Living aboard can be cheaper than ashore. But not always.
Unless you're getting out before then, you'll never be sure where you're going to be next. Shipping a boat is expensive, and you can't be sure you'll be stationed somewhere that's practical to live aboard. You'd have a better chance with a camper or motor home. At least until you are in a position to make some long-term plans.
The other option is a trailerable boat, but most people would not consider those big enough for a liveaboard. Somewhere in the 28-foot range you might find something you could tolerate, and still truck around. If you could squeeze into a 24-footer (pre-2006 Bayliner 245 comes to mind) then you could trailer it yourself without a "wide load" permit. You'd be "roughing it", but your rack space might still be larger than your mates on a cutter!