We decided early on to live off post once we got to Alabama. We're getting about $1300 in housing allowance there and we can easily rent a house for $900. Something that has a big backyard, three bedrooms, two bath, and plenty of room inside. The utilities will be anywhere from $150 to $250. We should be able to save some money.
But then Brandon has been chatting with a new friend of his who is already in Alabama. His friend chose to live on post. The houses are actually pretty darn nice and fairly new. They're pretty comparable in size to the houses we would get off post, too, except the backyards are much smaller. I was looking forward to having a large place for Dexter to run around and for Penny when she gets to the walking stage.
Anyway, it all comes down to money. If we live off post, we could potentially save money, but then Brandon is spending more on gas to drive to work, and he'll probably have to buy breakfast and lunch instead of coming home. If we're on post we'll be forfeiting all our housing allowance for the convenience of proximity to work and coming home for breakfast (and a shower) and lunch.
We have a few weeks to decide, and we don't even know if we'll get offered a house we like, but it's still been rattling in my brain. We haven't had a bad experience living on post here in Hawaii so I'd be willing to do it again.
What do you prefer? On or off?