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3 Non-Boring Ways to Spend Your 2023 Military Pay Raise

If you’ve been following along with our blog series, we’ve presented several very responsible ideas for using your expected 4.6% pay raise in 2023… you know, the kind of ideas that your mom would be proud of. (And that we would be proud of too!)

Let’s shake off the burdens of adulting for a minute though and discuss some non-boring ways to spend that extra cash.

(And no, we aren’t talking about using that money to buy another piano to light on fire… ahem, pilots we’re looking at you.)

An O-2 with 3 years’ Time in Service (TIS), will be getting an increase of about $240 a month and an O-4 with 8 years TIS, will be getting a little over $300 more a month. This is excluding any increase you might also have received from the adjustments to 2023 Base Housing Allowance (BAH).

Still scratching your head on what your pay is this year? Check out the 2023 pay scale here!

That is a NICE pay bump that could be sliced and diced in different ways, including for you to (what do the kids say these days?) … “TREAT YO SELF!”

Here are three solid options (among literally thousands) for turning your pay raise into a good time.

1. The Happiest Place on Earth

Disney World has been calling your name for years, but several TDYs and a deployment have thwarted your plans.

Guess what though, NOW is the time.

The prices at Disney World can vary drastically based on what level of resort you stay in, if you’re driving or flying, if you buy park hoppers or Genie plus… the options are endless.

There are a ton of resources and discounts available for military and veterans, so don’t just walk in off the street – do a little pre-planning to get the best price. Here’s a quick read on some of the basic savings you can find: The Complete Guide to Military Discounts at Disney World (tripsavvy.com)

Your pay raise combined with a focused savings plan will get you well on your way to a (possibly overpriced) pair of mouse ears and a memory you’ll cherish forever.


2. Braggable, Value Boosting Home Renovations

Okay, so you’re not into Disney, BUT you’re a big fan of your home. It’s finally time to tackle that bathroom renovation you’ve been talking about since you PCS’d.

In 2022, the national average for remodeling a bathroom was $6,500 with prices ranging from $2,000 to $18,000 depending on the extensiveness of the remodel.

Yes, that’s a hefty price tag, but taken in chunks, very doable. Some people prefer DIY renovations, some prefer to remodel by making changes slowly over time, and others toss in the towel and hand the job off to a contractor.


If you have no idea where to start looking for contractors, reach out to your real estate agent, the local home improvement store, neighbors, the spouses Facebook page or your HOA board.

It might also be a good idea to check with your real estate agent or ask our sister company, WeVett Realty to connect you with a local listing agent, to discuss whether your renovation ideas will add value to your home when it comes time to sell.

Regardless, when all the construction dust settles, tip your hat to the military for the pay raise and brag about that renovation every chance you get.


3. A Gym Membership that’s NOT on Base

Last, but not least, the new year is the hallmark time for starting a new fitness routine. It might be time to join the crowd…but not the crowd all trying to work out at the base gym at 15:00 on a Tuesday afternoon.

It might be free, but the on base gym is always jam packed, stinky, and someone is usually standing around waiting for a squat rack.

Instead, what if you checked out that Orange Theory place all your civilian friends post about or the celebrity famous Peloton?


A fun, non-military fitness membership could be a great way to decompress from work… and work on that 2023 bod while you’re at it!

OrangeTheory memberships range anywhere from $59 to $169 per month depending on where you live and the membership level you choose.

Peloton memberships are $12.99 a month to use the app only and $44 a month to use the live classes on a Peloton bike, treadmill, or rower.

It’s the perfect opportunity to turn that pay raise into a well-earned six pack.


Enjoy Your Raise

Unlike the private sector, the military is rarely allowed to reward its member’s achievements monetarily.

This 2023 pay raise is a much-appreciated bonus for living a life that is incredibly challenging in so many different ways. So, no matter what you decide to do with your pay increase – we hope you enjoy it!

We wish you and yours a Happy New Year and best wishes for 2023!

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