Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Winds of Change are Blowing

So almost 3 weeks ago Chip left for OCS after re-enlisting in the National Guard. After 4 days of torture, he returned home – the 10th person sent home in those 4 days. He wasn’t prepared. He wasn’t prepared physically and didn’t have the procedures down in his head that he should have. Add lack of sleep to that mix and you have a recipe for disaster.

But not all hope is lost. He can go back…and he is going to. I know he is perfectly capable of graduating from OCS, but just didn’t have the time to prepare. For goodness sake, he just got his military ID two weeks before leaving!

So the next round of OCS starts in January, but now Chip is considering a different option. Instead of an accelerated 8-week program, he is considering a 1 year plan that basically follows the 2-weeks a year and one weekend a month plan that the National Guard uses. His drills would just consist of OCS training rather than a traditional drill. He would start January 2012 and finish January 2013. The slower pace would allow for more time to study in between, no extra time away from our family, and postpone any chance of deployment for a year. This is not yet set in stone, but is a big consideration for him right now.

So we had to readjust our financial plan as well. As you know if you’ve been reading here for a while, our plan included using the commissioning bonus that Chip would receive upon graduating to repay a large chunk of our debt. That will still come, but not as soon as we initially hoped. So here are the changes that will take effect immediately:

  • We are pulling the kids out of daycare. They will stay at home with Chip during the day. This will last for Patrick until he starts kindergarten at the end of August. For Abigail, it will last until either January (if Chip does the accelerated OCS again then) or until next Fall when we have considered starting her in the 3K program at the Montessori program that Patrick will be attending. We will further evaluate that as the time draws near.

    Anyway…since we have been paying for Patrick and Abigail to both be in “summer camp” at the daycare this summer, this will saver us $1040.00 a month. Increased will be our food costs at home since they will be eating lunch and snacks at home, but decreased will be our gasoline costs of taking them daily.

  • We have dropped Chip’s private life insurance policy. He has one through the National Guard now that costs $45/month less and guarantees more coverage. Win-win.

  • We have dropped some excess subscription TV channels to the tune of $10/month.

  • We have registered his military status with Verizon, dropping our mobile phone costs $15/month.

  • We will be receiving a few hundred dollars a month now in drill pay from the National Guard. I’m not sure exactly how much yet, as Chip has not yet had a regular drill pay period yet. I will estimate $300.

So these changes will net us about $1410/month that will now be focused at debt repayment. So it won’t be as quick as we had anticipated, but these changes should move it quicker than it was moving before!

What would you do with an extra $1400 a month?


  1. $1400 a month is quite a lot for us. Like a lot! We'd most likely be putting it in savings or getting work done on the house as our house does need work. WOW - great savings!

  2. Thanks! It's a lot for us too. It's a major change of lifestyle, but hopefully one that will allow us to accelerate our debt repayment plan.