Moving is often a part of military life, and when Uncle Sam calls, families must be prepared to pack up and ship out. At CostCalculator.co, we understand the unique challenges faced by military personnel and their families when it comes to relocating. That’s why we’re here to offer a helping hand with this in-depth, heartfelt guide on budgeting and saving on military moves. We’ll cover everything from military moving assistance programs to tips for maximizing savings, so you can focus on what matters most: your family and your mission.
- 1 Understanding Military Moving Assistance Programs
- 2 Tips for Maximizing Savings on Military Moves
Understanding Military Moving Assistance Programs
As a member of the military, you have access to assistance programs designed to make the moving process more manageable. Understanding these programs is the first step towards a successful, budget-friendly relocation.
When you receive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, the government will typically arrange and pay for your move. This is known as a Government-Organized Move (GOM). The military will contract a moving company to pack, transport, and unpack your household goods, making the process relatively hassle-free. However, you might still be responsible for certain expenses, like travel costs and temporary lodging. Be sure to review your orders carefully and work with your transportation office to understand what costs will be covered and which ones you’ll need to budget for.
Personally Procured Moves (PPM)
For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, the military offers the option of a Personally Procured Move (PPM), formerly known as a “Do-It-Yourself” (DITY) move. In a PPM, you handle the moving logistics yourself and can be reimbursed up to 95% of what the government would have paid for a GOM. This option provides greater flexibility and control over the move, and you might even make a profit if you manage your expenses wisely. Keep in mind, though, that PPMs can be more time-consuming and require careful planning to ensure a smooth transition.
Tips for Maximizing Savings on Military Moves
Whether you opt for a GOM or a PPM, there are plenty of ways to maximize savings on your military relocation. Here are a few tips to help you keep more cash in your pocket while making the move as smooth as possible.
Utilize Military Discounts and Services
Many moving companies, storage facilities, and rental truck agencies offer discounts to military personnel. Don’t be shy about asking for these savings; after all, you’ve earned them through your service to our country. Additionally, military installations often provide services like lending lockers, where you can borrow household items during your move, and assistance with finding affordable housing in your new location. Be sure to explore these resources and take full advantage of the support available to you.
Plan Ahead and Stay Organized
A well-planned move is a cost-effective move. Start by creating a detailed timeline and budget for your relocation. Account for expenses like packing materials, moving insurance, and travel costs. If you’re planning a PPM, make sure to factor in the cost of renting a truck, fuel, and any additional labor you may need.
Stay organized by creating a moving binder or using digital tools to keep track of important documents, receipts, and to-do lists. This will not only help you stay on top of your expenses, but it can also make submitting your reimbursement paperwork a breeze. When you’re juggling military duties, family responsibilities, and the logistics of a move, organization is key to keeping stress levels low and ensuring a successful relocation.
Downsize and Declutter
Moving is the perfect opportunity to evaluate your belongings and get rid of items you no longer need or want. By downsizing and decluttering, you can reduce the weight and volume of your shipment, which may result in lower moving costs, especially if you’re planning a PPM. Hold a garage sale or donate unwanted items to charity – not only will you save money on your move, but you’ll also simplify your life and help others in the process.
Get Creative with Packing Materials
Packing materials can be surprisingly expensive, but with a little creativity, you can cut down on these costs. Reach out to friends, family, or local businesses for used boxes and packing supplies. You can also use items you already have on hand, like towels, blankets, and clothing, to protect fragile items during the move. Just remember that if you’re using a GOM, the moving company may require that they pack your belongings to ensure proper protection and accountability.
Be Flexible with Your Moving Dates
If you have some flexibility with your moving dates, try to plan your relocation during off-peak times. The summer months tend to be the busiest for moving companies, so rates may be higher during that time. By scheduling your move during a less busy period, you might be able to secure better rates and have an easier time booking the services you need.
Keep Track of Your Expenses
As you prepare for your move, diligently track your expenses and save all related receipts. This is especially important for PPMs, as you’ll need to submit your receipts for reimbursement. Even with a GOM, it’s a good idea to keep records of any out-of-pocket costs you incur, as some expenses may be tax-deductible or reimbursable through your military allowance.
In conclusion, military moves present unique challenges, but with proper planning and resourcefulness, you can make your relocation as smooth and cost-effective as possible. By understanding your moving assistance options, utilizing available resources, and staying organized, you’ll be well on your way to a successful, budget-friendly move. Remember, we at CostCalculator.co are here to support you every step of the way, so feel free to reach out for additional guidance and tips. Thank you for your service, and here’s to a successful move!