How to Save Money When You Move with the Military

Military moves are expensive. Whether it’s buying all new condiments for your pantry, paying for a “move out” housecleaning, or eating out more often while waiting for your pots and pans to be delivered, the bills seem to pile up. Military Saves reached out to bloggers who also happen to be PCS pros to ask for tips for keeping PCS costs down.

Rethink Your Insurance Coverage

Christine Maxwell from Her Money Moves says, "If you're lucky enough to receive your orders well in advance of your PCS, why not call your auto insurance provider ahead of time to get a quick quote for your new duty station? Auto insurance costs can change drastically from state to state and especially CONUS to OCONUS. Getting a quick estimate of your future insurance costs can help you build a better budget for your new location."

Depending on what your provider says, it may also be a good time to shop around with other carriers to see if they might be less expensive.

Have a Special PCS Suitcase

Christine also offers up this bit of advice. "Think about the essentials you might need for you and your family during a PCS, especially while traveling and the first few days in your new location. Pack them in a special box or suitcase and bring them with you. Having to buy duplicates of essential items you already have (like towels, sheets, or basic kitchenware) can really eat into your PCS budget...and that's also how you end up with 6 corkscrews at your house, too.”

Don’t Bust Your Food Budget

Personal finance blogger Kate Horrell says, "Food is an area you can control while you're moving. Designate one meal a day for restaurants or takeout. Eat simply the other meals, using regular grocery store ingredients whenever possible. It's worth it to pay a little more for convenience, like pre-cut veggie trays.”

Be Organized When You Move Yourself

Megan Williams, freelance writer, often does DITY, or Do-It-Yourself, moves. “Be over prepared, when doing your own move. Expenses hit like crazy so you need to plan for those added expenses in advance. Combine your PCS purging with finance prep, sell items on garage sale sites or in post wide sales and put all of that money into a PCS savings fund.”

Because Time = Money.

Michelle Dudas, from MyMilitarySavings.com has a time-saving organizational tip: Buy different colors of duct tape to designate each room in your home and place them on boxes while the movers pack you out. Then, when your household goods are delivered, place a swatch of the appropriate colored duct tape on the doors in your new home so the movers will have an easier time putting the boxes in the right places.

One of the best ways to prepare for a move is to have a dedicated moving fund. If you aren’t moving this year, set aside a few dollars each month so you will be ready for when you do receive PCS orders. A healthy emergency fund can also bring peace of mind and keep your move from derailing your spending plan.

Need help saving? Take the Pledge today and visit Military Saves for more tips, resources, and inspiration so you can build wealth and reduce debt.