What You Need to Know About Paying for Your PCS

Ryan Guina on PCS With Military.com

Moving can be really expensive. The Defense Department is supposed to foot the bill for your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move, but reimbursement isn’t immediate and there are plenty of financial gotchas to consider as you get ready for and recover from a move.

In this episode, Military.com financial columnist Ryan Guina lays out some of the money issues service members and military families should keep in mind as they relocate -- and what the Defense Department does to help.

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The following is an edited transcript of this episode of PCS with Military.com.

Amy Bushatz 0:00

Sometimes when it comes to military moves, you just want someone to lay it out for you and tell you what to do to make it as pain free as possible. That certainly is true when it comes to the financial stuff around a PCS. Why can't someone tell it like it is and just give me instructions. That's why we have people like Ryan Guina, a military veteran. He's also the founder of popular personal finance sites, cashmoneylife.com and themilitarywallet.com. We think his advice and expertise is so great that we hired him to give financial advice a few times a month, as a regular feature on Military.com. Today, he's joining us to share his best money hacks for military news. Ryan, welcome to PCS with Military.com.

Ryan Guina 0:49

Well, thanks for having me, Amy. It's a pleasure.

Amy Bushatz 0:51

Man, I'm so excited that you're here to clear the air on some of this on some of this money stuff, because I think it's a beast that people just don't like to look directly in the eye and then it's sitting on them. And you can't help but look at it until it's too late. So it's gonna be good. Okay, so you're a military veteran, as I mentioned, and like my family, right now, you're currently with the National Guard? How many times have you moved with or without the military?

Ryan Guina 1:18

Well, with and without - yeah, that's a great question. So with the military, I moved three times. My wife was also active duties, and she PCSed a few times on her own. We got married after I got out. And then on the civilian side, we moved twice locally, and twice interstate. So we've we've moved several times.

Amy Bushatz 1:41

I find they all count because you learn something each and every time that applies to the next time. So it's all it's all. They all count. We don't, we don't discriminate with moves here at PCS with Military.com, we count them all. Okay, so one of the most confusing things about military moves when it comes to how the government pays for them, is or helps pay for them, right, with the Government Travel Card or GTC. So I just want to dive into this right away today. Start by telling us what the GTC is, what it can be used for, and what it can't be as four because I find that this is a whole source of confusion.

Ryan Guina 2:29

Yeah, it is. The GTC, like you said Government Travel Card is a mandatory card that when you come into the military, you have to get one and it's used for any type of official government travel or government expense related to travel. So if you PCS somewhere, you're going to need to use it. If you're stopping somewhere overnight. for lodging, if you have to get a aircraft ticket, if you're going from overseas, or from one base to another, you can charge meals you can charge of rental car, if it's authorized on your orders, fuel, other types of transportation, it does get a little bit confusing. You can also use it with with PCS as well, sorry, TDY is temporary duty assignments. So for example, when you have the military, do your move for you, and they call the moving company out and they put all your stuff in, in the big truck and they ship it off, you're not going to have to swipe your card for that the government is going to be billed directly for that. But if you're going between bases, and you need to whether you're driving or if you're flying there, or if you need to stop in a hotel for a few days for temporary lodging, those are the expenses you're going to put on the Government Travel Card. What's not authorized, you can charge meals, but you cant charge alcohol on those meals. So there's a lot of common sense. You should also not be using it for your regular shopping in between, like, if you're going from what I know, you're up in Alaska. So if you're going from California to Alaska, you're not going to want to put a whole bunch of cold weather gear on your Government Travel Card that would not be authorized, because those would be personal expenses. So think in terms of personal and business, you know, if you will, if it's officially related to travel, then that needs to go on your Government Travel Card. If it's not directly related to that travel, then it doesn't. Thankfully, the government does require users to go through a training course once a year. It's a little dry, but they're revamping that.

Amy Bushatz 4:31

No that sounds so interesting. How could it possibly be dry?

