Another Reason for An Emergency Fund

We’ve all heard a million reasons to have an emergency fund, but our current PCS has given me a whole new list.  It is always amazing to me the number of expenses that come up during a move, and our overseas move has stretched our budget even further than ever.  Granted, many of these expenses will be reimbursed eventually, but right now I am looking at our checking account and thanking my financial planning stars that I have money in savings that will cover these expenses.

There are all sorts of expenses that might come up during moves:

  • pet boarding, before, during and after the move (our poor cats have been a kennel for a month while we try to secure housing.)
  • pet transportation
  • temporary lodging expenses (reimbursed, but a lot of money)
  • security deposits and first month’s rent on your new home (here it will be nearly $5000 up front to rent a house)
  • utility deposits (I hear rumors of hundreds of dollars)
  • vehicle registration fees
  • shocking European car insurance rates (Our one car is costing us around $2000 per year)

I’m sure there are more that I am not thinking of right now.  If I add up the list, we’ve spent somewhere in the area of $12,000 so far ($5700 has been reimbursed so far, and I am anxiously awaiting another $4600).  I suppose we could have put it on our credit cards, but that is not ideal.  We planned ahead, saved a lot, and we are still feeling like we are scraping by.  In addition, we’ll need another $6000 or so just to get into a house.  We can take advance housing allowance for part of that, but still a lot of money.  I hope our reimbursement shows up before we need to put the money down on the house.

I know we did an overseas move when we were first married and had no savings, and I can’t remember how we managed it.  I guess we put everything on our credit card and worked it out later.  That is one solution if you have no other choice, but not a good start to an overseas adventure.

The military lifestyle adds much to our lives, both good and bad, and it also adds more reasons to build up your emergency savings.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.