more than what they pay you. $150 a month doesn't sound like much, but you really don't need it for anything. Any trips downtown, movies, a pizza or sub once in a while, etc... is plenty of money. You'll be fine whether you have $200 in the bank or $2000. Why? Because I have faith in you. Anyone that has the capability to get into the air force academy is a very formidable person. You are resourceful. You are optimistic. You find the good around you. You'll do fine. Set you goal and enjoy the rest of the year. later.... mike....
 

Just_Some_Guy

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Hornetguy,

I know you can get your gear through the Ski Club, but do you get some deal on lift tickets through them or do you buy something like the Colorado Pass?

Thanks! I am definetely looking foward to hittin the slopes next year. The once a year, 16+ hour trip from Texas just doesn't cut it for me!
 

PDub

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Great, thanks. At least my parents are paying the phone bill still. 5 phones worth of service costs the same as 4, lol. :cool:

Interesting topic that came up during NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams (awesome newscast, btw): T-Mobile is making the first moves to engage in a cellular price war to take down the competition, by offering a $50-a-month deal for cell phones. The best part? Unlimited minutes. Unlimited texts. Unlimited data (internet). It's not over - there's a $150 signing bonus if you were a customer of one of their competitors (AT&T, Verizon, etc). This is currently offered only in San Fran area, but is promised to go nationwide in the next week or so. I'm guessing that many people are dropping/cutting back cellphone usage during bad times like these, but economic recessions lead businesses to desperate measures, which may occasionally benefit the consumer :)
 

hornetguy

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Hornetguy,

I know you can get your gear through the Ski Club, but do you get some deal on lift tickets through them or do you buy something like the Colorado Pass?

Thanks! I am definetely looking foward to hittin the slopes next year. The once a year, 16+ hour trip from Texas just doesn't cut it for me!

I got the Liberty Pass for two years. It's now $180 for unlimited skiing at Keystone and A-Basin. This year they started the Patriot Pass for $200 which is unlimited skiing to Copper and Winter Park. Add $20 to that one and you get 6 days at Steamboat. Great deals for military! Those passes for military can be bought at most places that sell ski passes.
 

Just_Some_Guy

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Wow, that's a really good deal. Especially considering that's about how much I'll be paying for lift tickets for the 4 days I'll be at Breck in March. Thanks for the info man. Very much appreciated.
 
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