PCSing Hidden Costs and How You Can Save

Time to move again??

Did the last time you PCS leave your bank account high and dry??

PCS, United Military Travel, Military Travel Loans, Travel Loans, Travel Now, Pay Later

1. Housing

If you own a home and need to sell it understand that there are fees that come along with selling AND buying, so set aside money to aid you.  Or if you choose to rent out your home, it will cost you to have it professionally cleaned, have it put on the market and managed, and fix anything before tenants can move in.   On the opposite end of the spectrum – if you are currently renting you may get money back!  Clean it yourself top to bottom and if you treated the house well during your time renting, you should get your security deposit back.

But what if when you arrive at your new duty station, you have to use temporary housing?  The Military should reimburse you but at first that is money out of your pocket.  Plan wisely….

2.  Replacing household items

Almost 99% of moving companies will not move food or any liquids to your next duty station.  So what does this mean?  It means that literally you will have to buy all new cleaning supplies, toiletries, and food when you arrive at your new home.  Before you leave, try to limit your purchases on these items to save money and also start setting aside a “household item” savings jar.

3.  New Utilities

Almost every utility company will charge you a security deposit when you set up a new service with them.  Some base it on your past payment history and others just charge a flat rate but keep that in mind when you set up your electricity, water, cable, internet, etc.

4. Vehicle with OCONUS PCS

Selling vs. Storing vs. Shipping

First, research your new duty station to figure out how reliable public transportation is and how close your new home will be to grocery stores etc.  That can help you decide it you want to own a car overseas.  Often times, storing your car is just a money pit because over the years you are gone your car is depreciating while you continue to make monthly payments.  If you could ship your car overseas that seems to me the most ideal.  Sure, you have to get it over there and pay for all the fees and taxes but at least you will have car, and it is a comfort from home.

5.  Vehicle with CONUS PCS

To keep or to sell?  Most people keep their personal car, drive it wherever your duty station is and just have the tags changed.  Plan for gas, and fees.

6.  Pets

This is usually where the pets get the short end of the stick because it can cost thousands of dollars to get your best overseas.  You will have to pay for the extra vet costs that many countries require before your pet is allowed entry, also transportation costs.  Pets flying on an airplane is basically like buying another airline ticket for a human…  If you cannot afford to bring Fido with you, consider having someone you know foster them until your return.   If that doesn’t work, make sure you place them in a good home and not somewhere where they will go to a kill shelter.

7.  Clothing 

If your new duty station is in a different climate you will probably need to buy clothes suitable for the weather.  I would hit up all thrift stores first before buying anything new.

8.  Food

Everyone feels guilty about wasting food so during the month before you leave try to eat up your pantry, freezer, fridge….anywhere you have food – eat it!  Make crazy, fun, different meals until you run out of food.  Then, do not buy anymore expect what you have to have.  As awful as fast food is you will need to eat more of that the days before you leave.  If you cannot eat all your food, give it to a friend, family member, or food pantry 🙂

9.  Moving products

As if moving your life was not hard enough but to find boxes, bags, and suit cases for all your stuff is a pain!! You may have to buy more luggage to accommodate your things or purchase actual boxes and tape to go along with them.  A helpful tip to always remember: look for gently used first!

10.  Kids 

Get ready, moving kids is the Holy Grail of money sucking, black holes.  They come along with a whole new set of needs so be prepared with another thousand or so just for them.  You have to keep them entertained while traveling, food, diapers etc.  You know what I am talking about – about half of your time packing and moving will be dedicated to them!


  A great way to save money PCSing is by financing your airfare, car rentals, and/or hotels during the process. United Military Travel is a Military travel finance company that offers travel loans to all active duty, career retired, and government personnel with no money down.  #travelnowpaylater is their motto so contact them today to begin your PCSing adventure! 866-582-9579 or apply here!

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