Moves in general can be very expensive undertakings. Even though the government reimburses members for PCS moves, on average, servicemembers are responsible for approximately $1800 in non-reimbursable costs. Typically, servicemembers move every two to four so you can see how this could add up quickly. Once you are aware you will be relocating at the government’s expense, you should contact the military base transportation and finance offices to get detailed information on exactly what services and items are covered in regards to a PCS move.
When PCSing you have the option of two types of moves.
The first is a completely planned move through the Transportation Management Office where they are responsible for making all the arrangements.
The second is a Do It Yourself Move or DITY move. When choosing a DITY move you are responsible for making all the arrangements and the government will reimburse you 95% of what it would cost them to move you determined by maximum authorized weight, rank and number of dependents. You also have the benefit of $25,000 of insurance to cover your
items. You could potentially make money on the deal if you are wise about your choices when planning your move. The following are four types of reimbursement eligible DITY moves:
Moves in which military personnel are reimbursed for the costs incurred from travel from one permanent duty station to another. Reimbursement is given per diem for travel by military or commercial vehicles and through a mileage reimbursement if traveling by personal auto.
Permissive 10-Day TDY or Temporary Duty included as part of your PCS move. This allows you time without going against your leave to find new housing at your new permanent duty location.
Storage of all or part of your goods at the government’s expense during your new assignment up to your maximum weight allowance as determined by the military.
Financial Planning Tips for PCS
There are some issues to keep in mind when a move is eminent and when considering there may be multiple moves in the future because of your career choice. The following is a list of tasks to be aware of for your current upcoming move as well as the ones after.
Create a list of all your financial accounts.
Make note of the ones that will remain with you and the ones that will be closed upon leaving the area. Put in change of address forms for all those that you will maintain and close out and payoff the accounts that will not be necessary when you arrive at your new location.
Make a budget geared toward the move and expenses that are expected to get settled into your new home.
Make a list of what the government will be reimbursing you for and what will be your responsibility. Be sure to consider things such as new utility fees and deposits, home owner association fees if necessary and household items that need to be purchased for the new home.
Evaluate the items you are moving and determine if the amount of insurance the government is providing will be adequate to cover them in a total loss situation. If not be sure to purchase allot funds to purchase insurance to cover the difference to avoid a potentially devastating situation.
Chose banks that have adaptable banking methods for people on the move.
With many of the banks offering a wide variety of online and mobile banking options this should not be a problem.
Make sure that all outstanding utility bills associated with the house you are leaving are paid in full and be sure to leave a forwarding address where the companies can send any final bills or refunded deposits.
Once the move is complete and you have gotten settled, look at your initial move expense budget and determine if it was accurate or needs adjustment for the next move. Set aside money as you can in a special fund that will help ease the financial burden of future relocations.
Knowing what to expect and being prepared for what is coming can greatly reduce the stress both financially and mentally on servicemembers and their families.