1 April 2011 Pay: No Worries!

With all the confusion and rumors regarding the federal budget, the Defense Appropriations Act, the continuing resolutions, and military pay, I’ve been hearing the same question a lot lately:  Will we get paid on Friday, 1 April 2011?  The short answer is yes.  There is no reason that this military pay day should be affected by the current legislative situation.  Banks and credit unions that typically release pay funds early should be able to follow their usual pay release schedule.  For now, we are at situation normal.

Please do know that IF another continuing resolution is not passed, and IF a federal budget is not passed, and IF the Defense Appropriations Act is not passed, and IF there is no other legislation that would permit troop payment without any of the other things happening, it is POSSIBLE that the 15 April 2011 pay could be delayed until one of those things does occur.  I am not trying to panic people, or play Chicken Little (as I have been accused), but rather to make people think about the possibilities and how their family can best prepare for whatever might happen.

I know you are sick of hearing me say it, but the only sensible thing to do is plan for the worst, and be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t happen.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Erika

    I know there’s other military families in the same boat as me. I’m a stay at home mom and my husband is a CPL in the USMC, we live on base and are living paycheck to paycheck. We have bills to pay and they have also recently gone up in price. After bills and groceries we don’t have much money left over to save. Gas is expensive and we’re feeding four people off a CPL’s pay. We’re okay for now but if this pay freeze is approved I don’t know what to do until I find a job. What does congress expect us to do for money? How do they expect us to live and feed our children?

  • heather

    i agree i have the same questions. and if we do not get paid then does the government plan on calling our bill collectors and telling them to not ruin our credit?

    • Ioanna Papadopoulou Barnett


    • Crystal

      Oh Im laughing at that one. It’s like the government cc that are expected to be paided on time when our husbands do not get paid back the thousands of dollars we paid in adance for trips ect.. That cc is so far down on my list this next month. I really believe this will all work out. One congress needs their money and two the military does take care of their own. At times it might seem slow but we all have to stick together at times and help each other out. This might be one of those times to show everyone why we as military have such close bonds.

  • heidi

    Well you guys do know that a gov official at least congressmen and women and so on make about three times our husbands monthly pay a month right? So I think if they cant do their jobs they should forfeit their pay so we can feed our children. Lets face it our husbands do their jobs…and might not get paid for it. Just food for thought.

    • Ioanna Papadopoulou Barnett

      and the housepayment , the car payment,. and the Military star. gas for the car , house gas, elec. water. ect ….. oh phone !!! cell………

  • KSBS

    Now’s, actually before now, is the time to evaluate the spending habits of the family. There are great programs offered by every branch of service to help educate military families about their finances.
    Are there habits that can be cut back or eliminated from the family budget? The biggest complaint I heard from other military spouses over the last 20 years has always been “there’s not enough money”. But, there was always enough money for beer, cigarettes, cable designer clothes and a fancy car.
    Not to say this is the case in every situation, I’m am saying these are lessons to be learned and there are resources for each of us to use.
    It took our family over 12 years with the Marines to have an actual savings. It was all our own fault for not taking care of our future before our present. If you can take the lessons you see in other families and build upon them.

    • Mandy

      I understand what you are saying about educating families about spending habits, but not having money for those reasons and not having money because the government has decided that military won’t get paid but are still required to work is 2 different things! How many members do you think are either a) going to go awol, or b) not going to work like they are supposed to since they aren’t going to be getting paid. Yet the people who can’t make up their mind and come to a decision will still get paid. Hmmm…makes a lot of sense to me…NOT!

      • Ioanna Papadopoulou Barnett

        @ mandy. TOTALLY AGREE why cut our husbands check as erica said in a diffrent comment. they GET 3 TIMES AS MUCH !!!!!
        they should be in the dog house!!!
        pisses me off. dear mrs. president………… why do YOU let that happen ????

