Four words: Permanent change of station.
A PCS will either strike fear or excitement in your heart. But regardless of how you feel about a PCS, you definitely feel something about it. And no matter what you think about PCSing, there are three things it can always be: Easier, cheaper, and calmer.
And your phone can help you with those three goals.
Ready? Let’s go.
1. My Ultimate PCS
How do you start this list without the new milspouse-created app, My Ultimate PCS? Dreamed up by two military spouses, My Ultimate PCS app works to streamline military moves all with an app. Because it’s brand new, it’s only available in the Apple Store (sorry Android users) and it has new features being planned and released. The app currently includes checklists for important to-dos like the transportation office, medical appointments, and home buying, links to relevant career, moving, and education resources, a moving countdown, and the ability to save and organize inventory photos.
Not about that extrovert life? Nextdoor is a private social media page for your neighborhood… so if it’s hard to make friends (or even if it’s not), it’s a tool you can use to meet folks, find the best hairdressers and doctors, and work together to make your neighborhood safer. Just remember to always use proper OPSEC and PERSEC.
Sortly takes inventorying your home to the next level. Take photos, add notes, and keep track of everything you own so you have the documentation if something goes wrong. The app even has the ability to generate QR codes for boxes that you can scan later to find out everything that’s in the box. The app goes beyond moving, so that you can keep track of collections and your home organization. This app does have a $4/month price tag if you want the upgraded individual membership (there is a free version as well).
4. The Big Moving Adventure
Did you know that Sesame Street has a particular branch of their organization that caters specifically to military families with young children? (The more you know!) Including live theater shows and their website, they also have apps that are age-appropriate for kids 2 to 5 and their parents to use. The Big Moving Adventure gives children a healthy way with their favorite Sesame Street characters to explore an upcoming PCS.
5. Rewards Card
Moving to a new locale is always a great way to start fresh and pick up some great habits… like saving money at the Commissary. This next move, download the Rewards Card app to save with electronic coupons.
It’s easy to spend a lot of money when you’re PCSing… and a lot of the time, you don’t realize how much you’re spending until you see the bills and your bank account. Easily save money on the go with Ibotta, a cash back app at all kinds of stores (online and in real life), including the Commissary. You can stack sales, coupons, and rebates from Ibotta to get max savings. Cash out instantly through PayPal or Venmo when you hit $20, or choose gift cards from retailers like Starbucks, Amazon, and Target. Sign up today and get an extra $10, so you’re already halfway to your rebate.
And while we’re talking about saving money while you’re on the go, let’s talk about Ebates, too. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing– if I’m buying something, I always check for cash back on Ebates before I make the purchase.. I’ve saved more than $1,000 over the past four years by doing that. (Which is pretty awesome because there are absolutely no strings attached.) The cash back comes by check or by PayPal (you choose) and you can use it in the store or online, and with the mobile app you can use it where ever your PCS has you at the moment, too. All kinds of retailers– from big box stores to electronics to clothing stores– have cash back offers through Ebates. During holidays and other huge sales times, the cash back specials almost always; I’ve seen them run as high as 20%! (That’s on top of any other sales, promotions, rewards programs, or any other savings that you get through the store, including Ibotta.) Sign up for free and start getting cash back right now. (If you spend $25 using Ebates, you’ll get $10 back right away!)
It’s probably pretty clear that I like saving money… and I hate spending money on PCSing. Like Ebates, Honey also offers a percentage back on purchases, and it can be used on your devices as a website or as an app. Yes, you can stack Ebates and Honey together. (Yassss, extra savings!) Cash your points out for gift cards you’ll actually use– like Amazon. Go here to sign up for Honey.
As someone who DITY PCSed twice, I know that the experience is a little different… and a lot more work. If you’re doing it yourself (and especially if your significant other magically is whisked away to training during the move), you might want to check out Bellhops, an app that is kind of like Uber for muscles. That way, you’re not hauling those giant tubs of military equipment all by yourself.