Much has been said about military income - that it is often hard for a solider to make ends meet. Well this government web site will give you the full story The day a man joins the army here is his pay: (monthly rates) Basic........1,294.50 Housing.......600.00 + local cost of living rations........323.80 Total.......2,318.30 He may also be entitled to family separation allowance The housing and rations are tax exempt - over $100 monthly benefit Even GI's who live in the barracks received a partial housing allowance While in a combat zone all pay is tax exempt Also, you can shop in the commissary (food store) all food is sold at cost Each year a man receives an allowance of about $300 (?) to maintain his uniforms. and after four months a private gets a $100 dollar pay raise, unless you get promoted to E-2 - which is common and then you receive a raise of $170! and there are more pay and benefits.... So could you handle living on just $2,480 per month and then in another year, you will be promoted to E-3 ... I do realize that our men are sent into combat and conditions are not perfect, but I don't think our military are living in poverty. Salty PS my first pay check was $124.50 per month - with NO additional pay - other than living in the billets and eating in the mess hall.