Before you join the Services

It’s important to make sure your finances are in order before joining the Armed Forces.

You could end up facing further financial difficulty if you don’t, so make sure that you are on top of your finances and start your career feeling confident and well prepared.

Get yourself MoneyFit

It's always a good idea to start as you mean to go on. So let's start with the basics - you'll need

  • a bank acount - to have your salary paid in, if you don't already have one  - see Choosing the right bank account and our checklist to get started, and
  • to get any borrowing you have under control, so you're in as good a position you can be with your money - see Dealing with debt.

Your pay

Your basic pay will depend on a number of things, including your pay scale, rank, length of service and your trade. You’ll also get an enhancement which recognises the important and difficult job you’re doing, compared to Civvy Street.  Your pay can also be boosted by other benefits, allowances and credits. Find out more in What you can expect to earn.

Your accommodation

The type of accommodation you'll get after your training will depend on whether you're single or married (or in a civil partnership).  Either way you'll be responsible for looking after your accommodation. Rent and in some cases utility costs will come out of your pay before you get it. Find out more in Where you will live.

Your expenses

Living expenses are very different from Civvy Street. Your accommodation and food charges are much lower but you'll still have to have to pay Income Tax and National Insurance contributions.  Find out more in What you will have to pay for.

Joining from overseas

If you're coming from overseas, you'll have to cope with a lot of change for yourself as well as expectations from your family back home. Find out more in Joining from overseas.


Last reviewed: 19/09/2017