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Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806-5000
Contact information for key programs and services at this installation.
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.
Army Community Service Financial Readiness Program
The Army Community Service Financial Readiness Program offers financial planning and consumer affairs services to help service members and their families develop and maintain a realistic family budget, reduce debts, improve their credit, plan for the future through saving and investing, and resolve consumer complaints. The FRP offers regularly scheduled workshops to the military and civilian community on a wide range of financial issues such as budgeting, financial management, home buying and investing. Individual counseling is available for service members and families requiring or wishing to receive personal assistance.
Plan a permanent change of station budget
While on the road between your old duty station and your new one, always ask about military or government rates at motels and hotels to help you save money. Not all motels and hotels offer reduced military rates, but many do.
Before you go – start saving now
Questions to ask your sponsor in regards to your finances
Cost of living
Since New Jersey and its surrounding area are generally considered to be a high cost-of-living area, soldiers and their families may be surprised by the initial outlay of money required to get established. High utility costs in the winter increase the cost of living during the winter season. Your actual living expenses may be higher or lower, and will depend on several variables, including location, availability and the choices you make.
As housing is a major concern, temporary quarters are recommended while waiting for your permanent quarters. If you do not want to stay in temporary quarters, you can look off post. However, you will generally find off-post housing, even apartments, quite expensive. The average wait time for quarters is three to six months, depending on your family size and what time of year you arrive. Since the Picatinny Arsenal Guest House has only four apartments, it is best to call the Community Recreation Branch to discuss reservations in advance of your arrival. Picatinny also offers temporary living arrangements in spacious trailers and will soon have rustic log cabins on post.
Army Emergency Relief
Army Emergency Relief can provide financial assistance to meet unforeseen expenses during required travel and related maintenance expenses such as car repairs, transportation, lodging and food when on PCS orders. AER assistance may also be provided for payment of initial rent and deposit, and payment of required utility deposits. Soldiers applying for AER financial assistance must use their chain of command when available. If you have a financial emergency while moving to your new duty station, contact the nearest installation of any service, including the Coast Guard or contact a nearby office of the American Red Cross. Any military service or the Red Cross will then contact AER. Additionally, soldiers in transit must also show orders and military identification cards. Contact the AER manager at 973-724-7247 for more information.
Financial considerations of a PCS
Financial Readiness is an integral part of a soldier’s and family’s well-being. It is especially critical during relocation. Start saving for your move now. Every move will have costs you must pay upfront or out of pocket. It is suggested that you save a minimum amount equal to one month of basic pay and one month of BAH to assist you with moving expenses. Additional money should be saved to pay for security deposits and your first month’s rent or a down payment on your new home. Plan to pay for any leave or vacation you take prior to arriving at Picatinny; the military does not finance your leave or vacation. Keep all receipts related to your move. You will need them when filing your finance reimbursement claim and for tax purposes. Plan for emergencies. Experts recommend having an emergency savings equal to three to six months of your income. Below is a list of some of the expenses you may be faced with when you make a PCS move to Picatinny Arsenal. Think about them and begin to plan ahead.
Other financial impacts
There may be other financial impacts of a PCS move. Here are some questions and thoughts to consider:
First of all, make sure you have all your important papers with you - not packed with your household goods. Your important papers should include ID cards, shot records, and many copies of your orders. You must also have the phone numbers for your (new) Commander and Orderly Room. The phone number and address of your Sponsor can be invaluable in case of emergency while traveling to your next duty station.
For active-duty or retired military families who find themselves in unexpected emergency financial situations, Army Emergency Relief may be able to provide an interest-free loan or outright grant.AER also provides assistance to spouses and orphans of deceased service members. Active-duty soldiers should apply to AER through their unit commander. Contact the AER officer at 973-724-7247.
American Red Cross
In times of emergency need, contact the American Red Cross at 877-272-7337, select option #1. The Red Cross is available for emergency aid anywhere you may be.
Emergency en route
No matter how well you've planned, emergencies can happen. What should you do in case of an emergency while you are traveling? If you are near a military installation for any service, call the base operator and ask to be connected with someone to help you. The installation operator will know who to contact in an emergency. If you are not near an installation, ask the local information operator for a nearby hospital or road service.