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United States Army
Personal Financial Management
1932 St. Stevens-Woluwe
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.
Your money is your responsibility, but living overseas requires a little extra attention, especially when first making a permanent change of station.
The monetary unit in the Netherlands is the euro. Exchange rates between the dollar and the euro change daily; the current rate is given over the American radio and television broadcasts. Just as the dollar is divided into 100 cents, the euro is divided into 100 cents. Items purchased on the Netherlands economy are subject to a 21% Value Added Tax. In general, if an item exceeds 46 euros after the tax, U.S. forces personnel may, if the merchant agrees, obtain tax relief by providing a VAT removal form.
Community Bank and Andrews Federal Credit Union are full-service financial institutions in the U.S. Army Garrison tri-border community. They offer checking and saving accounts, foreign currency exchanges, personal loans, certificates of deposit, bill-paying services, and traveler’s checks in dollars and most European currency denominations. Limited transactions can be handled at the Exchange. Each bank has a 24-hour ATM, which operates continually and affords customers ready access to their accounts. Customers who make euro withdrawals buy them at the day's going rate. The ATMs also accept government credit cards or any other credit card for cash advances for travelers. While visiting on temporary duty in the U.S., credit union members have free access to their accounts using the credit union's VIP line.
Army Community Service Financial Readiness Program
Financial problems can be addressed to the Army Community Service Financial Readiness Program. The ACS FRP is available to help, evaluating current financial status and helping determine future financial goals. The staff also advises clients on financial assistance programs available overseas such as the Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and on financial emergency assistance such as Army Emergency Assistance.
The ACS FRP is a pro-active program intended to help soldiers and civilians avoid the many pitfalls of financial transactions. The FRP manager provides a wide range of financial services, including budget counseling, debt liquidation, consumer affairs, checkbook management, investment planning and more.
Permanent change of station orders entitle you, the military member, and your family certain benefits. Upon arrival, check with the Finance Office about the following entitlements that may be authorized to you:
Keep a detailed record of your PCS travel, and include all stops (including leave) en route, including arrival and departure dates and times. It is also important to keep receipts and/or records of all expenses associated with your move. It is a requirement to turn in a copy of any Military Travel Discounts and/or TRs with your travel settlement voucher; therefore, be sure to keep all plane tickets. Finally, pick up your military pay and travel pay records before you leave your present duty station. Without that record, payment must be held pending confirmation of an advance. If you received advance travel pay, ask for a copy of the voucher to file with your PCS settlement claim.
Your payment for travel will be made by electronic funds transfer, which is deposited into your direct deposit account or another account, if you prefer.
In conclusion, families should visit the Financial Readiness Program manager at their current installation, and check into budgeting for their upcoming move. A little fiscal planning before your move can save a lot of headaches later.
There are several things which get families into financial problems in the Netherlands. The one that causes the most trouble is the use of the telephone. Unlike American phone service, there is a charge for local calls. Whenever you call someone you will pay for the call. The longer you talk the more it will cost. Calling long distance is even more expensive. There are several alternatives to using the Netherlands phone system for making long distance calls: calling plans, calling cards as well as five-digit prefixes. Be sure to check out all the options available.
When shopping in the Netherlands or Germany economy be sure to take along a Value Added Tax (VAT) form. Almost everything sold in the Netherlands and other countries in Europe is subject to VAT. Be sure to ask the merchant before you purchase goods if they will accept the VAT form. The forms can be purchased at the VAT Offices on USAG Benelux-Schinnen in Bldg 46. The Netherlands VAT form cost varies between 1 to 16 Euros and you have to buy it after the purchase. The EU VAT form, accepted outside the Netherlands, cost $4.00 and you can buy it before the purchase.