Get a head start on a smooth PCS with AHRN.com’s PCS Budget. Planning ahead for move-related expenses will help to keep you on track and reduce the financial stress of a military move.
Selling Your Home?
If you plan on selling your current home, it is vital to prepare yourself financially as early as possible. You will need to build room in your budget for preparing your house to sell (or rent): small maintenance projects, updating appliances, and fixing the quirks in your home that you have been willing to live with. Although AHRN.com listings are free, you may want to consider allocating money for professional pictures or staging. If you utilize an agent to assist in selling your home, agents costs and commission must be considered part of your PCS budget.
Prepare your vehicles
Military moves can take you across town or across the world. If your PCS will require a road trip, plan ahead and budget for a little vehicle preparedness. A road trip of more than a day or two warrants a tune up and oil change to make sure your vehicles are in top shape. If you are moving somewhere with a substantially different climate (from South to the North or to Alaska), do a little research to determine if winterizing your vehicle deserves some room in the PCS budget and to-do list.
PCSing with pets
Our four legged family members have a checklist of their own. All pets should be up to date on their vaccinations before you PCS- check with the vet office on your installation as many offer low cost vaccinations. In some states, pets need to have a health certificate from a vet certifying that they show no sign on contagious illness. Every pet, before a move, should be micro-chipped, which can easily be done when vaccinations are updated for a reasonable cost.
Move out prep
It’s the little expenses that catch up to you during a move. Extra cleaning supplies, eating out once the kitchen is clean, and unexpected repairs can all chip away at the PCS budget. Do a thorough walk-through and make note of all needed repairs. Use this list to create an estimate of your move out expenses and adjust as you go.
On the move
Perhaps the most expensive part of a PCS is the time in transit. Many of these costs are covered by the relocation allowances you will request in your Finance Brief. It is important to note, though, that you will be expected to pay out of pocket and then submit paperwork to be reimbursed. You may need hotel stays at either end of your trip or during the drive. Eating out can quickly swallow a budget. If your hotel does not accept pets, you will need to build in the cost of boarding your pets. And don’t forget to give yourself a little room for activities and entertainment for both kids and adults during this time of transition.
After your arrival
Once you’ve gotten settled into a home, it’s time to stock back up. The pantry, fridge and house hold items like toiletries and cleaning supplies can add up! Planning ahead for that expense can prevent the first few weeks at your new duty station from being more stressful than they need to be.
All too soon, the kids will be ready to get back into a routine. Research ahead of time to determine your options and expected expenses for school or daycare registration and associated expenses.
Make your budget
Ready for a smoother PCS? Download and print this free PCS Budget worksheet from AHRN.com to plan and track your move related expenses.
Looking for more PCS resources? AHRN.com’s PCS Toolkit has the information you need for a smooth, organized PCS!