Living overseas on military pay: What to expect

By MILITARY ONESOURCE on December 4, 2021

Overseas or OCONUS PCS orders can be exciting, especially if you've never been outside of the CONUS. The military can help you with the added costs of an international move and living expenses abroad.

Here are tips for finding free military moving services, getting OCONUS allowances and budgeting for daily living expenses.


Your service branch will help you move your household goods and even a personally owned vehicle to a new overseas duty station. This financial help is generally a one-time reimbursement of moving costs. You can start figuring out those costs by visiting the PCS & Military Moves page to register for OCONUS moving help.

However, there are additional pays and allowances you may receive during your time overseas above your regular basic pay. Two of the main allowances overseas personnel receive are an overseas Cost of Living Allowance and an Overseas Housing Allowance. Qualifying service members are also able to receive benefits from the Family Supplemental Subsistence Allowance Program.


Those moving and OCONUS allowances, in addition to your basic pay, help with major expenses while you're overseas. With careful budgeting you can also manage daily living expenses like these:

This is just an overview of the many financial decisions you may make during your OCONUS move and time living abroad. If you'd like some help planning and budgeting for your overseas adventure, you can schedule a free consultation with a Military OneSource financial counselor. They can give you a hand whenever you need it - before your move, while you're settling in or when you're coming home.

Financial counselors are just one way Military OneSource connects you to the services, programs and information you need to live your best MilLife. Let us give you a hand today.