Ryan Guina 4:35

Yeah, it does. It can get confusing, though.

Amy Bushatz 4:40

So okay, so one of the worst things about the Government Travel Card is that the rules around it have changed over time. I mean, like file this under stuff military does all the time, right? They change the rules, just when you figure it out, they change it to confuse you. And the other thing is that the rules kind of depend by the services, who has to have this? Who is given it automatically when you get it? And that kind of thing? Or at least that's been the case in the past? Is that still true today? Are they streamlining it across the DoD for the convenience of all of us?

Ryan Guina 5:16

I believe they're trying to streamline it, I don't have the answers for the different services, I served active duty Air Force, and now I'm in the Air National Guard. So yeah, really my only direct experience there, I do believe that they have a standardized training course for all branches. Okay, so I know that most of the rules are going to go off of the obviously, they have the joint travel regulations, right? Joint as in all branches. So the rule should be more or less the same between branches. But I don't have an answer to your question about whether it's standardized for who automatically receives a card. And who doesn't that that I don't have an answer to.

Amy Bushatz 5:54

Yeah, which but that brings up a super good point, which is this, guy's, check with your service. Always check with your service on anything, because we're telling, we're giving you our best advice, we're giving you the best standard that we know. And the information that's current as of this recording, things change. Services change the rules. So check, double check with your service, before you set out on your PCS or whatever, to make sure that the things that we're the information that we're giving you that it's as far as we know, as true as it's going to be, is still accurate, because I'll tell you what I woke up this morning, Ryan, and we have done so much work over time talking about the different ways of working with your military movers. And the Defense Department updated the frequently asked questions list to include a recommendation that you do not feed or tip your movers, which is a huge source of conversation, shall we say over time? And so yeah, so it's like it's a moving target, right? Because they have had in the travel or in the transportation right recommendation for a long time that you know, you don't have to and then their FAQ said you could and now they say you don't and you know, like stuff changes. So maybe that'll change again tomorrow, I don't know. But I always check this stuff. Guys. Always check with your service with your transportation office, just to make sure everything's going you know, as we think it is when we're recording this. Okay, so back to the GTC. This is something I find that does not change or it hasn't since I've been watching this, what do people need to know about paying off the GTC?

Ryan Guina 7:42

Great question. So one of the other things I want to wrap back in before I answered that goes with your first question about what's confusing about it. And I just opened up the Government Travel Card regulations. Now this is put out by the Department of Defense, you must use the GTC for certain purchases. And I'm going to just read this quote here. It says, yeah, it won't be used as a basis for refusal to reimburse the traveler for authorized expenses. However, failure to use the Travel Card may subject the traveler to appropriate administrative or disciplinary action. So sounds like you're required to use it. And I think what they want to do is streamline everything. Because this wraps into your question, what do people need to know about it? So you're going to be set up to have your card paid off by what's called split disbursement. And what that means is when you file your travel voucher after you move, or when you do TDY, for example, your authorized charges on your travel card will automatically be paid by the government, they'll take it directly from your paycheck and pay the government or sorry, pay the the Travel Card company. Now, what people don't understand is you're still responsible for all the charges on your GTC regardless of whether or not the government has reimbursed you yet. So let's say for example, you go on a PCS and you take leave in route and you're on leave for a couple weeks. And then you go here and you've already done a few charges, and then you get to your next base, you file your travel voucher, and there's a delay or something gets in delays never happened with military pay.

Amy Bushatz 9:26


Ryan Guina 9:27

Sarcasm, delays happen frequently. But here's the thing, your your payment is going to be due regardless. So if you aren't reimbursed yet, and that bill is out there, you may have to pay it out of pocket. So that's something to be aware of. So be very timely filing your travel vouchers and all of your orders and getting everything in as soon as possible because if you don't, that bill comes due, you may be required to pay it prior to actually having the funds from the government and then you have to wait for the government to issue you a check, which changes the paperwork, because initially they were going to do split disbursement and pay the company. If it happens, where you pay the company and the the military pays the company, then you have to request a check from from the company, which further delays you getting reimbursed. So, yeah, it's, it's not a happy fun time. So this is one of those things where always stay up on on top of your, your paperwork and get again filed as soon as possible. And make sure you have everything that you need. Just always, always keep receipts. And that's, that goes for all your expenses along the way. Keep receipts for those, because you will most likely be required to turn those in as well.