    • bob

      KSBS—–I think that is a very ignorant thing to saym it is easy to suggest what one should do about their finances when you are not the one doing the work and not getting paid. How about you come to my house and cut my grass and not get paid…. and when you ask for money ill say that you should have cut back your needless spending and prepared for the future…..but not to worry you should take pride in the fact that you cut my grass and hold your head up high!!!!! Food for thought…..dumbass!!!!

  • brad

    This is the exact reason why my wife and I decided to never have kids. I am an 18 year E7 and living on my pay alone. Without children, we have our own home, 3 car payments, plenty of food, and still have enough for savings. It is all about choices in life.

    • JCT

      Yes, you are right, the answer is to not have kids.
      How ridiculous is that statement?
      You decided to have kids because you knew that you
      wouldn’t be able to afford them with a military paycheck.
      What does that say for the military pay? A lot!

      People should be able to have children in the military.
      I know that people can change spending habits, but the bottom
      line is the military doesn’t get paid enough for how much they work
      and how dangerous the work is.

      • Ioanna Papadopoulou Barnett

        i POOP on all your 3 carpayments….. and on your super duper house ( by the way we OWN one too. but ask your wife when she is 45 ….. or a bit older if she is happy……. money is just paper what not even a dog would eat. take all your dear money and build a grandchild when you wife will break down CUz you never had children…. ohhh by the way THANK GOODNESS YOUR MOM DID NOT THINK LIKE THAT. YOU WOULD OF BIN FLUSHED DOWN THE TOILET !!!

      • bobbierobbie

        I don’t think his statement is ridiculous. People take on more than they can handle because it makes them happy and then when trouble comes around everyone plays the why me game. I am a stay at home married to a 10 year E6 and we stopped at one child seeing as how she was plenty to handle. By the way I have NEVER worked and we have always budgeted and are just getting to the point where we can save. People should get their pay because they work for it, but family size is a choice no matter what a persons occupation. Military folks aren’t the only ones struggling.

    • Crystal

      HA HA.. I agree some.. My husband 04, 2 kids but 1 of them half out the door (college in the fall) then the other starting high school. We only have one truck payment at a time. Although we have 3 and 2 new. Busted our butts to pay 1 off in a 14 months. When he deployed I saved that extra $ instead of blowing it.. We have friends like you that just have dogs.

    • razor-one

      shut up guy!

    • Pissed off

      You need to get down off your high frickin horse. Who the hell do you think you are saying not having kids is the answer? Absolutely ridiculous. You actually did the world a favor by not reproducing. Hope you enjoy your money and car payments when you are old and alone.

    • Army Wife

      congratulations brad, you are completely unhelpful with any insight for the others here who might be having a hard time… that just tells me you are gloating and rude and absolutely without decent character. and congratulations to your wife. she picked a real winner. not.
      because having children and a family are not the real issues. the real issue is not being paid for work that military personnel do. it’s not just, and it’s inconceivable that a volunteer army (dependents to support or not) would not be paid by a nation that needs them.
      and how did your idiotic mess ever get to be higher than a private? that’s what’s wrong with the world.

    • dyingbreed

      LOL, Brad has been in 18years and is only E7? My husband will be in for 6yrs as of next month, and last month he passed the board for E-5. So while brad has “things” he can brag about, he is nothing to brag about.

      • Christie

        You do realize that you no longer take a test to get promoted after E5, right? It’s a whole new ball game, deary. You only get looked at once a year from E6 to E7 and on, and for E7 you take a test just to get looked at. You have no idea what rate he is, how many they promote in his rate each year, etc. It’s not easy to get looked at if they’re only selecting 1 person. So, while I agree that Brad is a total flake, you need to realize that respect for a Chief who has served for 18 years should be a given.

        • Christie

          This is all, of corse, assuming he’s in the Navy – even still – 18 years is respectable no matter what branch he’s in.

        • john doe


          Not sure where u came up with the last part of your little rant, but respect is never a given. I don’t care if they’ve served 30 yrs, when you make comments like brad made at a time like this, you lose respect with almost anyone who reads the shit you posted, then you have the nerve to correct someone elses comment like you know what branch he’s apart of and by the way, testing that you mentioned is not the same from branch to branch….just another this you said to let us know you have no idea what your talking about, so unless your the spouse he’s talking about, keep your mouth shut and let people come on here and vent.

