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Personal Finance Management

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Personal Financial Management (PFM): Sounds complicated!

Really, it's not. PFM is just the Navy's program aimed at helping you, the Navy family, achieve your financial goals. (And don't worry if you don't have any financial goals. They can help you set them.)

Why?

Why does the Navy care about your financial goals? Think about it. If the military member develops personal problems, he or she will be distracted from his or her Navy job. The Navy knows this and has charged commanders with ensuring that Sailors and families are encouraged to practice sound money management techniques. This is so important to the Navy, they have an OPNAV (this acronym stands for a regulation from the Chief of Naval Operations staff) that mandates Personal Financial Management.

What does this mean to you?

Look at Sally Sailor (not her real name), a 25-year old Jacksonville, Florida based Navy aircraft mechanic. Sally had unexpected expenses and needed $300. She went to a well-known local company for a loan to cover her until pay day. On payday, she didn't have enough money in her paycheck to cover her regular bills plus this cash advance, so she went to another local company for an additional loan. She wrote several more checks totaling $390 to cover the original $325 advance plus fees. Five months later, she was writing checks totaling $2950 to cover the "floats" created by the $300 loan.

But this couldn't happen to you! Or could it?

With education and guidance, the Navy hopes this doesn't happen to any of its Sailors or family members!

In November 1990, the Navy mandated financial education, training, and counseling for Navy personnel with the issuance of OPNAVINST 1740.5. This instruction mandates the Personal Financial Management (PFM) Education, Training and Counseling Program. In a cost conscious Navy, the PFM program makes good business sense for the bottom line. The Navy's Personal Financial Management Education Program is designed to prevent potential personal problems that could cost valuable time and money and could detract from mission readiness. Now, in its third revision, OPNAVINST 1740.5B, dated 7 May 2007, continues to mandate the Navy's PFM program.

The Fleet and Family Support Center offers a variety of Navy programs aimed at helping you and your family achieve your financial goals. These (PFM) Personal Financial Management programs help you put your dreams of financial freedom, buying a car, a home, or sending your child to college within reach. The free information and advice is available from Certified Financial Educators working for FFSC. Check out some of the valuable information offered by the FFSC to make sure you remain financially ready!

Call the Fleet and Family Support Center at (228) 871-3000 for more information.

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