Amy Bushatz 10:43

Yeah, you never know when you're going to need that stuff. Worst case scenario, you got a pile of receipts you didn't actually need and all as well. You know, and if that, hey, if that's the worst thing that happens to me in a move, I'm good, that's fine. I don't care anymore. You know, but man, did you hear so many horror stories about this, that people didn't understand how paying off the GTC works? And, you know, we said sarcasm, but you're absolutely right stuff happens, you know, people lose paperwork, it's delayed, whatever. And now you're responsible for that. And it's a whole hot mess, a whole hot mess. And so but I want to go back to really fast, you said government requires you to use the GTC for specific expenses. And I want to touch on why that's true. I've done a little bit of reporting on this. So I know that it's true because the government wants, you know, they like you get reward points for using your credit card, similar concept, right? They're getting, they've got some sort of reward going on, for utilizing expenses on these credit cards. And so it is the best financial case for the government that all of those expenses, and those rewards be going actually reward be going to them, instead of you getting the credit card points for that. Which for those of us who love credit card points, and I know Ryan, you and I are on the same train on this. It's a little sad, it's a little sad, because I love those points, I would like them for myself.

Ryan Guina 12:14

Yeah, I like credit card points as well. But just from an administrative standpoint, simplifying, and having one point of contact for the government is enough reason to I mean, even if they weren't collecting any points, just having one. One system to deal with one company to deal with. It just simplifies everything. And we consider over a million members between Guard, Reserve, active duty, and then all the different branches and the different regulations within the different branches. It could be a logistical nightmare. So putting everything into one system just really simplifies it for everybody. I'm sure that alone. Yeah, I'll savings them whatever points they might get.

Amy Bushatz 12:52

I appreciate that you have the government's back on this. They need you, Ryan. But we need you too, which is why I'm so glad you're here to help us today. Because you've got this insider like view on this stuff that is just I mean invaluable. So tell us what financial help from the DOD or, like, allotments around military moves? Do you find that most people don't know about? But should?

Ryan Guina 13:23

Yeah, that's a great question. So whenever you PCS you obviously are dealing with moving and it's not a quick process. So you're typically going to be going into your next duty assignment. And it might take you a couple of days to get there, depending on where you're coming from, you know, especially if you're going overseas, to stateside or stateside OCONUS, either way. So there are a few things that you need to be aware of, you need to understand what your travel is going to look like in between locations. So are you going to be on a rotator flight? Are you flying commercial or were government procured? Are you staying somewhere? Are you staying in a hotel? Are you going to stay at your new base? Excuse me, there are some lodging allowances. For example, there's the dislocation allowance, which is an allowance used to partially reimburse a service member for expenses relating to your PCS move. There's also temporary lodging or certain temporary housing allowances. I think TLA, temporary lodging expense, and temporary lodging allowance. Those cover reimbursement for lodging and meals. And you may also be eligible for per diem, your BAH may change in between locations, especially if you're taking leave. There are more kind of subtopics with within all of this and we can cover in detail on this conversation. But those are questions that you should really look into before you do your move. And the reason we can't get into them is because every situation is going to be unique. You're moving from stateside to oconus, you're going to take two weeks of leave in between or you're going OCONUS to OCONUS. And you have, you know, you're you're overseas, there's a special type of leave in between overseas assignments. So basically, you can mix and match, you know, choose your own adventure, 100 different ways. Sure. And each of them are going to have slightly different outcomes. So the key here is to get educated, understand that each situation is going to be a little bit unique. Go to the military, I think, .mil, The moving.mil, or whatever the government travel site is

Amy Bushatz 15:38

Move.mil -- they keep changing it.

