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Ditching the Dorms: A&FRC's newest workshop

Chryzelle Cabrillas-Harris, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant, teaches the workshop, "Ditching the Dorms," Jan. 11, 2019, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The course helps service members moving out of the base dormitories. (U.S. Air Force photo by Zachary Hada)

Chryzelle Cabrillas-Harris, Airman and Family Readiness Center community readiness consultant, teaches the workshop, "Ditching the Dorms," Jan. 11, 2019, at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The course helps service members moving out of the base dormitories. (U.S. Air Force photo by Zachary Hada)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

As a service member, leadership is found from the bottom to the top ranks and inside and outside the unit. For enlisted residing in the dormitories, it is especially needed when moving-out.

The experience can be exciting and scary because it means independence, but more responsibility. With the increase in demand for Airman to move out of the dorms ahead of their three-year service mark, the Airman and Family Readiness Center has stood-up a new monthly workshop called “Ditching the Dorms.”

“It is important for young professionals to have the knowledge to plan properly,” said Kevin Dowell, A&FRC. “Like almost anything important in life, planning is key and can reduce stress.”

Among the helpful information provided during the course, it is recommended to start saving six to 12 months ahead of time allowing savings for first month’s rent, security deposits, furnishings and more.

“Remember that basic allowance for housing is intended to cover rent, utilities and personal property or renter’s insurance,” Dowell said. “One should also live within or below your means. If you want to pay the high rent required for luxurious living, other areas in the budget may be limited.”

Initiative in the move-out process is also needed - it’s necessary to go to dorm management to get the move-out process started. After saving money and picking out a place, dormitory residents should begin their move-out checklist 30-days prior to their mover-out date, or if getting married, 60-days prior to the wedding date.

“The checklist includes seeing the first sergeant, the housing office and clearing the Post Office,” Dowell said. “Once this is completed, the dormitory manager will make sure the paperwork is squared away, inspect the dorm room and file the BAH paperwork with the military finance office. Then all that’s needed is to take care of the basic allowance for subsistence paperwork.”

The A&FRC, in addition to having trained financial counselors, has publications, guides, classes and other resources to answer financial questions. The A&FRC also provides one-on-one appointments.

“With careful planning and budgeting, it is possible to minimize the stress and make the move as smooth as possible,” Dowell said.

To sign-up for the workshop, call (402) 294-4329.