PCSing? Show Me the Money!

money houseBy the time the stress of actually moving sinks in (Where are we going? Where are we going to live?) the only thing left to worry about is the moolah to make it happen.

Now I have to be honest with you, when it comes to PCSing, I let DH handle all that mess. I’m an anxious person and it freaks me out when other people handle my things, so it’s best for everyone’s nerves that I stay out of the way. I do handle the bank accounts though, so I just make sure to keep awesome records of expenses and receipts, and make sure hubby filled out all the paperwork (and turned it in).

The downside of letting DH handle everything, I’m not sure what money we get and when! About 3 months after our last PCS, a random $450 showed up in our bank account. The next day DH called HQ to find out what the money was for. As we all know, the military giveth – eventually – and takes away faster than you can blink. Turned out it was ours to keep; it was our daily allowance money.

So what funds can you expect to see appearing in your bank account with your upcoming PCS? It really depends on your specific move. Are you doing a TMO move, DITY/PPM (think do-it-yourself move), partial DITY/PPM, overseas? Do you have dependents? A lot of factors go into what you’ll receive, so really it is best to check with your installation office for the most accurate info.

These are the 2 most common entitlements nearly everyone will see:

1. DLA: dislocation allowance – this is to help cover some of the miscellaneous expenses that are incurred due to moving.

2. Per diem: this helps to cover some of the travel expenses like mileage, meals, and lodging. There are some exceptions with distance and number of vehicles, so be sure to check all that out.

If you’re doing a DITY/PPM then you’ll usually see an advance of half of the total estimated amount of funds you’ll receive if you meet your weight requirements. After the move is completed then the remaining amount will then be deposited. Usually the military will pay you about 95% of what they would pay to have a TMO move done for you.

Moving can be quite the money maker for Milfams since we usually can get the job done for less than what our allowances are which leaves our bank accounts looking mighty fine!

Just remember you’ll move again and it’s best to be prepared and NOT depend on the military for money. But it doesn’t hurt to enjoy some of that money a little bit by splurging either…

For more info, check out move.mil for moving resources and information.



  1. If you’re doing a PPM or partial PPM, it’s best to UNDER estimate your weight when filling out your paperwork and requesting an advance so that you don’t end up having to pay the government back if you end up not moving as much yourself as you thought. If you’re doing a Gov’t move however, it’s best to overestimate a bit so that they can forecast your packing time correctly. Also, if you’re doing a PPM, make sure that you call around and get a variety of quotes for moving equipment. A POD or UPACK might save you from having to drive, but they can be very expensive (Quoted $2300 between Ft Lee, VA and Carlisle Barracks, PA) versus a U-Haul that is $500 plus gas (probably 800-900 total). That makes a huge difference!!

  2. […] The military provides a lot of perks to make our lives run more smoothly through transitions, but every move costs a little more than you expected. Kids need shoes faster than you budgeted for… and maybe you do too. A little […]


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