Ryan Guina 15:41

Yeah, so go to move.mil. And just really start reading, contact their customer service, read the FAQs, and educate yourself on what your your situation is going to be like. My first move, I was really lucky, I was I PCSed from stateside to overseas, and why this is just my first duty assignment. And my household goods was like two boxes of clothes and a guitar. So I went directly to the base lodging. And then from there, they put me in a dormitory. And that's about as easy as you will ever have a military move after that, you know, you start shipping furniture and cars and things like that. And it gets a lot more complicated. So that's the key, understand that, you know, there's travel involved, there's hotels involved airline tickets, you may have to ship a car, you may get housing allowance, there's per diem, all of these factors. So if you can keep that in mind, educate yourself and understand that there is if you have a question, there's going to be an answer somewhere. And there's probably a program in there to help you somehow it's just a matter of educating yourself and kind of being an informed consumer, if you will,

Amy Bushatz 16:51

Yeah, you really have to own your own moving process. I think we've heard that a couple of times from, from just different guests in this series that this is your move. And yeah, the military is making you do it if you want to put it that way. Right. But you're the one who's moving, and it's your stuff. And you really need to advocate for yourself and be a participant in this process. You cannot let a move just happen to you. And that goes with packing your things that goes with unpacking your things. And it absolutely goes with the financial side of it that we're talking about today. You have to know what's what's there for you and how to leverage that. And it also, I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, goes back to the service a little bit too, because a lot of these different you know, the allotments or programs exist, but how they're leveraged for you may depend on which service you're in.

Ryan Guina 17:45

Agree with you there, I don't know all the ins and outs of the different services. But yes, I absolutely look and see, you know, go to move.mil and see what the government is doing in general, but look into service specific avenues as well.

Amy Bushatz 17:58

Yeah. And I think maybe just checking with your transportation office might be the best way to figure that out. Because, you know, they're really supposed to be that repository of that information from big government down to literally where you are standing on your base. I cannot tell you right, how many times I've asked Transcom something, and that the answer is what's allowed is this, how the service does it is up to them. And it's like, well, thanks, guys. That was a super, you know, super specific answer. Appreciate your time. So just it depends on it depends on the service. But you know, part of that is because every service has their own culture, and their own way of doing things a little bit and expectations. And for better or worse, you know, they like to keep that stuff. Keep that stuff in play. And by the way, since we're on the subject for no one is that more true than then the Marine Corps, y'all Marines, I gotta tell ya, we'd like to make fun of you for being so special, but you are small enough service that you are able to do things very specifically your way and it works for you. And it's really impressive. So, tell me like, what are a couple of these big financial mistakes you see people make during their move, military move, maybe more or less, so we don't make them?

