As if the emotional challenges of PCS weren't hard enough, the move itself can also take a big toll on your military finances. The average non-reimbursable cost for military moving expenses is $1,725.
Before they were famous, many truly influential men and women started by serving their country in the US military or grew up in military families.

Permanent Change of Station Doesn't Have to Mean Personal Cash Shortage

You're not alone: 700,000 military service members are on military Permanent Change of Station (PCS), reassigned to new locations each year.

As if the emotional challenges of PCS weren't hard enough, the move itself can also take a big toll on your military finances. The average non-reimbursable cost for military moving expenses is $1,725.


While some out of pocket spending is unavoidable, you don't have to let unnecessary spending add stress to your PCS. Create a PCS budget and plan now, before your PCS orders come in; then you'll have more time and attention to devote to your military family and your personal well-being during your move.

Taking control of the financial aspects of your PCS is easier than you may think; start by following some military-smart money guidelines.


While it can be hard keep track of all the minor costs associated with moving, making an all-inclusive budget in advance can help you set spending limits. Include shipping charges, transportation, temporary housing expenses, and start-up fees for new utilities.

Before you finalize your PCS budget, find out what costs the military covers by asking at your military family center.

Be sure to keep track of your PCS expenses; some military moving expenses are tax deductible.


Lost or damaged property is a common moving accident, but it doesn't have to be financially devastating. To protect yourself and your stuff, invest in the most complete insurance before your next PCS.

First, find out how much of your property will be insured by government movers. If it's not enough to cover everything you own, temporary military renters insurance may be an affordable option.

Include your vehicle in your move. While your military privileges entitle you to discounted military auto insurance, be sure to check the details of your policy to see if your car is covered for moving-related damage during your PCS move. If not, ask your insurer about buying added coverage for vehicle car during your move.


Some military members choose companies that can always move with them; those that will serve them wherever they are located, or relocated to. You can avoid having to change insurance providers with every move, for example, by choosing a carrier that offers coverage in all 50 states and abroad.


Consider choosing the kind of banking that is designed to create a smooth financial transition to life in any new location: online banking.

Online banking makes you financially mobile. You can check your balances, transfer money between accounts, reconcile your banking statements, etc., at any time, 24/7, from any place. Options like online bill pay allow you to shift your bills from specific geographic locations, to the worldwide internet.

In short, online banking is convenient and time-saving. If you're not already online with your banking, arrange it with your bank as soon as possible.

Consider opening a separate, readily available savings account or high interest money market account specifically so that you can put money aside to cover unexpected costs of your next PCS.


When you're moving overseas, certain financial aspects become trickier to manage. For example, many phones in Europe will not allow toll-free calls to the US - even those on US military bases. Use your internet bank account to conduct your overseas business online without extra charges. And speaking of banking, be aware that some countries restrict foreigners from opening new accounts or making new investments with US financial services. Before your PCS, check on all your investments and bank accounts, and keep them intact to assure a continuation of your investment plans.


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