Military and Family Support Center - Personal Financial Management Program - Air Force and Navy
4827 Bougainville Drive
Honolulu, HI 96818-3174
Phone (DSN) 315-474-1999
Fax (DSN) 808-474-1997
Personal Financial Management Program
Financial counseling is provided at the Military and Family Support Center (MFSC) by financial educators, who provide financial guidance and counseling to personnel experiencing money management difficulties, or for those who wish to be in control of their finances. Information and assistance are also available for one-on-one counseling, in areas such as military pay and allowances, consumer rip-offs, savings, insurance, car buying, home buying, credit card management, and more. Call the MFSC at 808-474-1999 for an appointment.
The following Financial Preparedness workshops are offered periodically throughout the calendar year:
Call 808-474-1999 to register for the workshops or sign up on Great Life Hawaii.
MFSC is the training site for the Navy's Command Financial Specialist Program. Service members, in pay grades E6 and above, are trained to assist members and families of their commands/departments. This program emphasizes personal financial responsibility and accountability by providing basic principles and practices of sound money management, counseling tools and referral services. This training is held periodically throughout the year. Contact the MFSC for information.
It is not a good idea to take an advance on your basic pay, you are liable for repayment of this advance and the payback will reduce the amount on monthly pay you receive, sometimes drastically. However, you do want to take advantage of your opportunity to take advance travel pay. This would normally include Mileage Allowance in Lieu of Transportation (MALT), when driving to your new duty assignment, plus per diem (a dollar amount times the authorized number of travel days.) You also want to request Dislocation Allowance (DLA), if you are eligible. You do not have to repay DLA. Check with your pay office for details.
Cost of Living
Hawaii has a high cost of living. Some estimates place the cost of living expense at thirty-eight percent (38%) higher than the mainland. Housing, food, car insurance and gasoline are among the high-cost items. Because of this, personnel in Hawaii receive a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). COLA is based on your pay grade.
Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) is authorized in nearly all of Hawaii's hotels. TLA entitlement requires your Command's reporting endorsement on your orders. Within two working days upon arrival in Hawaii be sure to have your orders stamped at the Housing Office. You will not be reimbursed for any TLA expenses if you do not have this stamp. With the high cost of living in Hawaii you will need hotel and meal expenses for the first ten days until the government reimburses you. Some hotels in the Pearl Harbor area will extend credit the first ten days. Ask hotels about their payment/reimbursement policy before you make reservations. Hawaii State Tax law allows an exemption for the "Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT)," often mistakenly called a hotel room tax, for military personnel on permanent duty assignment including those military persons who receive temporary lodging allowance while seeking accommodations in Hawaii or while awaiting reassignment outside of Hawaii. Ask your 'Sponsor' to obtain the "Exemption Certificate Tax on Occupancy of Hotel" from your "Command Pass Coordinator (CPC)." You should be sure to have plenty of travelers' checks if you do not have available credit on a major credit card. Ask your sponsor for tips on the initial costs.
First month rent in advance and security deposit equal to one month rent ($1,600 - $2,400 TOTAL), are required by Hawaii State Law if you must seek housing other than government quarters. The government provides you with Dislocation Allowance (DLA) to help offset these costs, however, you may want to consider an advance on your pay before arriving in Hawaii.
Temporary lodging on base costs run from $35.00 to $100.00 per night. If you stay off base while you are on TLA, civilian hotels will charge you the TLA rate that varies based on the number of family members and children over the age of 12. You or your sponsor will need to call the hotel directly and specify you need the "TLA" rate. Otherwise you may be charged more and not be reimbursed for the extra cost. Also, please remember that you are reimbursed by the government which means you must pay the bill out of your own pocket and then turn in the receipt to get paid back. Ensure you have enough money to pay your bill first.
The average monthly rent for an apartment or home ranges from $1700.00 to $3250.00. The average cost to buy a home, runs from $340K for a townhouse to $550K for a 3-bedroom home. The average monthly utility bills are $140.00 to $300.00. Ask your 'Sponsor' to obtain the "Request for Waiver of Security Deposit" from your command, for gas, home telephone, and/or electricity if you will be residing off-base in the civilian community.
Transit time for POV shipments range from 21-35 days from CONUS. You may need to rent a car until your shipped vehicle arrives. The best rates usually are available in advance; all the national car rental agencies rent vehicles in Hawaii.
Hawaii is a considered a "no-fault state", which means your motor vehicle insurance company will pay the bills for your injuries and your passengers' injuries up to the personal injury protection benefits ("PIP") limit. You cannot sue or be sued unless there are serious injuries. Because "no-fault" applies to injuries, not to vehicles or property, the driver-at-fault in an accident is responsible for damages to vehicle and property.
Your minimum motor vehicle insurance policy must have protection for you and your passengers of $10,000 per person personal injury protection benefits. This is for paying medical and rehabilitative costs.
Your mandatory coverage also includes a $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident bodily injury liability and a $10,000 per occurrence property damage liability. These cover damages for the injured party when you are at-fault in an accident.
