Being in the military isn’t easy, but if either you or your spouse happens to serve in the military, you’ll understand the amount of dedication it requires from the whole family. Many families are regularly relocated from one base to another, requiring everyone involved settle in at a new home whenever this happens. From children having to attend new schools, to spouses who have to find new jobs, a permanent change of station is already stressful enough before you even start to consider having to move your belongings with you.
As you know, the good news is that the government reimburses you for many of the expenses associated with moving, and with proper planning, the move might not hit you too hard financially. The government might even pay so you can ship your privately owned vehicle to your new location! But as is always the case when moving from one place to another, much preparation will have to go in to making your PCS possible.
Because you’re likely to move many times while serving in the military, you should aim to develop a strategy that makes it as painless as possible, so you don’t always have to run around in a frantic hurry whenever you get relocated.
First Things First – A PCS Savings Fund Is Very Useful
If it’s your first permanent change of station (PCS), it’s important to realize that moving while in the military can be pretty expensive. Even though the government will pay for your expenses eventually, you’ll probably have to pay for plenty of the initial costs out of your own pocket before your check finally comes through. Because of that, many people recommend that military families should have some savings kept aside for in case they have to relocate.
While you can arrange to have your PCS paid for upfront, it might not necessarily be the best option for you. That’s why having a PCS savings fund is a good option. This way you can pay for any expenses that come out of your account without having to cut back on other living expenses while you’re waiting for the government to reimburse you. Once the military pays for your PCS, you can put that money in your PCS savings fund for in case you ever have to move from one station to another again.
Develop A System For Packing
If you’re planning on packing your own belongings, you should develop an efficient system for doing it. You could do this by keeping boxes in which you can pack your things handy at all times and by systematically packing your things.
You could, for instance, make a list of all your belongings and group them so you always pack the same items together in a box. You should then number these boxes according to their content. For example, you might always pack your kitchenware in box 11, and your kitchen appliances in box 13. By the third time you move, you probably won’t have to go through every box while looking for something. You can simply check your list to easily find what you’re looking for.
By making a list once and packing your things to match it (instead of doing it vice versa), everyone in the family can know where to find their stuff if they have the list on their smartphones.
Why Ship Your Car In The Military?
There are many reasons why shipping your car can be a better option than driving it. The first being that you and your family might actually be planning to make use of other transportation options, such as flying. But even if you are planning to drive, you could make use of shipping if you have an additional vehicle that you aren’t able to drive. Another reason why some people choose to ship their cars is because they don’t want to add to the mileage too much.
But perhaps you’re just tired of long drives to new locations. After all, if you’re new base is far, driving there could mean more hours on the road than is practical for you and your family. Especially if you have a young child, toddler or infant, driving hours at a time can be absolutely exhausting.
Keep in mind that shipping a car with a reliable company drastically reduces the risk of damage occurring. And while arranging for the government to finance the shipping of your car may be fairly easy, it’s likely to be much more complicated getting reimbursed for damage to your personal vehicle while on the road to your new home. In certain cases, it might not even be an option at all depending on what happened.
If you use a car shipping company instead of driving your car, on the other hand, covering damage can be a lot simpler, as any good car shipping company will have insurance and will most likely take full accountability for damage that occurred while the vehicle was being transported.
But don’t just assume that any car shipper will have insurance, ask about how much they’ll be able to pay out for damage that occurs while your car is being shipped and whether they’d be able to pay out for your car entirely in case it is wrecked during shipping. Of course, this is highly unlikely to happen, but you want to know exactly what you’re agreeing to before sending off your car.
When you’re facing a PCS, there’s no doubt you want to move without causing too much disruption to your family. By working with a professional car shipping company that understands your needs, you’ll be able to make at least one part of the moving process a stress-free experience.