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Copyright 2008 - 2017 Benita Koeman, Operation We Are Here.  All rights reserved.
Operation We Are Here is a HUB of RESOURCES for the military community and military supporters.
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Resources for supporters of military and veteran families
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Military and veteran family resources
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resources
A Mom's Guide to Family Finances
Author: Ellie Kay, Copyright @ 2006

Many parents dream of the day when their credit card bills are paid off, when they have a savings account and an IRA, or when they can take a once-in-a--lifetime family vacation. But many of them have no idea how to make those dreams come true. Writing with her entertaining signature style, Ellie Kay shows readers how to manage money to meet their goals. She offers practical strategies for saving money, making and sticking to a budget, and weathering financial setbacks. No matter what their family's financial background looks like, readers will find a useful tip or two in this easy-to-use book from America's Family Financial Expert™. 





A Tip a Day with Ellie Kay
12 months' worth of money-saving ideas
Author: Ellie Kay, Copyright @ 2008

Save money every day! With a tip a day from America's Family Financial Expert readers reap practical money-saving tips that can be implemented right now! This purse-sized guide shows families how to save money on everything from groceries to vacations, life insurance to investments, and clothing to housing. Ellie understands the need to save - she is the mom of seven and has lived to tell about it! Easy-to-follow tips are divided into need areas. A coupon in the back of the book gets the reader jump-started. 






Financial Readiness
Sound principles for successful money management
A Guideposts Outreach Publication, Copyright @2016
Link to free booklets

Being prepared—secure, confident, and ready—is critical to our Armed Forces calling. When our "financial house" is in chaos, most other areas of life soon follow. This booklet provides expert insights into breaking poor money management habits and overcoming the financial strains of deployments and unforeseen emergencies.

Guideposts and Wells Fargo have joined in partnership to create and distribute financial education material to the military. Financial Readiness is filled with useful tips and worksheets aimed at helping our veterans and returning troops increase their financial know-how.

Financial Readiness includes expert advice on these topics and more:
  • Banking Basics
  • Making Savings A Habit
  • Smart Spending
  • Budget Tips
  • Using Credit Wisely
  • Saving vs. Investing
  • Planning For Retirement
  • Financial Resource Page
  • PLUS! an inspirational Guideposts story of one veteran’s successful transition from military service to business owner


Half-Price Living
Secrets to living well on one income
Author: Ellie Kay, Copyright @ 2007

Ellie Kay, America’s Family Financial Expert ®, will show you how to cut your stress in half – and that’s just a side benefit! With the wit and wisdom of someone who has lived the ½-price lifestyle, Ellie empowers you to cut the cord to a second income. 

This easy-to-read guide gives practical steps, creative suggestions, and valuable resources to help you and your family: 
  • Cut your food bill in half! 
  • Cut your vacation expense in half! 
  • Cut your clothing costs in half! 
  • Cut your debt in half – and out! 
  • Cut your housing expenses in half! 
  • AND double your giving!


Heroes at Home
Help and hope for America's military families
Author: Ellie Kay, Copyright @ 2012

​Inspiration for active-duty military and their hometown heroes

This encouraging book is more than just a helpful guide for families on active duty. Ellie offers today's generation of families the encouragement they need as they encounter the challenges military families face, whether they're Reserves, National Guard, or full-time active duty. As the wife of an Air Force pilot and the mom of five kids, Ellie has an inside perspective on how to cope with frequent moves, be ready for imminent deployment, and stay in touch over long distances. Her sage advice and witty humor give families some sense of comfort when military life seems chaotic. Ellie is bent on ensuring our military members and families are thanked, loved, and know they are serving with support. (Command Chief Master Sergeant Vance M. Clarke, Usaf).




Living Rich for Less
Create the lifestyle you want by giving, saving, and spending smart
Author: Ellie Kay, Copyright @ 2008

So you want to own the home you love, make memories on wonderful vacations with family or friends, finance college educations, and help others too? You can--starting here and now.​

With lively humor, proven know-how, and practical principles for financial health, Living Rich for Less helps you stretch your dollars to realize the lifestyle of your dreams. Ellie Kay’s entertaining and enlightening examples show you simple steps to save, spend, and give smart, and her three main principles are undergirded by dozens of effective rules and hundreds of Cha-Ching Factor™ tips that keep or put money in your pocket.




