Posted on Jan 3, 2019
Dom Gomez
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I was wondering if you spouse have to live with you to get BAH or can they live in our home state?
Posted in these groups: Bah-calculator BAHDf4ce348 RecruiterC92a59d8 FamilySpouses_logo Spouses
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Maj John Bell
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Edited 9 mo ago
Don't know, but I do know that being a geographic bachelor is hard on a marriage. Most don't make it.

I don't know the reason you are considering it
_If you have kids, and don't want to disrupt their lives, the moves will give your kids a bigger picture of the America; possibly the world. My kids lived in Africa for two and a half years.
_If your wife's career is that good, support her and develop your own career in the same area.
_If your wife wants to live with Mom and Dad for emotional support, she may not be strong enough to be a military wife. They have to be leaders on their own and independent.

I do know that BAH NEVER covered the actual cost of living off-base. If your wife is going to maintain her own household in your home state, you are going to find out the hard way what a financial strain it is to maintain two households, most cannot.
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SPC Elijah J. Henry
SPC Elijah J. Henry
9 mo
In OSUT I got BAH for my wife's home town. Then I was still technically in IET at my first duty station as an 18X, dependents not authorized until after SFAS. I decided I had spent enough time without my wife, and moved her at my own expense. At that point BAH moved to her new location.

BAH has always been a substantial source of income for us. It was always more than twice our rent payment, so we still had hundreds of dollars each month to put toward other expenses after paying rent, all utilities, and renter's insurance. Dom Gomez
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Maj John Bell
Maj John Bell
9 mo
SPC Elijah J. Henry - I'll admit my method wasn't scientific. My wife and I have always kept detailed track of expenses. You have to remember things like utilities, trash pick up, gas consumption for commuting, etc. etc. Back in the 80's as a Lieutenant moving on base at Camp Pendleton, was net gain of about $130 a month in expendable income, and we were not living in great neighborhoods off base. Results were comparable at every other duty station I served in CONUS.
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SPC Elijah J. Henry
SPC Elijah J. Henry
9 mo
Maj John Bell - we never tried living on base, primarily because I believe in having unregistered firearms in the house for defense.
We keep detailed track of our expenses, as well. We use the Every Dollar budget tool from Dave Ramsey. All things considered, I would have had a shorter commute if I'd lived on base, but the dollar difference clearly favored off-base housing. And we were never in bad neighborhoods. But, I've only experienced Bragg (twice, Fayetteville the first time and Spring Lake the second) and Benning (once, in Columbus, as close to the NIM as possible).
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SSG Finance Nco
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I’m a Finance NCO and I can tell you that no your wife doesn’t have to live with you to get BAH. But as every mentioned below me, it is very hard on a marriage to be separated from your wife. For example my wife and I were separated for a while when I got to my first duty station. Eventually we talked it out and decided it was best for her to move with me. On the same note for your wife to have to uproot and leave everything she’s ever known behind is hard on a marriage as well. Weigh out all of your options and know what you’re getting into. I’m by no m and trying to talk you out of joining, but just know what comes with enlisting. Discuss everything with your wife and come to a sound decision together.
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SSG Finance Nco
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SGT(P) Motor Sergeant/ Squad Leader
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If your stationed state side and your spouse lives in there home state you only receive BAH for where your stationed at but you will not be able to maintain a barracks room. You will have to find a place off post.

Or

Like myself I did two years in Germany and I am currently in Korea. My wife and kids went back to California where we are from and I receive BAH from where she’s living.

But I will have to agree being separated is really hard on a marriage. I once receive divorce papers to Afghanistan. It’s really hard on marriages.
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