Every dollar has a job to do, down to the last penny.

The Penny Budget is here to help you create a realistic
budget that works for you by learning how to:
Prioritize your spending
Save money within your financial means
Make your money work for you
Create & follow a realistic debt payoff plan
Use a zero dollar budget
and most importantly...
Build your financial & budgeting capabilities in a Step-by-Step method

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Budgeting In The Military

The military lifestyle is one of uncertainty, high stress, and constant change.

I totally get it, I know your struggle, I feel your stress, I know the situation you are in, and I want to help. 

For 18 years as a military spouse I dealt with job loss, struggling to gain new employment, too many moves to list, having to figure out finances to be able to secure a new home, financial stress due to deployments and training exercises, debt, less than stellar money management, and so much more. I was that spouse and mom constantly looking for ways to help our finances and get our budget in control all while battling debt. 

I have been where you are. All hope is not lost! I promise you!

After years of budgeting, struggling with finances, succeeding and then failing only to start again, I tried many budget methods, researched, self-taught, and more to repeatedly dig out of the money hole we built for ourselves, only to do it again due to financial insecurity and mismanagement of our money.

I learned a lot from others, from making my own mistakes, and practicing slowly but surely with a budgeting routine. I also took the time to search and find resources available to the military community while I was working for the military for 10 years. In my job I was a source of information, referral, communication, and support so I took it upon myself to do my best to help the military I worked with and their families with making their time in the military be beneficial to them and to set them up for success to face the everyday hardships of the military life.

Now I am making everything I have learned available to all of the military community and anyone else struggling with their financial situation.

In my years of figuring out budgeting for my own family I realized that I was not finding a product that worked simply. Nor was there a product that helped me learn in steps instead of throwing everything budgeting at me at once.

I figured out an approach to attacking my finances that was simplified and didn't overwhelm me when going to work on my finances each paycheck. Most budget products I used previously either were too basic or contained so many pages that I didn't use or were not ready for. I constantly paid for budget planners that a majority of the pages were wasted or they just didn't have the necessary portions to keep me going each month.

I took it upon myself to find a better way; so, I created a simplified, learning in steps method of budgeting and finances. 

The budgeting tools I have created will help you get organized, budget your paychecks, start working on saving money, paying off debt, and work on your comfort level with budgeting to prepare you for the next learning steps in budgets and finances.

Get your finances in order stop living stressed about paying bills while dealing with the constant uncertainty that comes from being a part of the military community.

I am here by your side, to support you, to cheer you on, to be a shoulder to cry on, or just a friendly person to reach out to!

I want to see you succeed and I know you can; take your first step and get connected with me on social media, order your Paycheck Planner and let's do this!

Paycheck Planners that are as unique as you are!

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Why 6 month Paycheck Planners?

  • Life changes and it can change quickly
  • Finances are intimidating enough without trying to take on 12 months of budgeting at once with a regular planner
  • Budgeting in steps helps with breaking down learning about your finances easier
  • How many pages in a regular budget planner go unused due to not knowing how to use them or being overwhelmed?
  • Planning in 6 month increments helps keep your goals and expectations manageable
  • 6 months allows for less whiteout and erasing on main pages due to changes that can and will occur in your financial situation
  • Working 6 months at a time gives you the opportunity to evaluate your budgeting capabilities and budget at your level of comfort within my Paycheck Planner Steps

What are the Paycheck Planner Steps?

Step One: Basic Budgeting Per Paycheck

Budgeting your paycheck, tracking your expenses, savings/sinking funds, extra debt & savings payments, and assigning every penny of your income to do a specific job.

Step Two: Spending Categories 

Identifying & creating spending categories, tracking your category totals, calculating % of income spent per category, and comparing category spending per month.

Step Three: Savings Categories

Calculating % of income saved per savings category and overall % of income saved per month.

Step Four: Debt Categories

Calculating % of income paid towards debt and overall % of income spent per month on debt.

Step Five: Debt Payment Plan

Calculating debt progress per month and overall debt progress.

Step Six: Net Worth

Understanding assets and liabilities. Calculating total net worth per month and comparing net worth each month.

Want your personal paycheck budget worked by me on social media?