Ryan Guina 19:50

Yeah, there are a couple big things to look out for. The big one is is not planning ahead, right. So the average PCS costs approximately $5,000 dollars out of pocket. And I've seen that number in print. I don't know exactly where it came from. I'll see if I can get a reference for you later. But yeah, it's $5,000 out of pocket. Now obviously, my situation where I moved to my first duty assignment, I had a couple boxes of goods, and I just went stayed in a hotel. That's not a big deal. You know that that cost me a couple meals, because I didn't have a Government Travel Card. It was just, it was just me. But so here's, here's the situation, you're a two family car, you've got several kids, you've got, you're moving overseas, or you're moving, you know, from overseas, back to the United States, you've got a week of leave for house hunting, you're staying in a hotel, you know, you think of these things. And if the government's only going to ship one of your cars, you have to decide, well, am I going to pay to ship my other one, am, I going to drive it myself, if they're not paying for it, I have to pay for my own gas to get there. And I have to stay in hotels along the way, you know that there are many situations where all of a sudden, you can get very complicated. So in terms of planning for out of pocket expenses, try to take some time, like you said to be your own agent, right. So you need to be aware that this is not going to be a cheap and easy move this is going to be I have to do X, Y and Z and plan it out, say okay, if I'm driving myself, I'm doing a partial move or something that I need to plan this to stay this number of nights on the road drive this many number of miles, stop this number of times for food, those kinds of things. Another thing that some people underestimate is their weight, you have a weight allowance. So as and there's a public list so you can go find this information, but it's based on your rank and whether or not you have dependents. So I'm just going to grab a mid career enlisted person. So we've got an E6, for example, if you have no dependents, you you're eligible for 8,000 pounds of of goods. And if you do have dependents, it's 11,000 pounds. Now 8,000 to 11,000 pounds sounds like a lot until you realize they're throwing tons of boxes and packing materials at you. And by the time you add it all up. And you can go to an online estimator, and they'll say how many houses how many rooms are in your house? Do you have XYZ big furniture or big items like a grill or certain things like that. And they'll give you an estimate of your weight, just ballpark. If you can use one of those online estimators, you will see that 8,000 to 11,000 pounds, that it goes quickly. So you might be talking a four bedroom three or four bedroom house at that point. Speaking of shipping goods, things like a barbecue grill may or may not be allowed, depending on you know what, you can't ship gas and hazardous stuff. But underestimating your weight allowances is a big thing and you don't know how much it weighs until they drive the truck to another place and wait. So if you go over your weight, you're going to have to end up reimbursing the government for that expense. And you can't go back after the fact and say, Well, let me remove these items. So under understanding that, but also understanding that some of your professional gear like your uniforms, or any specific work related equipment, that doesn't count towards your weight, but you have to have that set aside and marked as such, that's called pro gear professional gear. So and it might be I don't know, if there's an actual weight allowances, I think up to 500 pounds or something like that. It just needs to be declared and packed separately so that it's weighed separately.

Amy Bushatz 23:52

Mm hmm.

Ryan Guina 23:53

Okay. And let me see. I think there was one other item. Oh, yeah. When we were talking about cars. So I don't think the military will ship however many cars you want. I think it's one car per service member. So if you're dual military, they might ship two. But if you're one military family, I think they will only ship that one, right?

Amy Bushatz 24:13

Yeah, absolutely. So then you're kind of like, deciding: am I going to drive the other one? If I you know, I think about this, of course, in terms of moving to Alaska or super far right? The government will pay for a plane ticket, if that's what you do, or they'll pay for you to drive up in your own personal vehicle and ship a car. It's sort of up to you how in a lot of instances how you get there. But you know, I, no matter what you got to decide how you're getting a second vehicle to a not very close by place.

Ryan Guina 24:44

Yeah, and that's a big deal, especially if you're going OCONUS right, or from oconus back to mainland. So, in that terms, in that situation, what some people like to do is they keep one nicer car, but they'll keep one interaction Instead of what kind of a beater car, that's just for local use, and when they move, they'll sell that car quickly right before they leave, then they'll pick up another car like that at their next duty station, something they can buy, once they get there within a few days, and then they have it for all their local use driving. Yeah, big thing to look out for, is having to cars with car payments, because if you go overseas to some places, you may not be able to take one of those cars, or both of those cars, if you have payments, some lenders won't let it out of the country. And then some countries even have prohibitions for bringing cars and like Japan is very strict about whether or not you can bring cars into their country. So I would encourage people not to overextend yourself with car loans because a PCSes can, it can be devastating financially, for those car loans.

Amy Bushatz 25:49

It's interesting that you bring that up, because I would not have you know, obviously, the vehicle is a consideration for when you're moving right. But I would not have tied deciding whether or not to have two car loans as a PCS issue, just like right off the bat right outside of this conversation. That would not who couldn't be but that's absolutely right. That's something to think about, you know, what happens when I have to move with two cars that I don't actually own in full? You know, it's a that's a big deal for people.

Ryan Guina 26:21

It is. Absolutely.

