Building a Six-Figure Savings While Enjoying Life

Does the idea of saving up hundreds of thousands of dollars seem impossible? How about doing it while still living an enjoyable lifestyle?

For military spouse Martina and her husband, an E-5 in the Navy, accumulating a six-figure savings has become a reality. One might think that in order to save this much, it would take a great deal of sacrificing and forgoing a certain quality of life, but Martina and her husband would disagree. “Over the past few years (about five), we've managed to save almost $120,000 while mostly living on one income. We've learned so much about easy ways to save money and live a good life,” shares Martina.

The couple started their savings journey with two goals in mind: to become financially secure and to save up enough to purchase their own home. They started by taking the Military Saves Pledge and building a personal financial plan. The result of using our Military Saves spending and saving plan tool, living frugally, taking advantage of discounts, incorporating automatic savings, and having a plan paid off. In just a matter of years, the couple accumulated over $100,000. While many would think that hitting the six-figure savings mark would suffice, what did this military couple do? “We just kept going!” says Martina.

Strategic Steps to Six Figures

Martina and her husband have committed to making saving a priority. Each payday, they take advantage of automatic transfers and have a pre-determined amount of money transferred to a separate account. This tactic is embraced by other Savers, who have benefitted from this “set it and forget it” financial strategy.

When it comes to spending, the couple has a plan as well. Martina describes, “We separate the money for bills and everyday spending into different accounts. We also agree on a monthly allowance -- especially during deployments!” Charting and controlling their income and expenditures is a smart way to manage purchases and prevent overspending.

Although the couple has done well, they noticed that many of their peers in both the military and civilian communities have found it challenging to navigate their finances. Martina explains, “It inspired me to start my personal finance website: Stack Your Dollars. I use it to share the life habits that made a difference for us.”

As a result of their financially savvy choices, they’ve managed to save, live frugally, and still enjoy a great quality of life. Martina loves their adventures, and encourages other military families to take advantage of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation events, military discounts, and to find great deals on activities.

”Last year, we went to both Paris, France, and traveled throughout Italy from Venice to Pompeii,” says Martina. What an impressive accomplishment for this couple who is enjoying their present, while still building wealth for their future. We hope this inspires your military family to do the same, and we encourage you to take advantage of our financial tools to get you started.

Do you have a Saver Story of your own? Share your savings tip with us and you can get $50 to boost your savings! Take the Military Saves Pledge today, and visit for more tips and resources.

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Living the Dream: This Military Couple Retired Early

“Continuous dedication to financial peace pays off,” shares military couple, Denise and Jim. They would know, because at ages 52 and 53, they are already retired. The couple enjoyed life as an Army family for 32 and a half years and started planning for retirement decades ago. Denise shares, “We are not working a paid job, but are volunteering and meeting some personal fitness goals and enjoying some time together after many years spent geographically apart. It can be done!”


Making Saving Automatic Leads to Personal Success

Ryan’s savings journey started when he was an active duty airman. Frequent deployments and temporary duty assignments gave him the opportunity to save. By the time he transitioned out of active duty, he had built up a healthy rainy-day fund and had started to aggressively save for retirement.


From Shopaholic to Saver

Many of us spend too much money on things we don’t need, but we don’t always know why. It’s easy to get a quick fix from retail therapy, but before we know it, our hard-earned money is gone. Oftentimes, when we engage in a “shopaholic” lifestyle or sporadic shopping sprees, we still experience feelings of emptiness, but to make it worse, we now have debt, too.

Khanmany was a shopaholic who turned everything around. She is active duty Navy and shares, “I was spending too much on things I didn't need. I was going shopping for no reason and was trying to fill a void. I was running up every credit card I owned to include Victoria's Secret, Military Star, Navy Federal, TJ Maxx, JCPenney, Macy's, USAA, and was only paying the minimum payments.”