Not all insurance companies provide this type of insurance; please check with your company. To register your car in Hawaii you must have an insurance card as proof of insurance.
Car Purchase in Hawaii
The state of Hawaii contractual law currently allows financial lenders (state regulated banks, credit unions, financial association) to prevent military personnel from removing their automobiles, financed in Hawaii, to their new duty stations when they PCS. Under state law, it is unlawful for any person to remove an automobile from Hawaii unless written authorization of the legal owner has been obtained. This law applies to any military member who finances an automobile in Hawaii and signs a "separate written agreement" at the time of purchase. This agreement requires the service member to obtain consent from the seller or lender before the service member may remove the vehicle from Hawaii. If you are planning on buying a new car and hope to ship it to your next assignment, try to avoid the automobile removal policy by financing your vehicle through a credit union or bank that will let you take your car off island. Arrange for financing before shopping for your car.
Should you encounter a situation where you need emergency financial assistance, while in transit and near a military installation, contact the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society or the Air Force Aid Society. If you need assistance to locate the other military relief agencies call the American Red Cross, Armed Forces Emergency Service Center at 1-877-272-7337.
Other sources of assistance may include the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, American Legion, Veteran's of Foreign Wars (VFW).
Additional Financial Resources
Some additional resources to assist in your financial planning include:
|Airman's Attic||Provides services for Air Force E-9 and Below and Navy E-5 and Below. Free clothing, children's toys, furniture, and miscellaneous items. Located in Bldg 1723, Joint Base Pearl Harbor, on Hickam Field. The Attic often receives large loads of items such as televisions and beds from local hotels. Call for hours 808-449-5677.|
|Housing Services Office||
The Housing Services Office (HSO) provides a wide range of services. These include in-depth briefings on renting in the community, lease review, complaint mediation, discrimination complaint processing, inspecting rentals for adequacy, rental listings, BAH rates, school information, in-depth maps
The HSO location is Building 950, 215 Duck Road, Schofield Barracks, HI 96857. Assistance is provided from 8 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday except 9:30 AM to 4 PM on Thursdays. For more information, contact the HSO office at: 808-655-3073 - 3077 and 3079/3080
|Consumer Credit Counseling Services(CCS)||Provides long term planning for debt management. Negotiates with creditors for lower payments 808-532-3225, Outer Islands toll-free number 1-800-801-5999.|
|Food Stamps||Call for food stamp eligibility guidelines, 808-643-1643/808-586-8048/8047|
|Hickam Federal Credit Union||One of the financial institutions serving Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam; offers a full range of financial services, from dividend-bearing checking accounts and competitive savings accounts to IRAs, debit cards and auto or personal loans. 808-423-1391|
|Child and Youth Program Resources and Referral Office (formerly Kid's Line)||Resource referral for child care. Provides application for subsidized child care. MCYfirst|
|Legal Office||Emergency legal guidance. Preparation of wills, guidance regarding issues of divorce; rights and responsibilities. Call for walk-in hours, 808-473-1410/4717|
Legal Aid Society of Hawaii
|Provides low-cost legal services for income-eligible individuals, 808-536-4302|
|Sailor's Attic||Open to E-1 through E-5. Free clothing, children's toys, furniture, and miscellaneous items. Located in Building 1514, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, on Naval Base Pearl Harbor. Open Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.|
|Women, Infants and Children (WIC)||A nutrition program that also provides checks for supplemental food items for pregnant or lactating mothers and children aged 0 - 5; 808-586-8175|
Air Force Specific through the Air Force Aid Society
The Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) program is located on Hickam Field, Building 1105, 808-449-0301, and provides financial assistance for emergency needs. Categories of assistance include emergency travel, food, rent, utilities, essential car repair, and certain medical and dental care expenses
|Bundles for Baby||Expecting Active Duty Air Force personnel qualify for a free layette valued at $75 when they attend the Military and Family Support Center "New Moms and Dads" class. This class offers pregnancy, parenting, and financial information|
|Car Care Because We Care||First-term Airmen and family members of those deployed may qualify for free oil change. See your Airman and Family Readiness Center for a voucher|
|Child Care for PCS||Air Force members PCSing to any AF base qualify for 20 hours of free childcare per child in an on-base Federal Child Care (FCC) licensed home. Bring a copy of orders to the Airman and Family Readiness Center, Bldg 1105, to obtain a voucher|
|Child Care for Volunteers||Air Force dependents who volunteer with an on-base agency may qualify for free child care, but not for the purpose of resale (thrift shop) or social activities.|
|Give Parents a Break||Families of deployed members, single parents, and those with special needs or special circumstances qualify for one free night of child care per month (five hours). Contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center or your First Sergeant for a referral. Child care is offered at the Child Development Center and Youth Center in conjunction with Parents Night Out|
|Respite Care||If you or a family member is enrolled in the Special Needs Identification program, you may qualify for respite care. Contact the Mental Health Flight, 808-448-6377, for details|
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