Take charge of your money with the Personal Financial Management Program

11 Aug 2016 | Cpl. Mark Watola Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Service members looking to take control of their finances, save more money or eliminate debt can take advantage of Marine Corps Community Service’s Personal Financial Management Program.

"The importance of financial management for service members is to ensure that we’re living within our income and not accumulating debt," said David Kendall, Marine Corps Air Station New River personal financial management specialist.

While there are resources such as the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Operation Homefront or the Semper Fi Fund, the Personal Financial Management Program allows service members to sit down one-on-one with a personal financial program team member for counseling or assistance.

"The Personal Financial Management Program assists military members in achieving and sustaining personal financial readiness," said Maribel Lee, Marine Corps Community Services personal financial manager. "We do this by providing training, education, counseling and coaching and providing financial information and referral for military members and their families."

While the program primarily focuses on assisting military members and their families, personnel with base access can access services when staff is available.

"Finances permeate all aspects of life," said Lee. "An unstable financial foundation can lead to debt issues that can affect a service member’s career, personal life and wallet. We are here to assist not only with the budgeting aspect of personal finance but with consumer awareness as well. The best way to avoid financial difficulties is to be educated."

The program also hosts workshops including taking control of your finances, money "habitudes," credit and debt management, car buying, investment basics, understanding your thrift savings plan and home buying and selling.

They also provide unit briefs for pre-deployment and post-deployment workshops. Commanders and unit leaders can also request support for professional military education finance briefs and command financial specialist courses.

"(Our) personnel have assisted service members with cash flow management, debt reduction/elimination, building a savings safety net, and with fundamental investing advice," said Lee. "We have assisted military members with issues such as security clearance concerns, transition concerns resulting from end of active service or retirement and home mortgage concerns."

For more information, contact PFMP at or visit