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

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Saver Stories View all »

One That Almost Got Away

Brody Lockwood - Like a typical fledgling, I started down the track of financial indebtedness. Nineteen years old and nothing to lose. Credit - who need it? Savings - that was for older people with responsibility. Debt - my parents were in debt ergo it must be OK. When I was eligible for reenlistment, I reenlisted for a multiple of 3 worth $15K. I was happy to pay off my debt, but would I be able to stay out of debt?

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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.

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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.

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