On the Frontline
A personal guidebook for the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges of military life
Author: Tom Neven, Copyright @ 2006

The struggles and temptations our service men and women encounter are unique and beyond what civilians might ever face. Written from someone who's been there, this book addresses head-on the issues prevalent in military life: loneliness, fidelity, debt, fear and much more. It's a must-read handbook with uncompromising biblical guidance that will encourage and inspire both men and women in military service. 








Operation Enduring Finance
A servicemember's guide to credit repair
Author: Roger Lang, Copyright @ 2010

This book was designed with military members in mind--to protect the credit and finances of those who, in turn, so valiantly protect the world from terrorism.

As a battalion chaplain, former debt litigator Roger Lang saw too many fellow service members struggling beneath sizable financial burdens due to credit blemishes. These credit dings, which result in raised interest rates, often make mortgages, car loans, and other bills more difficult to manage. People in uniform, who serve our country with the most dedication, are the hardest hit.





Operation Money
A financial guide for military service members and families
Author: Jean Chatzky, Copyright @ 2014
Link to free e-book - http://www.jeanchatzky.com/operation-money/

"From investing in education and affording a home to choosing the right credit products and adequately saving for retirement, Operation Money offers military-specific advice to achieving financial stability." --Michael E. O'Neill, Chairman, Citigroup Inc., First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, 1969-1971

When it comes to money, military service members and their families face financial challenges that civilians simply don’t.

While serving on active duty, members of the military are typically asked to move every few years and must learn how to manage money during multiple deployments. And managing the finances means figuring out a way to maintain a balanced budget while communication is limited. Meanwhile, the spouse at home is essentially functioning as a single parent without the necessary skills and tools to make serving as the family’s Chief Financial Officer as easy as possible. That is, until now.

Jean Chatzky, financial editor for NBC's Today show, is here to help with Operation Money, a mission-based guide that provides detailed resources to prevent money problems before they happen; gives you the tools to manage through a tough situation if you’re already facing one; and empowers you to figure out how best to plan for your future—either in or out of the military—and then assists you in doing so.

The chapters throughout focus on saving, debt, credit, buying and financing a home, buying and financing a car, paying for college, protecting the ones you love with insurance and an estate plan, dealing with a relocation, managing money through a deployment, handling a furlough, retirement, divorce, and the financial aspects of caregiving.

With contributions from Blue Star Families, MSCNN, and other military related organizations,Operation Money is a must-read for those who serve that are looking to take charge of their financial present and future.

The enhanced edition includes video tips and advice from Jean Chatzky, as well as a bonus section featuring interviews with military spouses and veterans who share their personal financial stories with Jean.

Operation Money is published and available free-of-charge thanks to the generous support of Citi. For more information on Citi’s support for military veterans and their families, visit www.citisalutes.com.


The Little Book of Big Savings
351 practical ways to save money now
Author: Ellie Kay, Copyright @ 2009

Every month you spend money in twelve major categories. And at the end of each month, you scratch your head and wonder, Where did it all go? 

In The Little Book of Big Savings, America’s Financial Expert,® Ellie Kay, will help you uncover the extra cash just waiting to be found in every area of your life. Not only will you never again wonder where your cash went, you will have extra to save–and even to share.

Don’t mindlessly let hundreds of dollars slip out of your ATM every month. Ellie’s practical advice will show you:
  • How one phone call could save you $500 a year or more 
  • How your kids can get a great education without breaking the bank
  • Three ways your water heater can save you money
  • Why giving away money is one of the best ways to save it 
  • How to save up to 50% on your online purchases

Plus hundreds of other tips that will loosen your budget without sacrificing your lifestyle. Soon you’ll find what you want the most when it comes to your finances: peace of mind.


The Thinking Spouse's Guide to Military Life
Author: Janine Boldrin, Copyright @ 2012

Moves, deployments, and budget cuts all threaten the financial security of today's military families. To meet these challenges, all military spouses should have a solid understanding of how their military life impacts their big purchases. 

