Military Money-Life Blog

4 Reasons You and Your Spouse Fight About Money

No one likes to fight about money, but relationships and finances can be tricky. You’re building your life together and planning for the future. There are kids, family, jobs, and your goals to manage in addition to taking care of your relationship. Money isn’t the most important aspect of your...Read More »


3 Places the Military Gets Free Financial Counseling

A financial counselor is a great resource if you need help with your finances, whether you have questions about budgeting, the TSP, or getting out of debt. Even if you’re comfortable with managing your money, a financial counselor may still be a good idea for you. Someone with financial expertise...Read More »


How I Answered My Niece's Question About Saving and Managing Money

Last week, I was excited to get an email from my 12-year-old niece. She wanted my advice on saving and managing money she earned from babysitting. I was excited, to say the least

— Today I’m sharing a guest post from Denise Duffield-Thomas. If you feel like you’ve been repeating the same old money patterns, again and again, no matter how much income you bring in (or don’t bring in), this is going to be the post for you!—

 

You know the feeling you...Read More »


How To Kick Overwhelm In The Butt

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on break. It was a self-imposed time out. Right after we moved into our new house, I reached a point where I was on overwhelm overload. Between getting moved in, family life, my volunteer commitments, my business, and my contract with the Navy, I...Read More »


4 Tax Tools For Active Duty Military

It’s that time of the year, tax time. Are you excited to get some money back? Or are you stressed you might have to pay Uncle Sam this year? The good news is, there are tax tools for active duty military to make the task of doing taxes easier.

I’ve been...Read More »


Resource Review-Xero

Today I want to share a resource I’ve been trying out for my business. It’s an online accounting software, Xero. It’s a practical tool for small businesses—I’m talking to you military spouses. The military has a high number of spouses owning a small business that they take with them every...Read More »


5 TSP Mistakes You're Making

You’re doing the right thing, saving for your retirement.  The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a great tool to use for earning more money for your future. Because making money is what you want to do.  But there are mistakes you can make that will reduce the money you have...Read More »


5 Good Money Habits We Practice for Financial Success

Financial success comes from practicing good money habits.  Unfortunately, those habits don’t just fall in your lap. First, you have to know what they are and second, start practicing them, which takes time and effort.  But by doing so, it will make your money-life easier and less stressful in the...Read More »


The Essential Financial Checkup You Need To Do Today

Throughout the year life gets crazy. We have to take care of work, family, kids, church, sports, and the list goes on. Because of all of that, our financial life gets put on the back burner.

 

But it’s a new year with new beginnings—the perfect time to do a little financial...Read More »


Finish Strong With An End Of Year Review

The end of 2016 is here, and it’s time for an end of year review.  This year has been a roller coaster for me. Now that I think of it, it’s been crazy since the end of 2014 when my husband started his terminal leave from the Army. Since then,...Read More »


4 Steps For A Financial New Year

The New Year is upon us and with it comes the opportunity for a financial New Year.  How you manage money can change this year with some tweaks to they way you’re doing things.

 

Four Steps to Have A Financial New Year

 

1. Goal Setting

Take the time to set financial goals for...Read More »


Military Couples Should Live Off One Income

I know what it’s like to be one-half of a military couple. It’s a unique dynamic that you can’t fully appreciate until you’ve lived it. Following your Servicemember’s career, living on one income, supporting them and therefore, the mission from home. You know…keeping the home fires burning.

 

When you’re married and...Read More »


Setting My Very First Saving's Goal

Today, I want to share my very first saving’s goal. Setting not only goals but also financial goals plays a significant role in money management. Goal setting starts with a dream or a want but what makes it a goal is writing that want down and formulating a plan to...Read More »


What To Do When You Forget To Pay A Bill

It’s best to have a personal standard to pay bills in full, on time. But, stuff happens in life—things come up. Sometimes people make mistakes. It’s happened to me, I’ve forgotten to pay bills.

