By Hank Coleman
Posted in Articles
Most military families that have moved from one duty assignment to another are familiar with DITY moves. A DITY move, pronounced “ditty”, is actually an acronym like most things in the military, and it stands for “Do It Yourself.” A DITY move can either be a complete or partial, but if you’re watching your expenses, you should consider the latter.
Why? Because move rates are very favorable to families who pack and move their own belongings rather than leaving it to a government contracted moving company. Plus, no one will take care of your belongings during the moving process better than you will.
A DITY move allows you to be reimbursed by the government for moving your belongings yourself when you conduct a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move. With a military DITY move, you can have your choice of using your own vehicle, renting your own moving van, or borrowing a vehicle to move your belongings.
When you request to conduct a military DITY move, the service member is entitled to decent DITY move rates that include travel allowances, a per diem, and vehicle mileage. You are also covered by $25,000 of insurance coverage, and many times you can request an advance on your entitlements before your move takes place. The DITY move rates are quite beneficial to members of the military because he or she will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting.
One thing that a lot of members of the military forget is to file is a partial DITY move even if they are having government contracted movers pick up their household goods. We all tend to travel with a lot of stuff when we PCS, and you might as well get paid for loading it in your car. It will be a nice little paycheck for something you were going to do anyway.
The DITY move program is completely voluntary, and you can conduct a complete, partial DITY move, or none at all. But, even if you ship most of your household goods on a Government Bill of Lading, you will most likely receive a nice payment for the balance of your allowed weight for what you transport in your own vehicle which you were probably going to do already. Be sure to ask your transportation office for more information on military DITY moves. You’d be much better off saving that money in a bank or credit union.
Hank Coleman is a Captain in the U.S. Army, freelance writer, and the founder of personal finance sites such as Military Money Might and Money Q&A. His writing has been featured on The Motley Fool, Military.com, and many others. You can follow him on Twitter at @HankColeman.