How to use a DITY Move Calculator for Permanent Change of Station Relocations

Click here to see what some of our military members are doing to save $1,000 – $5,000 on their PCS moves. 

Starting in January of 2021, the military decided to increase the reimbursement amount for moving expenses from 95 to 100 percent. This means that the government will pay 100 percent of your expenses in the event of a PCS. 

For those who are organized and great at managing money, you can go through the entire move and actually end up with money left over on the other side. 

A DITY move calculator can help you do this by helping to calculate the total expenses of your move while factoring in your reimbursements or allowances. 

What is a DITY or Personally Procured Move? 

A DITY or PPM is essentially a relocation where you handle the entire process of moving. This takes place in government positions where traditionally, a government procured move or GPM would take place. 

In a DITY, you have more control over what moving companies you hire, how the entire process unfolds, and the timeline of your move. 

Many people choose this method of relocation because it allows you more time and flexibility and for those with experience, this often seems like the way to go. 

Another reason overlooked by inexperienced military movers is the fact that you can actually make money from a PPM. The government will pay 100 percent of the cost of a GPM which means you are in the driver’s seat in terms of how you spend that money. 

If the government pays you more money than you need to complete the relocation, you’re entitled to keep that money whereas, those who settled for a GPM, will be at the mercy of the government for the money they need. 

At this time, a lot of people will use a DITY move calculator to compile their expenses based on number of service members moving, family members, dependents, distance, travel days allowed, and overall weight and quantity of whatever is being moved. 

What Allowances Do You Receive in a DITY Move?

Once you’ve figured out what your expenses will be, you’ll want to subtract your allowances to figure out what the overall cost of the relocation is. This will allow you to determine if the amount of money granted by the government will leave anything for you once the relocation is over. 

If you find that you won’t actually accumulate any money, it may make more sense to allow the government to handle your move because the benefits to you and your family will be minimal. Here are some of the allowances you’ll get. 

Dislocation Allowance (DLA)

A DLA is a reimbursement for all service members to cover expenses accrued during the moving process. As you can likely guess, this is a very broad description and can cover a lot of different things. 

The only way you’re not eligible for a DLA is if you have never had a PCS move before and you have no dependents, you’re being ordered to active duty without dependents, or you’re performing retirement travel. 

So, a DLA is primarily in place to help those with families get the most out of the benefits provided by the government to offset the costs of being transferred to a new facility. 

Monetary Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT)

On a Military Calculator, MALT refers to mileage reimbursement for service members. If you’re moving as a result of a PCS move you’re authorized to receive 18 cents per mile for each portion of travel you take for your relocation. 

Per Diem 

PCS travel also allows for a “per diem” or allowance to be paid during the move. This money will reimburse you for lodging, food, tolls, fuel, and other necessary expenses you may encounter during the move. 

The way this is determined is by taking ¾ of the applicable rate for each dependent that is 12 years or older. If they’re under 12 it’s ½ of their rate. There is a lot of valuable information here on relocation allowances for military members. 

How to use a DITY Move Calculator 

A PPM move calculator or DITY move calculator works like this:

[Reimbursement Amount] – [Total Moving Expenses] = X 

The key is making sure you have a grip on exactly how much you’ll be paying in total moving expenses. If you do this calculation and find that X = a positive number, it means you’ll have money left over from your DITY move. If it’s a negative number, you may want to recalculate, rethink some things, or consider letting the government handle the move for you. 

Keep in mind that while the monetary aspect of it may seem important, the stress and strain a GPM puts on your family isn’t always worth it. 

Is Doing a DITY Move…The Right Move? 

As previously mentioned, using a DITY calculator and doing the move yourself is worth it in many cases. If you’re on a tight schedule and the carriers can’t accommodate you, you’ll find that it’s a lot less stressful and easier overall. 

The only thing to keep in mind is that no one is doing the work for you. You need to pack everything yourself and if you’re not an organized person, you may struggle with doing this. This is also a reason why they don’t usually allow a DITY move for those undergoing PCS for the first time. It helps to have experience and if you don’t have it, find someone who does. 

USAA Movers Advantage also used to be a program to help military members by referring them to real estate agents in their new location and also reimburse them for money spent during the relocation. 

This is unfortunately no longer the case but the good news is that ARC offers a home buying or selling rebate to everyone regardless of military status. It helps offset the cost of packing, unpacking, supplies, furniture, transportation, disposal, and more. 

If you’re in the midst of a PCS or you know someone struggling to figure out the cost using a DITY move calculator, schedule a free consultation with us today. We’ve helped thousands of military members with their relocation and we can help you too.