Moving out of the dorm can be exciting for Airmen. It can give a sense of independence, but with newfound independence comes responsibility.
“Like almost anything important in life, planning is key and can reduce stress when it’s time to move off base,” said Cory Carmichael, 56th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness specialist. “Start saving at least six to 12 months ahead of time; this should allow a person to consciously save the many hundreds of dollars required for rent, security deposits, furnishings and more.”
He also recommends to create a budget and live within one’s means.
“Remember that basic allowance for housing is intended to cover rent, utilities and personal property or renter’s insurance,” Carmichael said. “One should also live within or below their means. If you want to pay the high rent required for luxurious living, other areas in the budget may be limited.”
After saving money and picking out a place, Airmen should begin their move-out checklist 30 days prior to hitting the three-year in service mark, or if getting married, 60 days prior to the wedding date.
“The checklist includes seeing the first sergeant, Balfour Beatty housing office and clearing the post office,” said Staff Sgt. Jaime Barboza, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron airman dorm leader. “Once this is completed, we will make sure the paperwork is squared away, inspect the dorm room and file the BAH paperwork to finance. Then all they need to do is take care of the basic allowance for subsistence paperwork.”
One Airman learned firsthand the challenges with moving out of the dorm.
“Before moving out of the dorm, I prepared a couple months in advance to make sure I had a cushion for furniture, bed, dishes and more,” said Senior Airman Sofiane Harchaoui, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit avionics specialist. “I also began looking at apartments three months ahead of time and had my move-in date set so that right on my move-out date I could go into my apartment.”
Airmen also need to take initiative in the move-out process.
For Airmen moving out on the three-year service mark, it’s necessary to go to dorm management 30 days prior to get the move-out process started, Harchaoui said. It’s equally important to take responsibility in completing each checklist item in a timely manner and following up to make sure the paperwork was completed and turned in on time.
“Remember, get a place you can afford and make sure you have a place set up prior to moving out,” Harchaoui said.
For questions concerning finance, the A&FRC is there to help.
“The A&FRC, in addition to having trained financial counselors, has publications, guides, classes and other resources to answer all your financial questions,” Carmichael said. “The A&FRC also provides one-on-one appointments. Take the steps now to improve your financial fitness.”
With careful planning and budgeting, it is possible to minimize the stress and make the move as smooth as possible.
“It may seem like a complicated process, but all it took was organization and a bit of savings,” Harchaoui said.