    • Aly

      Damn right! You should never bite off more than you can chew. My husband and I don’t have any children either. Even if we did, we don’t feel the need to keep up with the ‘Jones.’ We don’t live extravagantly, but we are comfortable. I wouldn’t go bragging about three car payments, honestly. All that really means is that you are financially illiterate.

  • Erica

    I know for us the recent pcs move emptyied our savings and moving to a new place means having to re do a budget bc of diff prices for food, gas and other things and bills like electic and water change too. We do a zero based budget before every. I’m more worried about how we pay the car bill, had to recently replace or van with a used vehicle bc it died finally, the rent, since on post didn’t have housing avaible, the electricty and water, and buy groceries, yes we have cable and internet but I don’t have a prblm cutting those off if they let us, but its the ones u don’t have an option on plus food. We are trying to build our savings back up after the move but its not easy on a speciialists pay. So my main concern is IF a shutdown happens what do we do for main neccesities and main bills. And will our spouses with clearences have their clearences in jepordy bc debt that will be aquired from not being able to pay bills bc they arnt paying our spouses.

    • Crystal

      Oh just thought of that one.. They still own us for our PCS move. We had to move at different times. So it cost us twice as much. Wonder if we are getting that?


    My husband just got his 1 April paycheck. My husband doesn’t make much and I don’t work, though I’m looking. As a low ranking Airman, after all the bills are paid, groceries bought, and cars fueled, we have less than $50. I appreciate KSBS’s comments on revamping a budget and cutting out senseless spending. Problem is, like most low ranking military families, we don’t even have the money for the “senseless spending” much less saving. We don’t hardly eat out, and if we do, it’s off the $1 menu. We don’t smoke, don’t buy beer, I haven’t bought a new anything clothing wise other than the obligatory Hanes underwear in an extremely long time… Forget the 2 months of expenses we are “supposed” to have saved back! So in short, a delay in pay would wreck a lot of lives. Not just by not having enough money for food or gas, but if we can’t pay our bills, it ruins our credit which ruins our futures. Unfortunately, Congress doesn’t seem to understand and won’t worry about it at all as they are sitting in their nice warm homes, eating an extremely expensive meal, with all their bills paid.

    Btw, just because someone lives on base, doesn’t mean it is “free”. Our housing in privatized so we pay rent. It is just automatically deducted from my husband’s paycheck after he gets his BAH.

    • Chris

      I totally agree with you! We are in the exact same situation, except add 3 kids! & people are jumping down my throat saying “you should always have 2-3 months of bill money saved”…Uhhh please tell me how so I can do it. Internet is the only “luxury’ we have right now. I can’t even afford to get my kids glasses because we have NO extra money! We are budgeted to the dime! Sometimes my husband rides a ten speed to work just so we don’t have to buy gas for the car. & if we go with out pay, our credit will be ruined & then the clearance he needs for work is gonna come into question…just one HUGE downward spiral.

    • RMW

      I could not agree more!

  • Meranda

    The bottom line is the military is at risk of not getting paid. We are all in that situation and we need to figure out what to do next. A lot of us live paycheck to paycheck while others are lucky enough they don’t have to. So there is no reason to fight or make ridiculous remarks on here. Help eachother out by asking or answering questions from eachother.

    • Army Wife

      Lobbyists in Washington, D.C. are the answer to our problems. How to get to them? We ALL as a collective and enormous group write the same type of letter to all our creditors…something like this… “Dear, (phone company, mortgage lender, auto lender, etc. ) due to Congress not approving a budget, my military pay has been suspended until further notice. Since I have no idea when I will be paid again, I regret I will have to fall on your mercy and only pay this good faith payment of $5 so that I can continue to provide food and shelter for my family. I know and understand that you can wreck my credit and my future, but instead I would like you to please apply pressure with lobbyists in DC so you will get your money by me getting mine. The military has no legal way to fight back against this unfair application of an unfair burden, and we all hope you will understand that as soon as we are paid, our payments will be back on track. Thank you, sincerely,
      military member ….(your name, etc.) ”

      • Army Wife

        (following is the finish to the above comment ) :

        We as a collective group will have to bombard the people who can bombard congress to get their money, through us. Then, enclose the $5 payment, and send it in. WRITE the letter AND send an e-mail. Also a phone if possible. Then, copy the written letter and send it to your Representative, Mayor, Governor, and anyone else you can think of.

