Episode 46 – Making the Most of Your Military Benefits and Avoiding Financial Pitfalls

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This week on the show we speak with Lacey Langford. She is the founder of LaceyLangford.com a personal finance blog and a boutique financial coaching practice specializing in the unique world of the United States military.

Lacey is also the founder and host of The Military Money Show, a podcast all about money and military. She’s a U.S. Air Force Veteran, Milspouse, financial coach, speaker, and writer who changes people’s lives from being fearful of money to having control and confidence with it. 

In today’s episode, we wanted to focus on some of the common missteps she sees with young people entering the military and how she helps set them us for a secure financial future. 

The most common mistakes she sees with young military personnel – lifestyle creep and overspending.  As well as not saving their money.

She says – Cars are kryptonite!  We absolutely agree. 

A major pitfall for young service members is getting into a car purchase right away.  Getting a vehicle with money that is not “cemented.” In spite of high interest rates and high payments.  Then, when they are no longer deployed they can no longer afford the payments.  It’s a common problem and when she advises young services members avoid at all costs. 

When Lacey is counseling military service members for the first time there are a few critical steps she discusses first.  She recommends:

  1. Create a  Financial Layout – know exactly how much money you have coming in (pay and allowances) and what is going out.  It’s simple but keeping it simple is the best way to go. That is the basic foundation of your financial success. You can then adjust from there.
  2. Create boundaries. You cannot have a blank check for everything.
  3. You don’t have to keep up with other people.
  4. You have to save your money and spend less than you earn.  You are saving for your current self and your 80-year-old self.




Tips for young people wanting to enlist:


  1. Score as high as possible on the ASVAB – it will create more job opportunities for you. 
  2. Have your job choice solidified before you enter. 



Some of the great resources available to service members: 

Retirement benefits: Not only a pension after 20 years but a TSP (like a 401K) with up to a 5% match.  

The benefit of contributing to TSP – get the match.  That is a 50% ROI right off the top.

If you separate from the military, you can roll over the TSP account as a civilian.

On deployment utilize the Savings Deposit Program – available after 30 days “n country/in theater” and will pay 10%

Use all the services available: free trees, lending closets, taxes free, free financial counselors,

Military One Source – they will find you free counselors in your area

Take your installation tour! Valuable Intel.  They are pointing out where all of these resources are.


Lacey on the Final Questions:

One money lesson from childhood = debt takes away your freedom

One Lesson She Wants to Pass on To Her Children: Spend less than you make, but don’t forget to invest it. 

Sometimes in Life – You Have to Do Things Scared! 


Where to Find Lacey: 



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Take the Stairs – by Rory Vader

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Plutus Nominations – 

To nominate our show for the Best New Podcast of the Year, click here and enter “Houseoffi.com” in the Best New Podcast of the Year category.


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Connect with us and each other.  Our group is full of other parents on the same journey.  We built our group to share and support one another and grow our House of FI family!

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