Amy Bushatz 26:23

Okay, so what are some money actions that people can take, right, this hot second, regardless of where they are in the current PCS season. So that's, maybe they're moving soon. Maybe they're moving while they're listening to this, you know, to prepare for the next time. So regardless of whatever mistakes are being made, or not made right now, what can we do for later?

Ryan Guina 26:45

Yeah, that's a great question. I think there are a lot of actions people can take. The first is education and awareness. So you can go to move.mil, check that out, you can just be aware of the certain things like having a plan for your cars, for example, having a plan for your household goods. One of the things that I did, every time I moved is I would take pictures of my expensive items, you know, electronics, or I've got a couple of guitars. So I take a picture of the guitar, take a picture of the serial number. And that way when things are shipped, you will know okay, if it disappears, you know, here's how much you can claim it for if it's damaged, you can say, Well, here's here's the item, I did have several items stolen. And one thing I learned it and I wish I would have done this before, they were just a bunch of DVDs were stolen out of my box. And they had just sliced through the clear tape, taking the cases out, remove the DVDs, and then put the cases back in. And I didn't notice this until after you know, a month or so after my PCS. And by that time, I never even filed a claim there was just so much going on in my life at the time. So one thing you can do, and I guess this isn't something you've prepared for now. But as boxes are being made with if they use clear tape, just take a sharpie or a marker and squiggle over both sides of the of the gap in the box so that if it's ever cut, you'll know it's cut in because they'll have to tape over it again. And it's not going to look right and immediately you'll be like, wait a minute, something happened. So that's something I wish I would have known and every move that I've done since then I've done stuff like that, and I haven't had any more problems with that. But yeah, so things you know, education, like I said, keep track of your expensive items. Another thing is to get rid of things that you don't need anymore. Just go through and purge your annual spring, spring cleaning, if you will. If you have kids that have outgrown clothing, or toys or sports or you know you're on PCS move number four, you're in a hot weather area and you're still carrying around a set of skis and snow gear. You know, certain things that are location specific, you might be able to get rid of them now and then pick them up again at your new location. So you're not hauling stuff around the world and using up that precious weight allowance. And then, if you have pets, pets are a big topic. I don't know if you've covered this in one of your other topics.

Amy Bushatz 29:18

No, not really.

Ryan Guina 29:21

I don't have pets. But I know people who have PCSed with them. If you're going OCONUS it can be a major major issue. Stateside to stateside it's usually not a big deal. Pets are usually not included in your travel costs, you have to pay for that out of pocket. If you're going overseas, you typically have to pay to quarantine them for anywhere from a week to a month to however long it takes. Every country is a little bit different. Some countries have rules regarding which types of animals they'll allow when you know you can bring a cat or certain dogs but you can't bring like a Doberman Pinscher or a bulldog to many countries. You might not be able to bring birds or ferrets or, or other types of animals, so have a plan if you have pets, so and understand that if you are going to be PCSing with them, you're probably going to spend a lot of money to make that happen.

Amy Bushatz 30:14

Yeah, it's, you know, so many of the things you're touching on are, they're both practical issues, just like, you know, what to do with your stuff kind of stuff, but also financial considerations. And that's a lens that I hadn't considered, you know, practically speaking, yeah, I want to figure out how to get my dog to the next spot, right. But from, you know, a pocketbook perspective, doing that is a huge, huge expense for a lot of people, especially right now. And pandemic times, when we are, you know, they've sort of cracked down or cut down might be a better term on how many flights are available with pet cargo. We had a lot of drama over the last couple of years with getting pets to and from Guam, specifically, because there was an air carrier that moved pets for folks that stopped servicing the island. And so then it became this major issue, trying to get particularly very, very large dogs off and on Guam, and so on and so forth. And so it, yeah, it's I mean, man, that stuff really adds up so, so quickly. And I think it goes back to something that we were talking about earlier, you mentioned that the average PCS costs about $5,000 even though we don't know where that statistic comes from necessarily. Sounds true. Let's roll with it. And that, you know, we talked about the considerations of the GTC that it may or may not be paid off very quickly. All of this makes me wonder how much money should folks have in the bank to get ready for a PCS, just in case? What do you think?