 

Right before the birth of our first child, we were just like every new parent and wanted...Read More »


The Difference Between Traditional Vs Roth Accounts

What The Heck Wednesday is an opportunity for me to answer questions people ask me about money, military, and personal finance. A while ago, I did What The Heck Wednesday on my Facebook page but stopped for some unknown reason. Well, I’m not only bringing it back—I’m bringing it...Read More »


How To Start Using The Thrift Savings Plan

The Thrift Savings Plan, aka the TSP, is the government’s version of a 401k. Even though it’s been around since the end of the 80s, many Service members still don’t use this opportunity to save for retirement. In my experience financially coaching and counseling members of the services, I’ve found...Read More »


2 Tips For The Stock Market And A Katy Perry Song

It may come as somewhat of a surprise to you but, I think Katy Perry wrote a song about the stock market. Yes, the craziness of people’s relationship with the market is summed up by the lyrics in her song, Hot N Cold. Read them and see if you disagree.

 

Read More »

Acorns and Digit Update

Since it’s Friday and I’ve been excited about my investments the past week, I wanted to share my Acorns and Digit update with you. I’m still having a good time watching both of these accounts grow. What started out as a research project has turned into a source...Read More »


The Military's New Blended Retirement System

Updated 10 May 2017 with more information and links.

The Department of Defense (DoD) is rolling out a new Blended Retirement System (BRS) on January 1, 2018.  At the base, the BRS is similar to how the current (or its new name, the legacy system) works.  There’s a group of military...Read More »


6 Things I've Learned From Being a Financial Coach

Helping people manage their personal finances is a rewarding career. My passion and desire to find out more on the subject led me to pursue and education in finance. Of course, education and passion only get you so far. The experience working one-on-one with clients is where all the training...Read More »


7 Things To Know About Digit Savings

People often tell me they’re unable to save money for emergencies or to buy things they want. Of course, I understand, saving money isn’t much fun and can be a source of frustration. One rule of thumb is to have at least $1,000 saved for emergencies. Many people don’t have...Read More »


5 Things Every Woman Should Know About Money

Not all the time but, sometimes women shy away from being in control of their finances. It depends on the person, but it could be because of the way they’ve grown up with money, or maybe they just don’t have an interest in it. No matter the reason, it’s understandable...Read More »


What Financial Health Means To Me

Withstanding and being resilient to the financial consequences of life’s curve balls is what financial health means to me.

 

Things happen in life. It’s not “if” they’ll happen but when and how much it’s going to cost. It’s in these times that your financial health is put to the test. Just...Read More »


The 5 Things You Should Do To Fix Relationship Money Problems

When it comes to relationships, money can be a problem. In fact, when couples reach out to me to help with their finances, the number one catalyst for them to call me is because they need to fix relationship money problems, to reach their goals.  But, that’s not what they...Read More »


Investing Your Extra Change - Acorns Review

I’ve been waiting patiently to give you my Acorns Review, a company I’ve been trying out for the last thirty-seven days. Acorns, helps you invest smaller amounts of money, spare change to be more exact. They connect with an account or card of your choosing that you frequently use, then...Read More »


3 Reasons Why Change Can Bring You More Money

A lot of us are fearful of change. I’m not talking about being scared of the coins you have stuffed in your sofa—I mean being afraid of something different from the way you normally do things.  People fear change because change is uncomfortable.  We’re used to our routines and prefer...Read More »


Picking The Best 529 Plan-College Savings Day

529 College Savings Day is on 5/29/2106, get it 5-29. In honor of the day, this post is all about picking the best 529 plan for you to save for your children’s college education. Before I get into it, there’s one important piece of information to go over.