The Thinking Spouse’s Guide to Military Life, a 50 page mini-guide, will help military spouses when making buying decisions for their family.

This ebook will show you how to account for your military lifestyle when buying a home, car, home furnishings, and pets so you can avoid the common mistakes others make. You will also discover discounts, programs, and resources for your family.

Learn today what many military families only find out about after financial heartache. The Thinking Spouse's Guide to Military Life will help you make buying decisions that stand up to the changes military life can bring.
Financial readiness resources for military families

Scroll down for more information on:
Financial planning for military families
Military finance websites
Military consumer awareness
Books offering financial guidance


Financial planning for military families

First Command Financial Services
http://www.firstcommand.com/
First Command’s history begins in the late 1950s, when United States Air Force Lt. Col. Carroll Payne worked closely with the families of several crew members killed in an aircraft accident. Saddened by the survivors’ financial difficulties, and eager to help other military families effectively prepare for their financial futures, Lt. Col. Payne began laying the groundwork for the company that would become First Command.

Today, First Command Financial Services and its subsidiaries, including First Command Financial Planning, Inc., First Command Insurance Services, Inc., and First Command Bank, assist American families in their efforts to reduce debt, build wealth, and confidently pursue their financial goals and lifetime dreams. Through knowledgeable advice and coaching of the financial behaviors conducive to success, First Command Financial Advisors have built trustworthy, lasting relationships with hundreds of thousands of client families since 1958.


Military finance websites

After Deployment
http://afterdeployment.dcoe.mil/topics-financial-health
Education and tools to help military families and veterans develop and maintain good financial health.

Bankrate.com
www.bankrate.com
Bankrate, Inc. is the Web's leading aggregator of financial rate information, offering an unparalleled depth and breadth of rate data and financial content. Bankrate continually surveys approximately 4,800 financial institutions in all 50 states in order to provide clear, objective, and unbiased rates to consumers. Our flagship website, Bankrate.com, provides free rate information to consumers on more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used automobile loans, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. 

In addition to rate data, we publish original and objective personal finance stories to help consumers make informed financial decisions. Our staff of award winning reporters and editors provides expert advice on just about every major financial decision facing our readers: from purchasing their first home, to selecting a new car, to saving for retirement. 

Crown Financial Ministries
www.crown.org
Our mission: equipping people worldwide to learn, apply, and teach God’s financial principles so they may know Christ more intimately, be free to serve Him, and help fund the Great Commission.

Crown Financial Ministries®, founded in 1976, is an interdenominational ministry dedicated to equipping people around the world to learn, apply, and teach biblical financial principles. Crown has taught or equipped more than 50 million people in over 80 nations with the life-transforming message of faithfully living by God's financial principles in every area of their lives. Our vision is to see the followers of Christ in every nation faithfully living by God’s financial principles in every area of their lives.

Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace - Military Edition
www.daveramsey.com
Financial Peace University (FPU) is an intensive personal finance course that helps servicemembers strategically and effectively remove debt and build wealth. In a small-group format, this 13-lesson DVD course — taught by personal finance expert Dave Ramsey — covers everything from budgeting and paying off debt to retirement and charitable giving. 

FPU equips military personnel with the security and protection of a sound financial plan during times of activation, deployment, TDY or PCS. When servicemembers aren't preoccupied with mounting financial stress back home, they are free to focus on their duty and their unit's mission with peace-of-mind. 

The average family unit (single military member or married couple) pays off $5,300 in consumer debt and puts $2,700 into savings during the 91 day training! 

FPU classes have been held on many installations in the US and around the world since 2001.

Defense Finance and Accounting Service
www.dfas.mil
Military pay, civilian pay, retired pay, travel pay, etc.

Military Money Matters
www.military-money-matters.com
Military-Money-Matters.com is a strong advocate for America's military families. We believe helping them achieve financial freedom is one way we can express our gratitude for their service.

Our mission is to provide America's military families with reliable, accurate information to help them achieve financial freedom and quality of life on their military paychecks. We can't pay them enough for their service to our nation.

