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It’s time for a PCS, and you need to know that your budget is up to the challenge. You know that you’re going to need extra money set aside for some of those important expenses, but figuring out exactly what you’re going to need can be a challenge. Make sure that your budget includes these important details.
Moving out for a PCS doesn’t just mean the cost of the movers. You’ll also need to take into consideration several other items that will contribute to move-out expenses, like:
- Breaking your lease (many landlords have a stipulation in the contract that will prevent you from incurring fees when you have to move as a member of the military, but this isn’t true of all of them)
- Cleaning fees when you move out: do you need a professional cleaner to help you get your deposit back?
- Repair and maintenance, whether it’s the cost of a coat of paint or fixing up a few things that have been broken during your lease
- Selling your home: realtor fees, cleaning costs, and the cost of upkeep so that your home is show-ready at any given time
You have a vehicle that you love and want to keep with you, but that means you’re going to incur some extra costs along the way. Make sure your budget includes items like:
- Routine maintenance for your vehicle before the move. It needs to be in top condition to make that long trip!
- The cost of moving your vehicle. This is particularly important if you’re a two-car family and wish to (or can) drive only a single one to your new home.
- The cost of a new vehicle, if you prefer to sell yours–or one of yours–and buy a new one at your new location.
- Winterizing your vehicle or any other associated expenses that go along with moving your vehicle to a new climate.
- You’re subject to potential increased car insurance premiums when you arrive to your new location
Those furry friends are great companions, but they’re also expensive–especially as you’re headed in for a move. Remember to budget in:
- The cost of transporting your pets, especially if you’re going to be flying.
- Cleaning deposits or fees for hotel rooms along the way.
- Updated vaccinations for your pets to ensure that they’re ready to go in your new home.
- A microchip to help get your pet back to you if they’re lost during the move or try to run away when you reach your new home.
Even if you’re prepared for the expenses surrounding a PCS, one of the biggest expenses is the time you’ll spend in transit to your new location. Whether you’re flying or driving to your new home–and chances are, if you’re moving your vehicle, you’re going to make the drive at least once–you’ll need to make sure your budget has room for several on-the-road expenses. Write in:
- Any fun stops you plan to make along your trip with your family
- Food stops (this can be alleviated by packing a cooler full of snacks and even sandwich materials, food for breakfast, etc)
- Motel room costs
- Entertainment for the road–including books, movies for the kids, road trip games, and more
All the Extras
What are you really going to need when you settle into your new location? Make sure your budget has room for those important post-move items, like:
- Cleaning supplies (even if you’re moving into a brand new home, you’ll want to give it a once-over)
- A trip to the grocery store to restock on essentials, especially if you cleaned out the pantry before your move
- The cost of hooking up utilities, cable, and other important items
- Extra trash bags for getting rid of all those moving supplies
- Incidentals like soap, shower supplies, and other items that will need to be replaced
Preparing for a PCS can be a budget nightmare, especially if you’re already living on a tight budget. Fortunately, by preparing ahead, you can ensure that you have the money for your move and all the expenses that go along with it–and that will leave you better prepared for life at your new duty station without settling into debt. Factoring in these key budget concerns will allow you to move with greater confidence.
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