How to Stay Within Budget While Moving

With everything else going on during your move, what you don't need is added financial stress. Although it's easy to underestimate moving-related expenses, you can do a lot to keep costs under control, starting with a carefully planned budget. The next time you face a relocation, think ahead, plan thoughtfully and follow these suggestions to stay in financial control from start to finish.

  • To prepare your spending, you need the most up-to-date information on allowances. Find it at the Defense Travel Management Office website, keeping in mind that service members and DoD civilian employees have different allowances. The Defense Accounting and Finance Service website has complete information on pay and travel benefits for both service members and civilian employees.
  • You should already be set up to do your final out-processing at your current pay and finance office. If you aren't, set up an appointment with them right away. Make a list of questions to ask about your pay and allowances during your permanent change of station move, and make sure you understand the answers.
  • The Relocation Budget Planner is a downloadable spreadsheet you can use to develop and manage a spending plan. It is set up to help calculate the difference between expected benefits and allowances and the actual costs associated with the move. Take the budget planner to the relocation office or financial counselor at the military and family support center for professional assistance.
  • If you are moving overseas, keep track of the currency conversion so that you know what you're spending in actual dollars.
  • Lastly, you should also track your moving expenses for tax purposes, if you itemize. Be sure to record both expenses and reimbursements.

Obtaining emergency financial assistance

Despite your best planning efforts, you might still find yourself in a financial tight spot. If you do, there are numerous resources available through both the military and civilian communities that can offer help. Visit your military and family support center's financial assistance manager for information and support that may be available through one of these groups:


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