Military-Money-Matters.com is your guide to money management and financial freedom for America's military families. Written by a former Navy JAG and Navy spouse who understands the challenges faced by military families.

Military Saves
www.militarysaves.org
Military Saves is a social marketing campaign to persuade, motivate, and encourage military families to save money every month, and to convince leaders and organizations to be aggressive in promoting automatic savings. The campaign is a growing network of organizations and individuals committed to helping and supporting military members and their loved ones build personal savings arsenals to provide for their immediate and long term financial needs.

Military Saves was developed and tested by its non-profit sponsor, Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the military services from 2003 to 2006 and launched throughout the Department of Defense (DoD) on February 25, 2007. It is part of two larger campaigns -- the DoD Financial Readiness Campaign, and the national America Saves campaign.

While it is an ongoing campaign, the entire military community comes together to focus on financial readiness during Military Saves Week, the last Sunday in February to the first Sunday in March.

Paycheck Chronicles - Military.com
http://paycheck-chronicles.military.com
Welcome to Military.com's finance channel blog, hosted by military spouse and finance writer Kate Kashman. The military money experience is unique and challenging. The Paycheck Chronicles is here to help with daily tips on the special financial situations of military servicemembers and their families

Got a question or advice based on a real world money experience? Click on the "Tell Kate" link to the right and let us know about it.

The Military Wallet
www.themilitarywallet.com
The Military Wallet is a personal finance website for military members, veterans and their families. Our goal is to help the military community better how to better manage money and understand the variety of programs and benefits available to them.

Thrift Savings Plan
https://www.tsp.gov/index.shtml
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees and members of the uniformed services, including the Ready Reserve. It was established by Congress in the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986 and offers the same types of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under 401(k) plans.

The TSP is a defined contribution plan, meaning that the retirement income you receive from your TSP account will depend on how much you (and your agency, if you are eligible to receive agency contributions) put into your account during your working years and the earnings accumulated over that time.

VeteransPlus
www.veteransplus.org
Our mission is to teach service members, veterans and their families the skills necessary to better manage their finances, get control of their debt and learn how to save and invest for their futures and for their children's futures. Whether you are presently deployed overseas or completed your service many years ago, VeteransPlus is available to help you manage your financial life. Most of our team members are veterans themselves and all of them are trained to be sensitive to the issues that affect veterans, deployed military personnel and their families.


Military consumer awareness

Annual Credit Report
www.annualcreditreport.com
This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

AnnualCreditReport.com is the official site to help consumers to obtain their free credit report.

Better Business Bureau Military Line
http://www.bbbmarketplacetrust.org/category/291048/military-and-veterans
Since 2004, BBB Military Line has provided free resources to our military communities in the areas of financial literacy and consumer protection through the efforts of 116 BBBs across the U.S. 

The five main components of the program are:
  • Education - Many Local BBBs on and around military installations teach financial readiness classes to service members.
  • Outreach - We attend and support community fairs, conferences and other events, speaking with service members and distributing information.
  • Information - Our website provides a one stop shop for articles, links and consumer alerts for each branch of service. Check out our resources page for free consumer guides written just for military members and find us on Facebook and Twitter. 
  • Data Collection - We analyze BBB data to help identify the threats and needs of our military community in the marketplace.
  • Complaint and Dispute Resolution - Filing a complaint with BBB helps military consumers resolve disputes and alert us to issues affecting the military community at large.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
http://www.consumerfinance.gov/servicemembers/
Servicemembers should be able to accomplish their mission without worrying about illegal or harmful financial practices. The Office of Servicemember Affairs is here to ensure that military personnel and their families have a voice at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Military life can have some extra challenges that can sometimes have powerful financial repercussions.

How to create a strong password (and remember it)
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/how-to-create-a-strong-password--and-remember-it.html
You can create strong passwords that don’t make you memorize a cryptic string of letters, numbers, and punctuation symbols.

Books​ offering financial guidance

Benita Koeman of Operation We Are Here is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. When you purchase a product that is linked to Amazon, I earn a small commission which in turn helps me to continue with my mission of providing resources to the military community and military supporters. Learn more...
Financial readiness resources for military families