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

  • Participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) - a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees and members of the Uniformed Services. It offers the same types of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under 401(k) plans. More info at tsp.gov

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 »

Money on the Side

Camp Arifjan, Kuwait -- A colonel in the 1st Theater Sustainment Command has money on his mind.

Army Col. George Fields, the Chief of Intelligence, or G2, has been teaching a free "Managing Your Money" class here in his spare time. More than 400 students have attended his six week-long class to learn more about increasing their own finances.

"All I did was sit down and listen to a guy one day who showed me what he was doing" said the colonel as he explained how he became interested in what he calls, "becoming financially free."

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Meet Wacinque BeMende

Meet Wacinque BeMende. He’s so passionate about encouraging savings and promoting financial literacy, he’s established his own Kid’s Savings Program. Wacinque donated $15,000 to the Community Action of Laramie County in Cheyenne Wyoming to begin the Wacinque “ Rhino” Fund Endowment to help kids open savings accounts.

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On the Right Track to Build Wealth

My name is Robina Wahl, and I am a military wife and a veteran. Although I am fairly new to the Military Saves Campaign, the message to “Build Wealth, Not Debt” reassured me that my husband and I were on the right track and doing the right things.

I have always been pretty responsible when it comes to saving and living within my means, but I was not prepared for the unpredictable employment lifestyle of being a Reservist and military spouse.

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