Military wives: My life with defense cuts

The Pentagon is shrinking the Army to its pre-World War II size. The brunt of overall Defense cuts is being felt by military families. Housing allowance and pay raise cuts only make it worse. 5 military wives share their stories, in their own words, edited for clarity.

Always on a budget

  • Name: Stephanie Ibarra
  • Spouse's military service: Air Force
  • Number of kids: 1
  • Home: Fort Meade, Md.

We're always on a budget. We try to go and visit my family in California every six months, but two tickets cost us $600, which is a pretty penny. We've got to make rent and renter's insurance, a car payment and insurance, cell phone and cable bill and we're paying off debt on our Military Star credit card.

We moved off the military base to a one-bedroom apartment just so that we could save an extra $200 a month from our housing allowance. That's about how much I have to spend after paying all the bills. We will be hit hard if our housing allowance and our rental insurance will be cut. Rental insurance alone costs us $10 a month from USAA.

  @jenliberto - Last updated March 12 2014 06:58 PM ET

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