It Cost me $30,364.24 to Move to Europe

I’m going to share what it cost us (a married couple and 1 dog) to PCS to the Netherlands from the Arizona.

This was the process of moving as a military couple in the US Air Force, with one large doggo!

During the Covid-19 mania (toward the end of 2021) is when we moved. We sold our cars prior to the move (which we wouldn’t do again), and we brought almost no furniture with us (we didn’t want to wait 2 months to have a bed, table, etc.)

The military covered our stuff to be shipped, the cost of flights, and temporary housing / furniture.

Our costs could have been lower, but we wanted to buy items to keep for a long time. I’d say it would be difficult to get by without at least 10k (if you don’t want to get a car loan).


Car #1 – $1,800 (This car lasted 6 months, lesson learned)

Car #2 – $10,950 (great car that came with a warranty)

Dog Shipping – $5,233.89

*We could not use pet cargo because of Covid, airlines did not allow dogs. We had to use a private shipping company

AirBnB – $164.33

*My brother had to drive our dog to the Airport in LA, so he needed a place to stay with the dog.

Rent / Security Deposit / First Months Rent – $4,705

Security deposit and first months rent.

Furniture / Household – $7,012

*They have something similar to goodwill, but we wanted nicer stuff

Here is a closet we had to buy, because houses in this area don’t have closets.

Food / travel – Estimated about $200

Internet – $50 (first month)

Phones – $55.02 (first month)

Electric bill – $100 (first month, fixed rate that gets refunded at the end of the year)

Insurance – $144; Car + Renters insurance

Other stuff – $300-500

These were our ‘life’ expenses. We also did some traveling and ate out a bunch during the first few months.

Hopefully this is helpful to anyone looking to PCS overseas. If we didn’t have any savings set aside for the move, we likely would have bought second hand furniture for under $500 bucks total.

If we couldn’t afford to ship our dog, we would have tried to have a family member watch him. We planned for this spending.

Total costs (it was likely more) :


Without the second car:


This was for two people and a dog. A single military member would probably spend much less. The main variable costs is the second car and cheap furniture.

That’s a lot of money, but we did plan for it leading up to the move.

Based on renting, basic utilities, cheap furniture, and a moderate car. I’d say having around $8,000-$10,000 would be the minimum. Our deposit and rent alone was about $5,000.

Things we would do different:

  1. Not sell our cars before moving, and have them shipped
  2. Not sell any furniture before moving (we didn’t sell a ton, but we sold some)
  3. Not buy a cheap car at first, and just buy a ‘nice’ one to begin with
  4. Not move during “The Virus” and save $5,000 by not needing to ship our doggo

Overall, we are happy with our choices and were ready for these costs.

It’s all relative to your lifestyle.

Happy PCSing.

Bonus note: We use an app called Wise (Transfer Wise) in order to get our money from a US bank account into our Dutch bank. You can also use the app to transfer to most countries globally.

Published by Christal

I write to share my experience of going from $0 to a millionaire and what I am learning along the way. Working toward that goal one day at a time and sharing the tips and tricks I'm trying.

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