Officers Salary/mess life

Discussion in 'Officers' started by HH_2, Jan 20, 2009.

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  1. I just wondered if someone could point me in the direction of any information about living costs as an Officer; I was recently asked how much (if anything) you had to pay for accomodation, food etc if you joined the army and I realised I didn't have the faintest clue. I have tried having a search on google, arrse and the Army careers site but haven't come accross anything other than the basic pay scale for graduates vs non-Grads and so on.



    *Edited to remove bullshit*
  2. I'd also be really interested to know this, what with starting in September.
  3. This post is of no relevance whatsoever to your inquiry and offers no advice, so unless you have time on your hands, stop reading now.

    When I joined the army (yawn) in 1981, I gave not a moment´s thought to the concept of personal finance. In fact pay was the last thing on my mind and I was pleasantly suprised when they gave me some money every month for what I considered was the most fun I could be having in my life. In pre PAYD days, the food was on the table, the mess waiter brought the drinks, no cash changed hands, I was perpetually broke, but blissfully happy. Things change when you aquire a GF/wife, and it all gets a bit serious, mortgage, kids, school fees, all a total nightmare. So if there is any advice in this thread, it is enjoy your first few years, worry more about your soldiers´ finances than your own, and FFS, don´t get married until the last safe moment.
  4. Food will be on the order of £5 per day, plus your extra messing charge (I can't be more accurate as with PAYD it does depend on what you chose.) If you are on the older style "Daily Food Charge", that is £3.89 per day.

    Accommodation charges also depend on the quality of what you are provided with - as a singly subaltern, you will probably be in your own room with shared facilities. However charges can vary from sh@g all (old, below standard accom) up to about £1700 p.a for Grade 1 accom.

    But you don't pay either when you are deployed.

    Council tax and most utility bills are covered within the accom charge, although you will see endless posters pointing out that you need your own TV licence (if you have a TV in your room). If you are unlucky, you might be on coin-operated machines for your laundry as well.

    And your bar bill is your own problem, unless you make it your COs! Although some months, charges for Mess dinners (and the inevitable Mess Guests) may reduce your free income somewhat.

    But what Jorrocks said, really.
  5. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    Well said Jorrocks.


    When I first started as a thicky non-grad 2Lt on FTRS (2001) and living in the mess I had more than enough cash to get drunk on, run a car and get into mischief.

    Food and accommodation were deducted at source, as was charge in lieu of council tax (CILOT). After all deductions I was probably taking home around 1200 per month, before mess bills. Even allowing for PAYD probably costing more than deductions at source, it would still have been a reasonable sum.

    Once you allow for time on exercise, duties, Ops etc you realise that you generally have enough money to enjoy your time off. Once you go up a few pay grades you may even have enough to put a few quid aside.

    Compare this with how much disposable income your supposedly higher earning friends have once they have paid for rent, bills, food, work clothes, travel etc etc and you soon realise that the beer funds available to the subby compare very favourably!
  6. *Edited to remove bullshit*

    Thanks for the replies chaps, very useful info- in the end I don't see how being as fully informed as possible about life in the army can hurt!
  7. I agree with Jorrocks - especially ref last safe moment on getting serious and married - Although I suspect that as the average age on entry to RMAS has increased so the relevance of rates of pay and deductions for food etc have become more important to people.

    Having said that I personally cannot answer the question as I am not sure what I used to pay as a single liver in with regards to food and accommodation. I am however sure that my social spending dwarfed my food bill and suspect that was true for most in the mess.

    Citing the credit crunch as a reason why these charges are important is balls - the charges either matter or they don't, please don't use the credit crunch to justify asking a perfectly reasonable question.
  8. Good post, despite the popular opinion (pay shouldn't matter if you really want it etc) it does matter to some of us, specifically those of us with a young family :p

    I'm assuming these are post-RMAS, do the deductions while at Sandhurst differ much?
  9. God only knows - I'm an old git. I can't remember paying food and accom when I went through my Commissioning Course but then there is quite a lot I can't remember from that long ago - it wasn't that important to me (although the tailor's bill still smarts!)

    Somebody younger may be able to help. :?:
  10. I agree, it is balls to use the credit crunch as a justification, I was just worried I'd create the wrong impression simply by asking a question about money (see the reaction to the other guys thread).

    I can of course quite appreciate that you would not want to see someone joining based purely on the fact that he or she was interested only in the money the life offers; I understand you want people to be joining with a very strong motivation based on a desire to be the best troop or platoon commander they can be.

    Cheers again!

    PS I've edited my posts to remove most of the pointless rambling crap.
  11. Mess bill is around £200 a month including PAYD food, but not booze.
    Accommodation is about £120 a month.
  12. Bl00dy hell are you funding a major restoration to Big Ben from your Mess Bill?
  13. Actually, I remember looking at the measly annual increment and thinking "bunch of tight-fisted whatevers". And then looking at it and thinking - "has the job changed - no; am I doing anything more than yesterday - no; can I now afford 3 more pints a night (pre-contractor prices, sorry) - yes!"