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United States Army
Army Community Service Financial Readiness Program
2503 Advanced Tactics Rd
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005-5000
Resources are available to help you understand and manage your finances, including one-on-one financial counseling to assist you and your family with financial readiness. Services are designed to focus on money management issues throughout your active-duty lifecycle and into retirement. Financial readiness educational opportunities range from basic planning to long-term investing. Check out the information below to see what’s available at your installation.
The Financial Readiness Program has been developed to educate service members and their families about personnel financial management, and to assist in helping them achieve their financial goals. The following classes are available for unit training: Developing your spending plan, Savings & Investing, Retirement Planning, Checking Account Management, using Credit wisely, understanding TSP/CBS/REDUX, and Personnel Financial Management. Some of the other services provided are, budget counseling, debt liquidation plans, consumer education and information, check writing assistance, explaining credit, help in developing saving habits and tax information. Consumer assistance is offered in cases, offered in cases involving conflict with local businesses. In all cases counseling is provided on an individual and confidential basis. For more information contact Financial Readiness Program Manager, at 410-278-2453.
Although it is considered to be a premier location, Aberdeen is a low cost of living area. Before you leave your losing command, it is a good idea to make an appointment with your finance staff at your losing command and budget for your move. He or she can give you guidance as far as getting advances on your pay and housing allowances, and paying these advances back.
Your finance specialist can tell you exactly what is reimbursable, and the entitlements you are allowed such as travel pay, per diem, dislocation allowance, temporary lodging expenses, advance pay, advance BHA (which has to be paid back). Don't forget to fill out a travel voucher, and keep records and receipts of all expenses incurred from the move.
You may also contact the Army Community Service/Family Service Center for financial advice through the financial management program.
The next financial matter will be covering deposits for rent, utilities, and the phone. If you live on the economy, be prepared to have a deposit equal to two month's rent up front (more if you have pets) [See Housing Section], and money to cover all utility deposits, hook-up fees, and phone deposits. It does help sometimes to get letters of good credit from previous utility companies, and telephone companies. Sometimes this will waive or lower the deposits.
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
All persons (military and Civilian) operating a vehicle on Aberdeen Proving Ground are responsible for carrying and producing proof of current motor vehicle insurance. Questions should be directed to the Military Police Desk Sergeant, 410-306-2222 or DSN 312-458-2222. For more information on insurance for the state of Maryland, visit the website.
Hidden Expenses to Remember
For "first time move families", when figuring moving costs, don't forget to include in your moving budget expenses such as cleaning supplies and fees, extra child care expenses, transportation of pets, kennel fees, stocking refrigerator, kitchen, and freezer, professional cleaning of carpets and drapes, refitting of carpets, drapes and rugs, fees for auto license plates, car registration, inspections, emissions checks, club memberships, home owner's association fees, clothes to accommodate all four seasons, house plants, lawn and garden supplies, telephone deposits, advance rent, security deposits, utility deposits, expenses necessary to buy and sell a home, expenses for pre-move house hunting trip, and spouse job hunting trip, transportation costs (gas and oil), lodging expenses, meals, parking, possible car rental, tolls, taxis, traveler's checks, shipping items not authorized by government expense, excess weight charges, commercial transportation, extra furniture or appliances you may need, recreation and sight-seeing expenses, and emergency expenses.
Unfortunately, emergencies can and do happen no matter how well you planned for your move. Having important information with you can help ease the frustration of an emergency. First, make sure you always have a set of orders with you when you travel, in fact it is a good idea to have several sets of orders. Keep your new command's phone number, and sponsor's number with you. Have extra cash and credit cards; having an ATM card is a good idea and traveling with car insurance information.
AER (Army Emergency Relief) may be able to help. They can be contacted at (410)-278-2453.
There is not American Red Cross office on the installation. To contact ARC toll free, please call: 1-800-272-7337.
The Aberdeen Proving Ground Army Emergency Relief office is located in Bldg 2503. AER is the Army's emergency financial assistance program. AER provides financial assistance during valid emergencies that are unforeseen and require immediate attention. AER helps eligible soldiers, active and retired and their dependents, USAR and ARNG soldiers on continuous active duty for more than 30 days and their dependents, and surviving spouses and orphans of deceased soldiers. The AER office also provides financial assistance to other services through their relief agencies. Assistance is provided as an interest-free loan. Under extreme circumstances, assistance may be given as a grant. Each AER request is personal and is considered on its own merit. Any emergency must have originated from other than the soldiers own actions. For AER assistance, please call AER Officer, at 410-278-2453.
More about Army Emergency Relief (AER) Services -- AER is a private nonprofit organization, its sole mission is to help soldiers and their eligible family members who are experiencing financial emergencies.
Soldiers on extended active duty and their dependents.
What AER Can Do
AER can help with emergency financial needs for:
What AER Cannot Do:
Applying for AER Assistance
Active duty Soldiers assigned to APG can request an application for AER assistance (DA Form 1103) through their unit, or the AER office located in Bldg 2503. The form is also available on Form Flow. Soldier will need to fill out the front of the form and provide all required information. Soldier's 1SG or CO must then review, approve, and sign the form. Soldier then brings the signed form, latest end of month Leave and Earnings Statement, military ID card, and all documentation supporting the request for assistance (such as leave form, rental agreement, written estimate of car repairs, utility bill) to the AER office. Each AER request is personal and considered on its own merit. Any emergency must have originated from other than the Soldiers own actions.
Army retirees needing AER assistance should bring all documentation supporting their request for assistance and their military ID card to the AER office. Retiree's will fill out the application for assistance in the AER office.
For more information contact the AER officer at 410-278-2453 or visit the AER website.
First, you will need money for temporary lodging expenses. Set aside enough money to cover however many nights you plan on staying in temporary lodging, plus taxes. You are entitled to ten days of Temporary Lodging Allowances (TLA); however you must first pay the lodging bill, then get reimbursed.
APG offers temporary housing. For more information, please call (410)-278-4011.
If you are en route to your new command, and an emergency does come up, try to find the nearest military installation for assistance. Also, the Red Cross is always available for assistance 24 hours a day. You can get the nearest Chapter's phone number in the White Pages.
TIP: Prior to leaving your losing command check with your insurance company in reference to roadside emergency services, and towing.
AER (Army Emergency Relief) may be able to help. You can contact APG's AER at (410)-278-2453.
You are entitled to Dislocation Allowance (DLA) which is equal to two months of Basic Housing Allowance (BHA). This may be collected in advance or when you arrive. Keep in mind that if advance DLA is collected, and you are unaccompanied or end up living in Government Housing, you will have to pay the DLA back!
It is advisable to take ten days house-hunting leave before you detach from your losing command; this will give you the chance to search the area for affordable housing, and know the expenses involved before you make a decision to live on the economy. When considering living on the economy, commuting costs (metro, parking, and gas) need to be included in your budget. It is not uncommon to have a fifty mile round trip commute daily for those who think they are saving money by living further out. You should do a thorough search of available rentals and properties before you make a decision to rent or purchase.
Planning for Emergencies
Unfortunately, emergencies can and do happen no matter how well you planned for your move. Having important information with you can help ease the frustration of an emergency. First, make sure you always have a set of orders with you when you travel, in fact it is a good idea to have several sets of orders. Keep your new command's phone number, and sponsor's number with you. Have extra cash and credit cards; having an ATM card is also a good idea. You also need to travel with car insurance information. If you are on leave have a copy of your leave form available.