Special welcome to US Coast Guard employees!

Choices: If you are in the military, you do not get to choose where you live. When you are transferred, you are transferred. ... Or do you mean that folks can choose not to join the military? I suppose. However, I like having a military and would rather folks not make that choice.

@iShop123 wrote:

That's $2200 *PLUS* BAH (which, in the other services, has a differential pay attached for high cost areas), not a total of $2200. But, yes, I can see that it would be difficult to live in a place like Seattle or San Francisco. Life is about choices, though.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.

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No, I do no government work. I'm 100% self-employed with more than ample savings, but a lot of those savings come from being single and not having any family members with major health issues or expenses. Of course there are people who do not budget correctly, but there are also many who have family emergencies that eat up their savings or can't ever save because of the cost of living. I don't make it my business to go around judging those who are less fortunate than me.
@MFJohnston wrote:

Choices: If you are in the military, you do not get to choose where you live. When you are transferred, you are transferred. ... Or do you mean that folks can choose not to join the military? I suppose. However, I like having a military and would rather folks not make that choice.
Both. You do get to choose where you live -- well, sort of. As enlisted, you pick three duty stations and you get one of those (not sure about Coasties because they have fewer bases of operations.) Unless you're in a specialized rate, you rarely just "get transferred." Also, some of the stations are unaccompanied for various reasons, including costs. These things are not surprises. That's my point. Eyes wide open.

There are some wonderful frugal vlogs available free on Youtube. For most people, stockpiling for emergencies is doable. It might mean, however, that different choices have to be made.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
I read a stat somewhere that said most Americans live pay check to pay check and could not afford a $1000 emergency.

I used to live that way. I now have 6 months of living expenses saved, invest 15% of my income and am debt free. It’s amazing how freeing it is when you don’t owe anyone anything. It took me 6 years, but it can be done.

I had $54,000 in consumer debt and a $270,000 home loan. I paid off about $55,000 a year by working my regular job, driving uber/lyft and mystery shopping.

It can be done. It sucks. But it can be done.
@ancient1 wrote:

Allied fcu is offering many of the affected workers 0% loans. Goooooooo Allied.

As is a local bank in this area: Alpine Bank. Three cheers for Alpine Bank and Allied FCU!
Enlisted Coasties transfer every 4 years. You put in a "dream sheet" with a list of preferred locations but you're not guaranteed to even get in your top 10. Anyhow, that part doesn't matter as much as the cost of living of your location and the housing allowance for that location. Seattle was a super expensive city to live in, but I found that the housing allowance was more than adequate to get a two-bedroom apartment within 5 miles of my base. In Charleston the housing allowance is only enough to get a one-bedroom within 5 miles of my base. Families requiring larger homes have to decide whether to live farther away from base for a more inexpensive home and therefore sacrifice gas mileage/commute time, or live closer to base and sacrifice space.

I just started mystery shopping last week, and while I agree it's not lucrative, it's helping me maintain some normalcy. I will be reimbursed for some of my groceries, and reimbursed to have a nice dinner out in a restaurant downtown this week. Most of my coworkers can afford to miss a paycheck or two if we scrimp. Having the option to get reimbursed for a little luxury night out helps with morale, and low morale is the biggest problem among my coworkers right now. We know we'll be back-paid but we don't know when that will happen.
VVT, welcome to the forum! Thanks for the well written post that clarified the current situation for Coast Guard personnel. You seem to have the right approach to mystery shopping and how it can somewhat ease your current situation. Sometimes the morale factor can be more important than the relatively small financial reward. As mentioned in this forum, watch out for the scammers. Never expect or accept a large prepayment for a shop. Good luck and feel free to post here if you have any questions.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/21/2019 06:16PM by kenasch.
I had done the Coastie tour from 9-74 to 5-78. Spent my enlistment in NYC on a buoy tender, and then was out on my duff due to being RIFFED.
Is this a serious thread to help federal workers? There are jobs that sit on the job boards, even if they get paid 30-60 days.
I think it’s just a “hey-ho” welcome thread. Not a “here’s a bunch of shops” thread.

But if you happen to know of a bunch of shops, I’m all eyes. I accidentally did a really great job of disappearing a bunch of grocery shops in my area.
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