How to Budget your Military Relocation

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How to Budget for a Military Move

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Military moves can come without warning. As a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, you could be required to change your base and be posted somewhere new. There are assistance programs available to you to help with these compulsory moves, but not everything will be reimbursed in every situation. You still need to budget for your move, even if it is with the military.

Military moves are unique because they often come with little warning (sometimes just five days before the posting) and you can't really choose where you are going or when. That means you need to calculate your budget quickly and do what you can to remain within your budget goals.

Costs of the move

It is best to start budgeting by determining the maximum amount of money you could possibly spend before you receive any government assistance. Think of every conceivable expense involved with the move and give it a numerical value. Writing this out will not only help you determine what you may need to spend, but it can also help you claim compensation from the government if the numbers are accurate.

Possible moving expenses:
  • Fixing up your home for sale
  • The loss you'll take on trying to sell your home quickly ($15,000 is the maximum reimbursement the government will give you for this)
  • Moving services
  • Storage space (if necessary)
  • Transportation
  • Packing materials
  • Loss of immediate family's jobs (if applicable)
  • Cost of the new home
  • Utilities
  • New furniture and appliances (if necessary)
This number will seem high but remember that you haven't considered what aid you will receive yet. You also can do a few things to minimize your expenses during any move.
  • Keep your shipment small. The heavier the load, the more expensive it is to move.
  • Sell excess items to lighten your load and to make some money.
  • Do what you can yourself or with friends and family. Unless covered by the government, hiring movers will be an extra expense.


The next step in budgeting your military move is to try and get things paid for by the government. Ask your superiors questions and visit helpful sites like the Brookfield Relocation Services which can aid you in all aspects of your military move. Hopefully you can start moving expenses from your initial budget list to a new list of expenses to be reimbursed by the government.

Remember to keep copies of all receipts and paperwork for the moving and real estate processes. It is unlikely your entire move will be covered, but if you keep track of your budget, you are more likely to get more things compensated for you. It is your responsibility to identify what services can be used and to provide accurate information on the costs of everything.

Don't forget to take advantage of other aid initiatives available to you. Many bases provide daycare and medical aid for the families of relocated soldiers. If you have time before the move, research how you can budget for your post move expenses and see what specific things are offered in your new location.

Moving is never easy and a quick military relocation makes the process more frantic than normal. Luckily, if you keep track of your budget you can make the move as cheap and easy as possible.

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on November 5, 2014 - Moving Expert
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