I came into the Air Force at 23 years old in 1993 with about 12 outstanding bills (hospital bills, car loan, car insurance, school loans, credit cards, etc.). You name it, I had the bill. Thanks to the Family Support Center, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, and many other sources, I now have no outstanding bills.

I only have rent and utilities (no even a car payment). I want to help other military members get out of debt. I was able to pay off all my bills by year 1999. I used money from TDYs and deployments to pay off my bills from the least to the greatest principal. At the same time, I started building an Emergency Fund. 

Now I have the following:

  • A Good Basic Need Budgeting Plan
  • Money Market Emergency Fund
  • Roth IRA
  • TSP

I hardly use credit cards and I access my credit report annually through www.annualcreditreport.com. This website is free unless you want your credit score along with it. The credit score costs about $5.00. I take whatever financial management information the military has to offer and apply them to my own financial management and it works. I am always willing to learn more and help other people get a handle on their finances.

TSgt Shaunta Hopson
43rd Logistics Readiness Squadron
U.S. Air Force

Tip of the Day

  • Use your tax refund wisely by dividing the amount of your tax refund over 12 months; you'll have a strategic financial plan and avoid spending your refund in one place. More tips at http://ow.ly/sqcuW

Pledge to Save

I pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. I will encourage my family and friends to do the same

Pledge to Save

Saver Stories View all »

Regular Savings is the Key to Success

My name is Chris Strong. I joined the Air Force on 25 March, 1985. On that day, my financial life changed forever. I was introduced to saving bonds in Basic Training. Savings bonds were the big thing back then just like the Thrift Savings Plan is today. A Colonel gave us a briefing. I cannot remember his name but I can remember the 100 savings bonds he had posted to a piece of card board. He gave us a speech on the importance of saving money and how it can change your life. He inspired me to save.


Making Savings a Part of Marriage

Capt. Rob Eckhardt is the first to admit that he hasn’t always been responsible with money. But less than 10 years after a rocky start to saving, Eckhardt reports that he and his wife are free from credit card debt, have a down payment on a home, and are saving regularly for retirement. And, as the Military Saves representative for his Air Force squadron, he’s helping others make similar progress.


One Sailor's Course to Financial Freedom

We all know its not easy to get out of debt once you in over your head. But it can be done with the sound advice and support that the Military Saves program offers. I am a testament to that. I was a recently divorced, single mother. Like many people I had credit card debt, a car loan, bad credit, and a low income job that never seemed to be enough to put food on the table.

Then I decided I'd had enough of living paycheck to paycheck and worrying about money all the time.