From The Mailbag: Spouse Payments?

Well, I don’t know what in the heck is going on in the world of military spousedom, but there is some seriously bad information being spread.  First, there was this letter to Ms. Vicki, then I find the following in my email:

My daughter got married to an Airman 3rd class on March 12, 2013. She has been told that she should be getting an allotment check from the Air Force. Is this true? If so, how would she go about checking on this. She hasn’t received anything.

I am just flabbergasted. Not so much at the mother, or the daughter, because we all know that the military is crazy and anything is possible. But that someone is spreading such blatantly false information is just amazing to me.

Here is my response:

I’m not sure who is telling your daughter that she should be receiving any payments from the Air Force. This is not true. An allotment is a portion of money that a servicemember can designate be sent to another person or company. It is commonly used for payments such as life insurance or for savings. In the past, an allotment was a common way for a servicemember to provide for family while they were apart. With modern technology such as online banking, electronic funds transfers, etc., allotments are no longer a common way for couples to handle their finances.

Thanks for writing,


While servicemembers certainly may set up allotments to send funds to their spouses, there are much better options available now.  Frank conversations about income, expenses, and priorities, plus the right banking accounts for their situation, will help a couple grow their marriage and their finances together.  There is no sensible reason to do things the old-fashioned way.

And sorry, there are no payments to spouses from the military.



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.
  • Randall

    I’d like to know where anyone found an Airman 3rd Class in the modern Air Force? The last I knew that rank was gone with Vietnam.


    I was told by someone that a son or daughter of a retired military member was eligible to purchase a home under the VA loan system. Is this correct?

  • Jessi


    Is it possible that the writer was confused about the required family support rules while in marriage vs when separating?

    In an article titled “Required Family Support” you wrote from March 2011, you mentioned that a service member who’s between separation and divorce has a responsibility to his family (depending on whether he’s Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy and the guidelines for each these). I guess you can call that spouse payment which can be an allotment.

  • Jessi … the mom had stated that her daughter just got married this past March, so I think it’s safe to assume that the daughter thinks she “will be paid” by the military.

    If only …. *sigh*