Two words: Partial DITY.
Here’s the skinny- You’re going to drive to your new location (unless you’re stationed overseas, in which case, you can stop reading here) so why not get paid to do it?
We had the moving company take care of our household goods. Read about our experience here, as well as the list of unapproved items like candles, cleaning stuff, bleach, plants, plant food, etc. Each moving company’s list is different but for the most part the ones I mentioned are off limits. Since they wouldn’t take the stuff and I wasn’t going to throw it away, I packed it all in my truck and did a partial DITY, which means you are moving some household goods (presumably not just the unapproved items, but things you need before the movers arrive with your items). It’s important to weigh your car empty at site of origin and full at your destination. You can also do it along the way which is what I did. Love’s are a great choice and charged me $9.50.
Before you set off on your trip, you need to figure out how many days you are approved to drive. The official military calculation is: miles between point A & B divided by 350. Elementary grade school rules apply so if the number is 51 or more, you can add on another day. For example, we moved 523 miles. Divide by 350= 1.49 which gave us an overnight stay and a day and a half of driving. This is important because of the way they calculate reimbursement for travel, meals, time spent driving, etc.
Hang on to all your gas receipts and weigh station tickets. You don’t need to keep your food receipts because you’re paid a per diem, which means it’s a set amount depending on who did the moving (family + service member or just family) and is included in the dislocation allowance.
One note for those Navy families out there… I did not realize how much stuff I would actually be bringing myself until the day of the move. Once it dawned on me that I was driving a fully loaded truck, I called my move coordinator who assured me an “after the fact partial DITY” would not be a problem. Unfortunately, this is not true for Navy families. You must claim a partial DITY when you are filling out your initial move information on move.mil. But once again, luck was on our side and I got a very kind man in the PPO (Personal Property Office) who gave me all the information I needed to plead my case to the powers that be and get the money we were owed. It worked and we received our check yesterday! It was over $600 and took about 15 total minutes to submit the information. Now I know the process and will most assuredly claim a partial DITY when we move to our next duty station.
Families will also get paid a dislocation allowance (DLA) as long as the service member fills out the necessary paperwork once the move has been completed. Ryan did this within a week of me getting here and we had it direct deposited 2 weeks later. The amount is calculated according to the move distance as well as pay grade and dependency status. We got over $2,500 so again it’s well worth getting that paperwork completed and submitted.
The Military Finance Center website is a fantastic resource and covers things from your PCS (Permanent Change of Station) to the TSP (Thrift Savings Plan). Definitely Bookmark it if you are a military family!
Now take a wild guess on how we’re spending our money…
Eye surgery for both of our boys! They each need entropion surgery in both eyes, which is not cheap. Entropion is a condition where the eyelid is rolled inward towards the eye. When the eyelid is turned in, it rubs against the eye and is a lot of what causes the brown pigmentation that is spreading across both Jeffrey & Charlie’s eyes.