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United States Navy
Military and Family Support Center - Personal Financial Management Program - Air Force and Navy
4827 Bougainville Drive
Honolulu, HI 96818-3174
Resources are available to help you understand and manage your finances, including one-on-one financial counseling to assist you and your family with financial readiness. Services are designed to focus on money management issues throughout your active-duty lifecycle and into retirement. Financial readiness educational opportunities range from basic planning to long-term investing. Check out the information below to see what’s available at your installation.
Some additional resources to assist in your financial planning include:
Legal Aid Society of Hawaii
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 or E5 with 6 Years time in service, 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 of 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 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, if you are eligible. You do not have to repay DLA. Check with your Command Pay and Personnel Administrator Office for details.
Hawaii has a high cost of living. Some estimates place the cost of living expense 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. 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 ($2,400 - $3,600 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 cost to buy a home, runs from $340K for a townhouse to $550K for a 3-bedroom home. The average monthly utility bills are $250.00 to $450.00. 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. You must be 21 years of age to rent a vehicle. Ages 21 - 24 may be subject to an additional $25 a day surcharge.
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 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.
Airman and Family Readiness Flight
The Air Force Aid Society program is located on Hickam Field in Building 1105 and provides financial assistance for emergency needs. You can reach the AFAS by phone at 808-449-0301. Categories of assistance include, but are not limited to, emergency travel, food, rent, utilities, essential car repair and certain medical and dental care expenses.
AFAS-Sponsored Community Programs
Bundles for Babies
Expecting active-duty Air Force personnel qualify for a $50 Army and Air Force Exchange Service gift card when they attend the AFAS Bundles for Babies workshop. Register here.
Car Care Because We Care
First-term airman in grades E-4 and below who meet one-on-one with a personal financial management counselor and spouses of Air Force service members who are deployed 30 days or more or who are assigned a one-year remote tour are eligible to receive a free oil change at the local Firestone. See your Airman and Family Readiness Center for a voucher.
Child Care for Permanent Change of Station
Air Force members PCSing in and out qualify for 20 hours of free child care per child at the Child Development Homes. Bring a copy of orders to the Airman and Family Readiness Flight in Building 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. Contact the Airman and Family Readiness Flight at 808-449-0301 for information.
Give Parents a Break
Families of deployed members, single parents and those with special needs or special circumstances qualify for 16 hours of free child care per month within the Child Development Centers/Child Development Homes. Contact the Military and Family Support Center, Airman and Family Readiness Flight or first sergeant for a referral certificate.
If you or a family member is enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program, you may qualify for respite care. Contact the Airman and Family Readiness Flight at 808-449-0301 for details.
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).