How It Works

Each month I will choose a winner at random from the submissions received who will have their personal budget paycheck completed by me on social media.
I utilize the information provided from the submission form to provide my suggestions and input on how to budget to best utilize their income based on the goals priorities, spending habits, and bills of the submission.
Each month submissions will be open until the 20th with the winner for that month being notified by the 25th.
The winner's budget video will be posted the beginning of the following month. (Example: October winner will be posted in the first week of November.)
The winner will have 48 hours to confirm their winner notification email and respond to any possible questions I have regarding the information provided on their submission form.
If the winner does not confirm their winner notification email, another winner will be chosen.
The winner's budget will be posted on my social media channels and the winner will be notified of the date of posting.
*There is a possibility of a follow up video later in the same month the winner's video is posted and if the winner is interested in providing follow up information regarding how their budgeting went.
You may submit your budgets every month if you want to, but you may only win once. 
To submit your personal budget click the Personal Budget Submissions tab.

Personal Budget Submissions

Submissions open until the 20th of each month.
One winner chosen each month to be featured the following month.
For more information please read the How It Works section.
To submit your budget:

Find helpful financial resources specifically for military and their families.

Financial Assistance


Army Emergency Relief

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

Air Force Aid Society

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance

American Red Cross 

Operation Homefront

Operation First Response


Operation Once In A Lifetime

H.E.R.O.E.S. Care

Salute, Inc.

American Legion

Wish For Our Heroes

Operation Showers of Appreciation

Operation Help A Hero


Check with your base financial office and/or your family readiness program. Many bases/units have local churches, non-profits, and support organizations who will assist in financial emergencies with gift cards, grants, and/or household supplies.

Free Baby Showers


Operation Homefront

Operation Once In A Lifetime

Operation Shower

Operation Showers of Appreciation

Soldiers' Angels


Check with your base hospital and/or your family readiness program. Many bases/units have local churches, non-profits, and support organizations who will put on baby showers, and/or provide items for expecting and new mothers/families.

Household Items

Feed Our Vets

Food Pantries - HUD.gov

Military Family Advisory Network

Soldiers' Angels (locations limited)

ASYMCA (locations limited)

Military OneSource List By State

Hunger Free America

Assistance League 


Many bases have thrift or bargain stores, check with your local base. Most communities have churches, groups, non-profits, and/or organizations that have a variety of assistance available like food giveaways, help with diapers, formula, furniture, etc. 

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Send me some love, ask me questions, or really anything your heart desires.
Receiving messages from you is just downright rich!

About Me

Hey there!
I am Darci and it's great to have you here with me!
As a prior military spouse of 18+ years living the military lifestyle and spending countless months, days, and hours working on budgets to make military pay work in various locations, I know just how crazy it can be managing your finances!
The Penny Budget was started so I can take what I learned and make it available to all in hopes of helping others with their financial journey.
For a decade I worked in various military units helping families with resources and information, and I am passing along my knowledge to you in an easy access format.
I have tried many different budget plans, and followed multiple budgeting experts, to piece together a simplified budgeting system tailored to work for not only myself, but for other military families and anyone else in need of a good budgeting system.
I am with you in this journey and I want to be by your side each step of the way. I don’t promise that your financial struggles will be gone in a week or you will magically have money saved immediately, or that your debt will disappear in the first year. What I can promise is that if you commit to start this journey, you will find it becomes easier to get in the habit of taking care of your financial health.
Let’s take this journey together!
With love,


We do not accept returns to orders unless there is a defect in the product or the wrong product was shipped. If this occurs, please contact me within 24 hours with a description of the issue and pictures of the defect(s) at info@thepennybudget.com. For a refund or replacement in the case of the wrong product or defective product being received, the product will need to be shipped back to us and we will provide you with a shipping label to do so. 

Once your order is placed, it cannot be changed or canceled.

We are a small business so we ask for your patience. We hope to have orders shipping out within 3-5 business days.

Once your order leaves us and is with the shipping carrier, we are no longer responsible for the product. If there is an issue with your product not arriving or taking longer than expected, you will need to address that with the shipping carrier. Shipping information and tracking numbers will be provided to you when your order ships.
*Please make sure you double check the shipping address you enter when placing your order. If you catch a mistake with your shipping address, please reach out to us immediately and we will do our best to correct it, but there is no guarantee depending on the status of your order in the shipping or production timeline.

I'm open to chatting about it! Please contact us so we can begin that conversation.