Train for Your Financial Future

When it comes to your finances, developing good habits can serve you throughout your military career and beyond. Explore the basics of financial readiness.

Create a Budget

Budgeting helps you build a solid foundation for a successful financial future. Establish a budget that works for you and your family with these tips:

  • Start by making sure you understand your military pay and how often you’ll receive it.
  • List out your monthly income and expenses—including your Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)—to see how your money is being spent.
  • Use our budgeting template to break your spending and plans down even further after you list out your monthly expenses.
  • Check out tips on simple ways to trim spending and stick to your budget.
  • Make sure you can use your money when and where you need to with Free Active Duty Checking®. You’ll receive up to $240 a year1 in ATM fee rebates, free military checks and early access to military pay with qualifying military direct deposit.

Pay Yourself First by Building an Emergency Fund

Life’s interruptions can’t be predicted. Be prepared for unexpected costs with an emergency fund.

  • Aim to set aside 3 to 6 months' worth of living expenses.
  • Consider saving or investing extra money, once you've built an emergency fund and paid your expenses.
  • Start building your savings quickly with our Special EasyStartSM Certificate, where you can earn over $100 in a year.

Manage Your Credit

Building a solid credit history ensures you’re more likely to qualify for various types of credit in the future. Here are a few ways to manage your credit effectively and reduce your debt:

  • Take time to learn about the differences between a credit report and a credit score, then review simple ways to build good credit.
  • Be aware of predatory lenders who may use unfair or deceptive ways to entice you into taking a loan you may not want or need, or are unable to afford.
  • Avoid payday loans—while convenient, these loans are often much more expensive than you think.
  • Learn how to avoid the pitfall of too much debt by understanding and managing credit cards effectively.

Prepare for the Future

No matter how long you plan to stay in the military, take advantage of special savings opportunities and tax breaks with your servicemember status.

  • Get to know the Blended Retirement System (BRS) and make the most of your retirement by staying on top of changing military benefits.
  • Review the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), the government-sponsored savings program that allows you to invest in stocks, government bonds or certificates—with contributions to that account made by your employer.
  • Speak with a financial advisor to see how you should best consolidate your retirement accounts to maximize your savings.

Stretch Your Dollar

We’re dedicated to offering you low rates, loan discounts and other products and services to lighten your load. Whether you’re a military member or part of a military family, there are many ways for you to shop and save.

Learn More about our offers and discounts.

Financial Readiness Resources


1 Up to $20.00 in ATM fee rebates per statement period.