Ryan Guina 31:54

In terms of the actual amount you should have?

AB 31:56

Yeah, like, like, like a savings, you know, like, what kind of savings should I be working up to, to, to be ready, you know, call it an emergency fund, call it a PCS fund, whatever, for that potential expense.

Ryan Guina 32:11

That's a great question, I'm going to, I'm going to hedge this one and say, it's going to depend on your family situation, if you're a single airman, soldier, Marine, sailor, you're probably going to be on the lower end of things, maybe one or $2,000, if you don't have pets, if you have a family, if you're planning on driving, if you know you're going to need to spend, you know, a week or two house hunting. It's different if you're a family with several kids here, and you're going to be looking for a house to buy versus an apartment that's close to base for easy access, right. So if you're just looking for an apartment close to base, you know, you're single, you're probably going to need just a few days to find something in most areas. But if you're a family, and you're looking for that right home in the right school district, you might be looking for a week or two weeks or three weeks to find something. So your out of pocket expenses are going to be a lot more. So I would say anywhere from one to $2,000 on the low end, on the high end, I'd probably say like three to $5,000. And again, it's going to depend if you have kids, family, pets, those kinds of things.

Amy Bushatz 33:19

Yeah, yeah. But I mean, that we've touched on that a bunch of times today, right? That it depends on your service, depends on your circumstance and, and where you're going, what you're doing, we can give you the best advice in the world. I think that we're doing that today that this is really all spot on. But it's gonna have to put it through your own filter of your own circumstance. And that's just, that's how it goes, guys, you know, I'm sure you find that to be true.

Ryan Guina 33:46

While we were talking, I did look up that stat about $5,000. So it is a real statistic right came from the Military Family Advisory Network, okay, it's MilitayFamilyAdvisoryNetwork.org. And they have a moving military moves infographic. And at the very top, it says military families typically move every two to three years and each move can set the average military family back about $5,000 so it's not a made up statistic, it comes from what appears to be a very good organization. So I would say that's a lot of truth there. So the key though, is you can reduce that $5,000 I think with careful planning and just being aware of the benefits that are available to you and how to plan around them and I think that most people can bring that down to less than $5,000.

Amy Bushatz 34:35

But you know, if we're if we're sitting here talking about how people can get ready for a future PCS, say putting a little money away saving for something that hopefully you're going to be reimbursed for it won't kill you. You know, it's it's a good idea to have a little bit of cash in the in the bank for for emergencies or whether that emergency looks like PCs or not. You know, I just It's makes me feel safe.

Ryan Guina 35:02

I'm a big proponent of the emergency fund, I keep one in a separate account where it's only there for emergencies. I also know people in the military families who have a separate PCS move savings account. And it's literally there just for a PCS move. And they may only keep one or $2,000 in there, or $3,000, or whatever they feel is appropriate. But they'll also have an emergency fund as well. And they keep funds there. So if they need that money, they can tap into it.

Amy Bushatz 35:31

Yeah. And while you're saying that I was envisioning our own, named, you know, bank account PCS fund, we had a savings account like that, and I titled it that and that in the bank system. And man, was it a good day when we stopped PCSing all the time because we're a Guard family now and I changed the title on that to something like hot tub fund. Right, but like it's there for an emergency and when that eventuality isn't a part of your life anymore, the money is still there. It's not gone. It's just you can use it for something else. You know, so it's a good feeling because military life will never be all you experience, right? There's, there's all sorts of stuff going on in the world that you get to do. It's a good feeling. Well, Ryan, I just am so grateful that you lended us your insight and expertise. Today, on this super important topic. I think there's so many more things we could talk about with this, but I don't want to overwhelm people. But thank you so much for coming on PCS with Military.com with us today. I really appreciate it.

Ryan Guina 36:32

Well, thanks for having me. Amy. It’s a pleasure.

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