I have a confession.
Although I didn’t enjoy my last PPM (personal procured move, formerly called a do-it-yourself or DITY military move), my husband and I banked a lot of money by during it, which made every roadblock (sometimes literally), headache and painful mile worth it.
When you’re doing a personal procured move, you need to first understand your PCS entitlements. They differ from move to move and branch to branch, so take a close look at your orders to figure out what you need in your military move.
Before you go forward with finalizing your personal procured move, contact your local Travel Management Office (TMO). They are essential in guiding you through the process and giving you everything you need for a successful PCS.
No matter what you end up deciding to do for your military move, you will most likely receive a travel per diem, dislocation allowance and Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT), if you choose to travel with your privately-owned vehicle (POV).
You could make some money by being smart with your dislocation allowance and travel per diem. When we PCSed from New York to Arizona, we stayed with family members located at 2 different locations (Texas and Mississippi) and utilized hotel points on our other stays that added up to free future hotel visits.
That same military move, we did a partial PPM. We packed up our car with as many goods as it could fit and we were paid money based on the weight and mileage. If you opt for a partial PPM, be sure you fill out all the appropriate forms and file for it. You need to do the same if you choose to do a full personal procured move. Pay close attention to the rules and regulations regarding weighing your car. The rules may have changed since the last time you PCSed.
With a full PPM the government will pay you 95 percent of the total cost it would be for them to take you from point A to point B. Still interested in doing a PPM? Here’s what you need to know.
What’s needed to make money with a personal procured move or PPM?
- Packing Supplies
- Moving Truck
I’m going to talk about my last personal procured move and share with you what worked for us. I’ll start with the packing supplies.
I raided local retail stores around my home for boxes from shipment days. (Don’t be afraid to ask the manager of your military commissary for shipping boxes!) Be sure you plan for time to collect your packing supplies far enough in advance and have an area in your home to put these boxes. I was able to acquire enough to pack all of our household goods. I saved money by not buying any moving boxes.
Another successful strategy would be putting a call-out for boxes on a military spouses Facebook page. I’ve seen lots of boxes get recycled that way as well. That strategy costs nothing, but time and effort!
Next, we priced out all possible moving vehicles. Luckily, most companies like U-Haul and Budget offer military move discounts! With all the labor accounted for (I’ll elaborate on that later), being able to lock in an amazing deal for a moving truck was key.
Of course, we took a little bit of a risk with this one, but we used our own clothing and other fabrics to pad and pack our breakables in the boxes. Once the boxes were sealed, we indicated what was inside them so that we could be gentler with that box over the other ones. It was my husband, myself and a friend moving boxes and furniture, so we only had ourselves to blame if anything broke. We rented the furniture pads to help with the bigger items.
Because labor was my husband, myself and a friend, it was absolutely free! Well, I did pay our friend in food, but that was it. Once we arrived at our new location, it was up to us to unpack the moving truck, but we took our time and unloaded it over the course of 2 days (we paid to have the rental truck for an extra day).
In addition, I’ve seen some military families successfully move with hiring help too. For example, they would hire the labor to pack the furniture and boxes properly in a truck that they rented. It was up to them to drive the truck to the new location and they hired another team to unload it.
Another family used a PODS-type moving system for their military move and I believe that company offers a military discount as well.