During a PCS move, the military tries to cover all expenses, but everyone who has experienced a PCS knows that there is a fine line and blowing the PCS budget is not at all uncommon. Service members and their families receive a Per Diem allowance that partially reimburses them for meals, Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE) for CONUS moves or Allowance (TLA) for OCONUS moves that reimburses for lodging expenses, Dislocation Allowance (DLA) that helps with incidentals and miscellaneous moving costs, and a Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT) which covers mileage for driving to the new duty station. Then of course, if your next duty station is overseas, the military will cover your airplane ticket.
Here is the list of five common reasons that can make you go over budget during your move:
Eating out during a move is unavoidable. And even if you try to choose the cheaper places to eat, eventually you will likely get tired of eating the same thing and try to treat yourself to something better. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you find yourself stressed because you are going overbudget with your food allowance, one thing you can do is to be mindful of the prices on the menu and making more wallet-friendly choices. Some families go in with a plan of fixing meals in their hotel room. If your lodging has a mini kitchen, with a fridge and a microwave, there are multiple things you can prepare to regain control over your meal expenses.
!Don’t forget to budget for replacing all groceries in the new home!
Are you trying to turn your PCS into a vacation or a road trip? With the current state of gas prices, a lot of driving is certain to make your wallet lighter. While on a leave, encourage extended family and friends to come see you, not the other way around. They can come meet you wherever you are staying since you already drove many miles or flew in on an airplane. Don’t allow anyone to guilt you into visiting and blowing your own budget. Keep in mind the costs of rental cars, and potential traffic tickets for speeding or illegal parking.
!The biggest financial mistake a military family can do while on a leave is to stop monitoring their finances and continue splurging!
While acquiring a new car or certain furniture may be a necessity in the new place, redecorating not so much. And yet, mostly everyone does it. The new home and its layout are different from the previous one, and it is tempting, especially for the spouses who want to make it feel more inviting. But the new rug can wait until you are settled in the new place and back on track with your finances.
!Do not forget to budget for a new security deposit!
Keep in mind having a credit monitoring service watching your credit report is an extremely useful tool. You’ll want to know if there are any potential identity theft threats or even fraudulent charges that stem from getting your identity stolen. Our partner IDIQ has daily credit monitoring services that offers an insight to when changes are made to your credit report profile. They actively monitor your Social Security number, change-of-address notifications, international and national most-wanted lists, and for your information on the dark web to ensure your identity is protected before you begin thinking of purchasing a home, during and after.
If you have pets, especially big dogs or cats, and get stationed overseas, you may have heard the horror stories and astronomical amounts (we are talking thousands of dollars) some pet owners had to pay to ship their animals either there or back, not to mention the headache it can be. Because so many military families have pets, the Patriot Express flight might not have space for your pet, which means you would have to fly with your pets commercially or use a pet shipping company.
!Keep in mind that if your PCS is in summer and the temperatures are too high, airlines will not ship the pets until it cools down again!
The military covers only one car per family when moving OCONUS. If you want to ship your second car, it will be an out-of-pocket expense of roughly two thousand dollars when going there, and then again when coming back. The exact price depends on how far you need to ship the car and what company you use.
!Buying a beater car in the new location is a viable option. The car will likely be smaller, have high mileage, but it will bring you from point A to point B. Remember, it’s temporary!
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR LOCAL RESOURCES THAT MAY INCLUDE:
Did you enjoy reading this article? Visit our blog page to read other similar articles.