When you learn it’s time to perform a Permanent Station Change (PCS), you’ll quickly find lists of things you need to know, do, and remember. It can be overwhelming and you might be tempted to give them all up. However, when it comes to your finances, it’s worth taking a few moments to review this comprehensive list to avoid overspending on your move.
Before your move
In preparation for your move, you’ll want to make sure you know what expenses to track and who you need to notify of your move. For example, you will need to speak to your lien holder if you have a car payment and plan to ship your vehicle overseas. Here are some other things to do before moving.
Keep track of expenses
Start by setting a budget, keeping in mind that you’re more likely to eat out during the move and do a lot of grocery shopping when you arrive in your new place. You’ll also want to keep track of your expenses, both for army reimbursement and for later tax deductions.
Know what is due to you
A move usually means a change in salary, simply because of the basic housing allowance. Also, some locations may have a cost of living adjustment. Another thing to keep in mind for military moves is that you are entitled to a moving allowance, which is designed to help you settle into your new home. If you need extra cash for your move, a payday advance or relocation loan may be an option.
Find a new financial institution, if necessary
Finding a bank or credit union that does business in various locations can be a challenge, you may want to find one you can trust that will move with you. Look for a financial institution that offers 24/7 service with no international fees and generally understands the military community.
Make sure you don’t waste money
When you know when you’re ready to move, be sure to schedule all utilities to be turned off so you don’t incur unnecessary costs. You also want to give your landlord as much notice as possible, so you can get your deposit back. Pay attention to dates and terms of contracts so you don’t waste money.
During your move
The days of packing and loading the truck, driving across the country, flying overseas, and then unpacking in a new home fly by. When you’re in those hectic days, do what you can to find out where your stuff is. Stay in contact with the moving company to schedule the delivery as soon as possible.
Be sure to let your bank or credit union and credit card company know you’re moving, so they don’t suspend your account if they see abnormal activity. You can also consider traveling with cash, just in case.
After your move
When you get to your new location, you’ll need to update your billing address on all your credit cards, bank accounts, and all the things you use them for. This can be a chore, but your bank or financial institution may have a program to make it easier, such as Service Credit Union’s International Bill Pay program.
If you now live overseas, you may need to purchase a vehicle, or a second vehicle if you shipped one to your new station. Finding an auto lender that provides overseas loans can be an additional challenge, so you may want to consider a military-related lender.
Want a stress-free PCS move?
The PCS season can be overwhelming and expensive, so have a game plan in place to stay on top of your finances. Take advantage of Service Credit Union’s military services and expertise to keep your next PCS running smoothly.
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