FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellow Profiles
“I do my best to offer practical and useful information—I want those I counsel to be able to use the tips and tricks I give them.”
Stacey Pennington loved going to the bank with her father as a child.
"I loved checking my savings deposit books; I loved to put money in and watch it grow," Stacey said.
It was this inherent love for saving and financial planning that inspired Stacey to apply for the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program. She wanted to learn how to make her money "work smarter, not harder"—and pass that knowledge on to others. She received her Financial Counselor accreditation in 2008.
Stacey has been married to her husband for almost 13 years, crisscrossing the country thanks to multiple Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves. No matter where they have lived, they have always been committed to setting financial goals together, including one to become debt-free after her husband's first deployment—a goal they were able to accomplish.
"To get to where you want to be financially, it's important to set goals. Obviously, your background can make a difference—if you're a spender or saver—but setting goals is important," Stacey said.
In her work with servicemembers and their families, Stacey has found that helping them understand the importance of goal-setting and a commitment to those goals can significantly improve their financial wellbeing. She currently serves as a Financial Counselor in Survivor Outreach Services at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
As a financial counselor and military spouse, encouraging servicemembers to look toward the future is an important component of her role. Stacey has worked with servicemembers, including her own husband, to make retirement goal-setting an important focus of their financial health. "Most soldiers' mentality with deployment is the current day," Stacey said. "They often don't look toward the future."
By giving servicemembers the tools to understand important financial concepts, they can develop an ability to better control their finances. "I do my best to offer practical and useful information—I want those I counsel to be able to use the tips and tricks I give them," Stacey said.
Currently, Stacey is looking forward to using her accreditation to continue helping servicemembers manage their finances.