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Take Command of Your Money During PCS Moves

Make the most of your PCS entitlements and benefits.

by Navy Federal on April 16, 2018 | Tag(s): Home Loans

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When you receive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, a lot more will change than your address. You may have a million details to hammer out in order to get everything shipshape before you move, but taking command of your finances should be job one.

You may be eligible for a variety of PCS entitlements and benefits (see chart), including both leave time and expenses that may be reimbursed or paid for you. Making the most of these benefits can help you minimize the hit to your own wallet.

Before your move, check with Military Installations to determine the exact amount of your allowances.

More Tips to Keep Finances on Track

  • Create a budget for the move to avoid last-minute surprises. Find out exactly what the military will cover and what costs you’ll be responsible for. Estimate total amounts and then enter actual values as expenses and reimbursements come in.
  • Start saving for non-reimbursable moving expenses.
  • Keep track of tax-deductible moving expenses and store the receipts in a safe place. You’ll need them when you file your income tax return.
  • Make a list of items you’ll need to buy when you move into your new home and estimate the cost.
  • Plan for expenses like utility hookup fees, security deposits, and boarding and transporting pets.
  • Be sure insurance coverage for household goods you’re shipping is adequate to cover any loss or damage.
  • Check your auto insurance policy to see if moving-related damages are covered if you’re shipping a vehicle. Also, be aware that auto insurance rates may be affected by the move.

As a military member, you have access to a series of entitlements and benefits to ensure a smooth transition. The chart below makes it easy to track and understand your benefits.

PCS Entitlements and Benefits Chart
PCS Transferee Entitlements
Entitlement Mandatory Spending Discretionary1 Spending
House-hunting trip X
En route travel expenses X
Moving household goods X
Temporary storage (up to 60 days) X
Storage (61-150 days) X
Temporary quarters X
Real estate expenses2 (sale and/or purchase, title search and insurance, for example) X
Incidental moving expenses (appliances, utilities and transporting pets, for example) X
Relocation income tax allowance X
Personal vehicle shipment X
1Discretionary items must be specifically approved by your Approving Official at the gaining station. Do not incur expenses prior to approval of your Travel Authority.

2Appraised Value Offer program is discretionary.

No matter where your next duty station is, Navy Federal Credit Union will be there to help you manage your finances. Find your nearest branch or connect with us with digital banking.*

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.