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Getting Ready for PCS Season

Like many other military families we’re PCSing this summer. This is our 10th PCS move in 20 years, so I think we’ve learned a few things about them. Here’s my list.

  1. You’ll see a lot of cash in your direct deposit account. Between your dislocation allowance and your advanced temporary lodging allowance, you’re going to see a significant boost in your checking account balance. If you take advance pay, you’ll even see more cash.
  2. You’re going to spend more than you think. If you’re planning on buying a new television set with surround sound, don’t head to the big box store quite yet. You’ll have a lot of move-related expenses. Consider the cost of establishing new services, connection deposits, even hanging up new curtains, there are lots of expenses.
  3. As quickly as you stop payments for old services, you’ll start paying for new ones. Think about telephone, cable, internet, and other services you use. These items will definitely be a part of your life in the new location.
  4. Since you’re out of your home and usual routine, you’re going to eat in restaurants much more frequently both before the move and after. Your food budget will be blown out of the water.
  5. If you’re moving out of the country, you might have to sell items at fire sale prices. Once you get to your new duty station, you might not have as much money to purchase a car or make a security deposit on a house or apartment.

The bottom line is that even though you’ll have a rapid boost in your account, try to manage the money wisely. Stick to a move budget and use some discipline.

USAA has a lot of resources for you. Their web site can provide the information for free.

Also, has a number of resources.


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