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.