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FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellow Profiles

Teri MaceTeresa ("Teri") Mace
Minot, North Dakota

"I can tell you how you can make a dollar stretch. Simple math is not always one plus one. Sometimes one plus one—planned right—equals enough smiles and laughter to last a life time."

If there is one thing Teri Mace has experience with, it's being part of a military family. Her grandfather served, both of her parents were active duty Air Force, her brother enlisted when he turned 18 and her husband is a sergeant in the Air Force stationed at Minot Air Force Base.

Growing up in a small town in Oklahoma, penny pinching was a way of life. When Teri came across an advertisement for the FINRA Foundation's Military Spouse Fellowship Program, she saw it as a great opportunity to showcase her financial skills and help other members of the military during these tough economic times. She was also excited about the opportunity to receive additional education and gain internship experience.

Teri volunteered her time at the Airmen and Family Readiness Center on Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, where she counseled military families on how to fill out tax forms and became particularly interested in credit issues. She also used many of the resources available through the Foundation's website, SaveAndInvest.org, such as the ‘Manage your Money' information and the ‘Savings Calculator' to help military servicemembers solve their financial problems.

She later found an internship at a law firm where she exchanged her experience helping families attain their financial goals for knowledge about the current and changing credit laws for military families.

The Accredited Financial Counselor® designation has not only opened doors for Teri academically and professionally, but it has provided her with a newfound passion for personal finance and freeing families from financial stress. The fellowship has sparked Teri's interest in such a way "that it's hard for me to stay grounded sometimes. It's more than just excitement, it's a passion."

"I know that I have a lot more to learn, but it's just so exciting," said Teri. "There is such a need in the military community for this information, and I'm excited that I can be the one to help. I'm just dipping my toes in the water, but the water's great, and I'm ready to dive in."

Since earning her accreditation, Teri has earned a bachelor’s degree in family finance and would like to become a full-time financial counselor at Minot Air Force Base. Her dream is to become a preventative financial counselor and help military families avoid getting into financial trouble, instead of counseling them after a financial crisis. The key, she says, is education and planning.

"I can tell you how you can make a dollar stretch." Teri said. "Simple math is not always one plus one. Sometimes one plus one—planned right—equals enough smiles and laughter to last a life time."