  • Marissa1980rota

    Alright!!! Please people *just think one second* do not frick out like i did when my husband told me about it, * is not going to happen*
    …and im sure if that happen………
    will be a day or two delate….just save up a few hundreds on the side
    for back up, and bad credit?? it takes more than a month or two of not paying
    to get reported..so lets get real…we will be OK

    • First of all, check your grammar and spelling. Obviously you have no kids or other concerns. A few hundred dollars is nothing when feed 4 kids, paying rent, and car payments, and other bills. And I work as well and we still struggle. And with this economy, you obviously have no idea how credit works. How does the saying go? Ignorance is bliss…must be nice.

  • Jennifer

    Has anyone thought about the part of BAD CREDIT because we don’t have any money to pay our billes? Think about it??? The government can DESTROY OUR CREDIT in one day after spending YEARS TO BUILD IT. This is my main concern.

    • razor-one


  • Elizabeth

    There is help out there if the military doesn’t get paid. Every branch of service has an emergency fund. I know for the Army it is the Army Emergency Relief fund. It stinks to have to use it. In my husband’s case he has to report to his unit if he’s going to. Some units have a “slush fund” so to speak. Your husband probably paid dues into it so sometimes there is help there. I know for the AER fund they will cover rent, utilities, and food. They won’t cover car payments which if you contact your financing company they may let you skip a payment by tacking it on the end of your loan. As far as credit cards, they can’t legally report to the credit bureau until you are a full 30 days late. The situation stinks but it is what it is.

    • ryder

      Do you think that the emergency will be enough to cover all the service members who need help? The things we want to avoid are the consequences of not getting paid on time. Yes, you saying that there’s help right there but its not guarantee everybody will going have one.
      The question now is: why is it that military personnel always sacrifice everything, don’t they deserve something risking their lives?

  • stressful

  • karla

    i told them
    there was a report in the military times papers that should the government shutdown military would not be paid until a budget was agreed upon that military would continue to work without pay.
    I was told not true. It was just a rumor. The military will be paid on time and it only affects non essential government agencies. I called Inhoff, Cole and Dennis Kucinich who’s office staff connected me to a gentleman in his office who deals with military affairs who also told me that the military will not be affected in anyway financially by a government shutdown. I told them all about the blogs, the forums, the worried sick families..and their staff assured me that nothing would happen to the military families.
    Call up your congressman and ask. Call different ones and verify. I called 3 , two which are of different party lines.

  • Big Dan

    Mr Brad think about your statement!!! I ‘m a E-8/17 years in the Marine, and have 3 cars, and 2 home in FL. I can’t live without the blessing from my SON Lil Danny. God Bless and enjoy life Big Bro!

  • Greg

    Well, well,. well…
    To all as of this morning 0500 Texas time, I SGT Phelps received HALF of my mid month pay. I say again HALF!!! By the way I am on leave from deployment and cant tell you how frustrating this is. Maybe the other half will come by Friday, but for those who trust government officials, I laugh at you for being gullible. For those that actually work in the Service I hope your pay issues are resolved soon. And yes I do keep an emergency fund for such issues, however I never suspected I would need to worry about getting paid from Uncle Sam. God Knows he takes all he wants from me, and then some.

  • chatty

    I say that President Obama should not get paid and include all the ‘other’ goverment people, senators, legislators, congressmen, etc and see how much money this country could save. Why do they get a paycheck anyway? I cannot see that they are doing much to get this country back on track.