Retirement savings comes...Read More »

Learning To Be Your Own Financial Person

We’re all in different places when it comes to our money. Many factors cause this, age, education, upbringing, and hustle to name some. No matter where you’re at with money, it can be easy to compare yourself to others, for better or worse. We’re all guilty of breaking the “Thou...Read More »


Sometimes The Money's Not Worth Your Time

I’m all about earning extra money—anything from cleaning to selling stuff online but sometimes the money’s not worth your time.”  This may be a surprising statement coming from a person that deals with money-life all the time, but it’s true

Recently, I’ve been scaling back on the extra crap filling my house....Read More »


Easiest Way to Figure Out Your Financial Life

When I meet new clients for the first time, there’s a lot to go over. I need to hear all that’s going on in their financial life before I can start to make recommendations and a plan to improve the situation. What’s the total amount of debt you have? Who...Read More »


How Much Money Should I Be Saving?

I know it, you know it, everyone knows it—you should be saving a portion of your monthly income. If we all know it, why isn’t everyone doing it? It’s because saving money is easier said than done. It takes sacrifice, discipline, and patience. There’s also the question of “How Much...Read More »


What 40-Year Olds With No Retirement Savings Should Do

If your 40s and your retirement have snuck up on you, it’s time to shake off the effects of the surprise and get to work. This is a “what 40-year olds with no retirement savings should do” guide. When you’re in the state of financial overwhelm some steps to begin...Read More »


4 Low-Stress Ways to Save For Your Retirement

Planning ahead isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It can be stressful to think about the future and then take the necessary steps to see the plan through. It can be especially stressful when it’s not a topic you’re passionate about, let’s say saving money or retirement for example. Since I’m...Read More »


2 Step Guide to Loaning Family Money

Recently, I’ve had multiple questions on the topic of loaning money to family money. Each issue was different but all on the topic of helping out family financially. After a few, I realized that my responses had the same two core steps to make lending to loved ones go smoother....Read More »


How To Kick Your Money Woes

Worrying about money can get old. It’s time-consuming, and it amplifies money problems. Setting up a system to kick your money woes will allow you to focus on bringing more money into your life.

Here’s an outline to stop the cycle of money woes.

Wrap your mind around...Read More »

6 Estate Planning Documents You Need

If you were in a coma or heaven forbid were killed you don’t want family worrying or worse, fighting about what you want or who should do what. You’ll want your loved ones to be with each other during a difficult time and make it easier for them by having...Read More »


#ASKGARYVEE Book Giveaway-Update

The winners have been contacted and are announced below!

It’s a book giveaway!

Because the new #AskGaryVee book came out today, I’m giving away two new copies.  

If you don’t know who Gary Vaynerchuk is, he’s the marketing and business guru better...Read More »


4 Words That Will Save You Money

This may sound surprising to you, but there are four words that will save you money.

It’s so simple, but oddly enough no one uses them to save. I’m not sure if it’s because they don’t know if they can use them or if it’s because their embarrassed. Either...Read More »


Make Saving Money Automatic

Since today starts America and Military Saves week, I thought it the perfect time to grab you by the shoulders to say, “make saving money automatic, doggone it!”

Paying yourself first or saving before you do anything else is the most important part of building wealth.

That’s...Read More »


6 Reasons Why You Never Have Money

Do you ever wonder why you never have money?  It’s no fun to have that feeling but most of the time a little self-reflection and action will help it to start appearing. Look at what you can do to improve your cash flow.

6 Reasons Why You...Read More »

The Tax Advantages of IRAs and 401ks

Now don’t be scared of the term tax advantage, it just means there’s a tax bonus for investing in IRAs and 401ks. The bonus could be delaying paying taxes until you withdraw the money, paying taxes on it now instead of when you take the money out or a tax...Read More »


Investing Series Part 2- Places Beginners Invest

In investing or anything financial for that matter, there’s a lot of information to take in, and that’s why I’m breaking it down in an invest series. I began the discussion of investing in Part 1 of my investing series, Thinking About Investing. This week, it’s all about...Read More »


Investing Series Part 1-Thinking About Investing?

Are you thinking about investing?

