#TRENDING | Top 4 COLA survey mistakes

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton
  • 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs

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Want to see a bump in pay? Don't fall victim to these common Overseas Cost of Living Allowance survey pitfalls.

Trending1. Not accounting for off-base travel | Forgetting to account for the frequency of distance and travel to off-base facilities, whether it be for shopping, medical appointments or general recreation, can lead to an inaccurate COLA survey.

Trending2. Forgetting items | Service members sometimes purchase items that are not accounted for in the survey. Refer to the Key Items section of the COLA survey page for a list of items that should be considered when filling out the survey.

Trending3. Missing hidden costs | While the COLA survey is organized as a percentage of on and off-base shopping and expenses, there are areas where the Service members can include notes on how much they pay for items listed on the Key Items tab of the COLA page. Remember, every dollar counts.

Trending4. Misunderstanding BX and Troop Stores | The number one pitfall Service members can avoid when filling out the COLA survey is listing that they shop at the Base Exchange on either RAF Alconbury or RAF Croughton, United Kingdom. Neither installation has a BX - only a Troop Store. Therefore, Service members can't shop at an on-base BX, and any other Exchange counts as an off-base location.

Learn more about Overseas COLA here: http://www.501csw.usafe.af.mil/library/overseascola/index.asp