Tips for PCSing During the Most Expensive PCS Season Ever
Tips to Save Money During Your Upcoming PCS
As everyone knows, everything seems to be more expensive these days. Gas prices are enough to make us faint at the pump, and everything seems more expensive than it used to be. When you are preparing for a move, all of that can make you cringe. But, there are things you can do to save some money during your PCS. Here are a few ideas.
You might have to wait a bit to get into housing when you PCS to a new location. Staying in a hotel can be frustrating and the costs can add up. Why not look into getting an Airbnb or VRBO that is less than your BAH? This will also give you more flexibility in looking for a home and you won’t have to feel like you have to take the first place that is offered to you if it isn’t a good fit.
Don’t Go Crazy With Food
Ideally, your temporary lodging would have a kitchen. This will allow you to grocery shop and make food there instead of eating out at every meal. All of that adds up, especially with a large family. You also want to make sure that if you are moving back to the United States after time overseas you don’t go crazy with all the restaurants you had missed when you were overseas. If you are driving across the country as a part of your PCS, try packing sandwiches and plenty of snacks instead of buying food at restaurants along the way.
Make a Budget
Make a PCS budget. Figure out how much you will spend ahead of time and stick to the plan. You will want to budget for extra expenses that might come up along the way. Having a budget will allow you to stay organized and not overspend when possible.
Use a Lending Closet
If your new duty station has a lending closet, use that while you are waiting for your household goods. That way you don’t have to spend money on items that will be coming when you get your household goods. You can just return them to the lending closet.
Don’t Go Over Your Weight Allowance
Every military family has a weight allowance for their move. This is based on the service member’s rank and if they have dependents or not. Get rid of or sell what you can before you move. If you go over your weight limit, you will have to pay. You don’t want to have to deal with that extra expense.
Know Your PCS Entitlements and Benefits
You should be aware of your PCS entitlements and benefits. You can be reimbursed for expenses such as meals, incidentals, and lodging. This doesn’t mean you should go wild and not think about the costs. Keep to your budget but be aware of what you are entitled to during your PCS.
A PCS might be a good time to visit family. You can combine a trip home during your PCS, saving you money in the long run. You might also want to stay with your family to save money while waiting on housing. The service member may still need to report for duty, but paying for one person vs a whole family can save you money.
Start saving for your PCS as soon as you can. The move is going to cost you more than you think it might so you want to make sure you are prepared.
Save On Gas
While the cost of gas may be higher than you have ever seen it, there are a few things you can do to keep the costs low during your PCS. Join a fuel rewards program, use apps such as GasBuddy and Waze to find the cheapest gas along the way, and plan your route so you won’t be doing any unnecessary driving.
While financially this may seem like a tough time to PCS, using these tips will help keep the costs a little lower.
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- PCSing and Your Child’s Education: The Military Interstate Compact
- What You Need to Know About a PPM PCS
About the author
Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.