Are You Financially Fit? How to Make Financial Wellness Happen
They say money can't buy happiness, but a financially-healthy future can buy peace of mind. Plus, financial security at home allows service members to be more focused and mission-ready. The military cares about your financial future. Whether you want to learn about investing or create a personalized spending plan, help is right at your fingertips. It's never been easier to create a financial plan and stick to it.
Check out all the free personal financial management programs available for service members and their families.
Programs and resources for better money management
Each service branch has a comprehensive Personal Financial Management Program that can help you manage your money and resolve your financial problems. Got debt? Want to improve your credit score? Ready to create a long-term savings plan? There are installation-based programs and additional resources through Military OneSource to help with all your goals and more. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Take financial education classes
As a military family, you have access to numerous classes and seminars, both through your installation and via My Training Hub. Choose from a variety of topics like:
- Banking and credit union services
- Budgeting, goal setting, record keeping and cash management
- Credit use and abuse
- Consumer rights and obligation
- Military pay
- Planning for parenthood, deployment, college or retirement
Check with your installation's Military and Family Support Center about classes on the installation or visit My Training Hub to see what's available online.
Seek out financial counseling
Not only is financial counseling available free of charge to you and your family, the counselors are uniquely equipped to understand military life and the financial challenges many service members face. With the help of a personal financial counselor, you can:
- Learn personal finance basics
- Learn how to resolve complaints on your credit record
- Learn about military savings programs
- Create a plan to pay off your debt
- Research large purchases and make a savings plan
- Get information on emergency financial assistance
- Understand the long-term consequences of bankruptcy
To find a financial counselor on your installation, visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS and select Personal Financial Management Services. If you don't live near a military installation, financial counseling is also available through Military OneSource and the Military and Family Life Counseling Program. Military OneSource offers financial counseling in person, by phone or via video chat.
Take advantage of finance programs
Your counselor can give you more information about financial programs for service members and help you decide which options are right for you:
- Military Saves — Military Saves is designed to help service members create a savings plan and learn about high-interest savings, consumer reporting, credit scores and overall financial well-being. There's also the social marketing program, Military Youth Saves, designed to teach kids about the importance of saving money early on.
- The Savings Deposit Program —This Department of Defense program gives deployed service members the opportunity to build their savings in a designated savings account that earns 10 percent interest throughout their deployment's duration.
- Thrift Savings Plan —This government-sponsored retirement savings plan for service members and federal employees allows for all contributions to be tax deferred.
- The Military Consumer Campaign — This campaign was created to help service members and their families become more informed consumers and avoid common financial scams that specifically target the military community.
Emergency support resources
There are also private, nonprofit relief organizations designed to assist military families when they need it most. Whether it's emergency transportation, funeral expenses, bills, disaster relief or other unforeseen family emergencies, each service branch has a relief society to help:
Achieve financial fitness by using the resources available to you and your family. Don’t wait any longer to get out of debt and start saving.