How do I put it , this PCS has caused me some major loot!

Yes I saved and of course tax money helped some, but I have came out of my pocket on this move more then any other PCS. Certain factors such as my house offpost I won’t count in because that was a choice so naturally certain monies have to be put out for that. The money I am referring to is the upfront cash that now has to be put out when PCSing from Hawaii .

When we arrived in Hawaii things were simple we were wisked away from the airport to Schofield Inn where they simply signed us in filled out some paperwork and our TLA/TLE began without any questions asked and no money out of pocket. We were able to use our DLA for what it’s actually supposed to be for and buy all the things necessary for our new home.

Imagine my surprise when we arrive at Schofield Lodging in which we were to stay from 2/22-3/4,(while awaiting to leave Hawaii)  only to find out that we had to pay for lodging up front …$1300 GASP!!! Yeah one of those funny little things that they half tell your spouse at the briefings but most of the time even those who should know about it seem grossly misinformed.

My problem with this is everyone doesn’t save or sometimes saving just doesn’t happen even when the person has good intentions. The Army gives you DLA but then they take it away because if you don’t have the lodging money , I am assuming that’s what you are going to use. The good thing is they do (supposedly) reimburse you…I am waiting on that! Frankly things could be made much simpler if the Army themselves just made an arrangement with lodging for them to get their money , verses all these transactions which is the reason so many people wind up having issues with finance.

Lest not forget if for some reason you owe housing for anything, whereas at our last duty station they would take it out of your BAH, at Schofield the policy is they can’t do that. They then bill you in 2 increments since what you owe has to be paid within 30 days. So be prepared to pay out of your check for little Jhonny’s wall drawings.


The cost of food alone will run your pockets into the ground. Now I admit a few times we splurged simply because I knew once I left Hawaii I wasn’t coming back. Even still eating out gets old, and because there is nothing but a microwave in the lodging rooms. Tv dinners and cup of noodles gets old real fast. I am sure I could have gotten more creative but I didn’t even have the thought power to figure out “creative nuked meals”!

Someone really should write a book about that…Raise your hand it you would buy it *hehe*!


Those are my ramblings from the Live PCS, stay tuned for more to come!

Hooah & Smooches

Army Wife 101




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Krystel is the mom of two and an Army Wife. In addition to Army Wife 101 she is the Co-Founder of a digital media agency that connects brands with the military market. She has appeared on MSNBC ,FOX LA and formerly was a weekly contributor to HLN's "Raising America". She has written for various outlets including Sheknows and Lifetime and is a big fan of cupcakes and french fries.

8 Comments on Live PCS: Money Is No Joke During a PCS

  1. Krystel, in any move it is absolutely astonishing how much money you end up forking out regardless of how frugal you are. It’s good to hear that when a family gets to Hawaii they ‘whisk’ you away and take care of TLA. The way it usually works is that you pay for TLA (that’s overseas) or your TLE (that’s for CONUS moves) and then get reimbursed for it. Unfortunately, these entitlements won’t be credited until you have submitted the proper paperwork -and only then-. Make sure you are getting with finance about that. Looking forward to reading your next blog post about your adventure in PCSing.

  2. We found out about getting advanced travel pay a few pcs’s ago. The Army gives you 75% estimated up front, it helps SO much!!

  3. Same thing happened to us! Newly married and at our first duty station, we were supposed to be put up in TLF on base. But when we got here we found out that TLF was full and that we were being put in a hotel. I didn’t mind until we realized that we would be fronting the money. Between that and all the Money from the actual move that we did ourselves that we also had to front, let’s just say that my in-laws were buying us groceries until we got it all back. So crazy!

    • Kathryn, that is hard on a family/couple. The only thing that you can do is try to get an advance on your allowances, but how should you know if you are both new to the military? I am so glad it worked out for you. Between poss. rent deposits, travel, hotel there is quite a bit you’ll have to front!

  4. i am so glad I ran across this because we are about to pcs to Bragg and let’s just say I told my DS to get to the finance office. Thank you for this!

  5. I praise God my husband was informed by a friend about the advanced travel pay. One thing we have learned from this previous move is bring a crock pot and if you can! That way your not stuck with micro wave meals or lunch meat sandwiches. Maybe even a travel grill if they are allowed.
    I know coming from Hawaii that may not have been possible to have a grill or crockpot :/

  6. We’re going to be PCS’ing this fall, still waiting to see where, and we’re most likely doing a OCONUS to CONUS move and have no idea how it is all going to work. I appreciate all the helpful tips seeing as the last move we did was separated by a year because of the birth of our son. I stayed in the US because my husband didn’t get housing until I was too far along to travel. I’m highly nervous of how this is going to work.

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