Has it been yet, another thing on your “To Do List?” Well, you’ll be happy to know, answering three questions can lay the groundwork for the investment of your hard-earned money. If you’ve already dove in the investing pool, these steps can help improve...Read More »


4 Ways to Stay Resilient When In Debt

Your mindset plays a large role in getting through the process of getting out of debt.

Debt can feel daunting, but it’s something you can overcome. There are going to be times when you’re frustrated and want to lie down and have a pity party but don’t. All...Read More »


Being Disorganized Could Be Costing You Money

You may not know it but being disorganized could be costing you money. When you have piles or bags of papers lying around, it’s easy for things to get lost. Maybe you were sent a rebate check or a reminder for a bill. When you toss those into your leaning...Read More »


4 Bad Money Habits to Kick in 2016

The New Year is underway, and I’ve been thinking about changing bad habits 2016.

In honor of the bad habits I’m trying to quit in 2016, I thought I’d go over four bad money habits to kick in 2016. When you’re attempting to improve how you handle...Read More »


Starting A Financial New Year

It’s hard to believe, but the New Year is here!

As with all the other years gone by, everyone’s talking about dreaded New Year’s resolutions. Some are ready to face the beginning of the year head on—proud to announce their list of things to accomplish. Others may still...Read More »


Saving For Christmas 2016

This shouldn’t be a shock, but Christmas comes every year.

 

Of course, you probably already know this. But, if we all know, then why don’t we have all the money to pay for Christmas presents up front? How come most of us borrow and use credit to make it...Read More »


Create Money Boundaries

Because it’s muy importante (thank you high school Spanish), I talk a lot about setting goals. To plan money with purpose you need to know where you’re going, what your goals are, but it’s equally important to know where you’re not willing to go financially (your money boundaries), to stay...Read More »


3 Steps To Begin Managing Money

Deciding to make changes in how you do anything in life can be difficult. You’re set in your ways; you have a method of doing things…you’re snuggly under a security blanket.  It can be especially scary to alter how you are managing money because, the fear of change can feel...Read More »


Do You Have An Emergency Fund?

If you’re wondering what the heck’s an emergency fund, it’s around 3-6 months of your necessary living expenses (NLE) placed in a savings account for the unexpected costs in your life. When I say NLE, I mean paying your mortgage or rent to have a roof over your head or...Read More »


Why I Love Sara Blakely

As people close to me know, I like to bring up Sara Blakely whenever possible…I love her! I say a lot of “Sara does this,” “Sara does that,” or “Sara wouldn’t do that,” as if we’re friends. If you don’t know my dream business buddy, she’s the inventor of Spanx,...Read More »


Four Secrets to Improve Money in Relationships

Do you want four secrets to improve money in relationships?

Money in relationships can be a touchy subject. When money difficulties develop, they seep into every aspect of your relationship and become hot buttons. This can make it difficult to fix problems because you’d prefer to avoid...Read More »


Get Yourself Out of Debt

Want to get yourself out of debt?  It sucks to be in debt, and I know it. By the time I was 21, my credit card debt was $10,000. I remember the exact amount because $10,000 was my credit card limit and it was maxed out. Based on what I...Read More »


How to Cut Your Costs

While I was getting my business-finance degree at UNCW, I learned a key point in business that’s relevant to managing your personal finances, and that’s “keep costs low.” Now you may be thinking, “I’m not running a business, Lacey,” but I respectfully disagree. I don’t care if it’s just you...Read More »


How to Create a Basic Budget

A budget is a plan for how you’ll manage your money by tracking the dollars you earn and spend. Rule número uno in making a budget is…do what works for you. Trying to use your BFF’s method of a spiral notebook with a bunch of colored tabs may not be...Read More »


How Money Makes Memories

On a walk yesterday, I was thinking about how money can have different meanings to each person and how a big part of that comes from the way you are raised to think about money (what can I say, I am a thinker). Seeing how each of your parents manages...Read More »