Cost of Living

Cost of living in Belgium is high compared to the United States.

A PCS move outside of the continental US, or OCONUS, can seem like a difficult venture, especially for first timers, but whatever the difficulties, there are tools in place, as well a sponsor already stationed at your new installation, to support you from starting the new life in a new environment. 

Overseas Allowances

Overseas cost of Living Allowance

The overseas Cost Of Leaving Allowance, or COLA, is a taxable additional allowance the military offers service members stationed overseas to help balance the prices in higher-cost locations. The military determines your COLA rate based on several factors, including where you are moving to, how long you will be stationed there, whether or not you will be living in the barracks, how many dependents you have, how long you have served in the military, and your military pay grade.

Overseas Housing Allowance

Overseas Housing Allowance, or OHA, involves:

-Rental Allowances are funds the military provides based on a few different factors, including housing cost and whether or not you have dependents living with you. If the amount of the lease is more than the allowance the military gives you, you will have to pay the rest yourself. If the amount of the lease is less than the allowance, the military will cover the full cost of rent.

-Move-in housing allowance, or MIHA, is for service members and their families to partially cover their costs associated with occupying privately leased lodging.

-Utility/recurring maintenance allowance is a monthly sum the military provides to help cover the cost of utility and maintenance expenses, including minor repairs for leased residences. 

The overseas allowances will help offset higher living expenses. 

Please keep in mind common daily living expenses when traveling and living overseas:

Exchange rates: Use the COLA and OHA calculators to determine current pay systems exchange rates to see how this impacts your payment value.

Storage unit fees: Budget for a monthly storage unit fee if you are not authorized non-temporary storage paid by the government.

Overage baggage fees: Keep track of your weight limits. the military moving services will ship up to a certain amount, but you will have to pay any additional fees.