Paycheck Chronicles

2015 Basic Allowance for Subsistence

Looking for the 2017 Basic Allowance for Subsistence rates?  You can find them here!

The 2015 Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) rates have been released.  The 2015 rates are 2.9%  higher than the 201 rates, which means that the actual rates are:

Enlisted: $367.92 per month, a $9.37 increase over the 2014 rate of $357.55 a month. Officers: $253.38 per month, a $7.14 increase over the 2014 rate of $246.24 a month.
These higher rates are effective 1 January 2015 and will be reflected in the 15 January 2015 paycheck.

BAS is an allowance paid to every military service member to defray the cost of their meals.  It is not designed to pay for the meals of families.  Because BAS is paid, military members may be charged for their meals provided by the Department of Defense.

This seems like a great place to mention that if you are being charged for meals, because you're attached to a ship or live in the barracks and have a dining facility available to you, it makes financial sense to eat the meals for which you are paying!  I often see soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who are paying for meals and eating everywhere BUT the ship or dining hall.  I understand that you might not always want to eat what's available, but try not to make a habit of eating elsewhere.  That's money straight out of your pocket that you could be using for something fun!

The annual adjustments to basic allowance for subsistence are tied to changes in food prices as measured by the annual change in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cost of Food at Home Index. From October 2013 through September 2014, the index rose by 2.9 percent, which then justified increased BAS rates.

I was surprised at how many people responded to my question about why they searched for BAS rates, so this year I am asking a new question:  How do you think of BAS when factoring your overall spending plan?  Thanks in advance for your  answers - I learn a lot from you.

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