FORT WORTH, Texas – Again this summer the economy is impacting the rest and relaxation plans of military families, with nearly half of active-duty homes cutting back on vacation spending.
The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that 45 percent of middle-class military families (senior NCOs and commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) are applying one or more money-saving tactics to their summer getaway plans. Popular cost-cutting approaches include:
- Staying closer to home (49 percent).
- Taking shorter vacations (40 percent).
- Driving rather than flying (40 percent).
- Taking “staycations” (40 percent).
- Visiting family members (34 percent).
- Cooking while on vacation rather than eating out (22 percent).
Economic concerns are plainly evident among military families who are pursuing these cost-conscious behaviors. The Index reveals that half say they feel financially stretched month to month. One in four are not confident their financial situation will improve in the next year or in their ability to retire comfortably.
Many of these frugal strategies have become a summertime tradition in active-duty households. Of those military families staying closer to home or taking shorter vacations, one-quarter have been doing so for over three years. And among those cooking rather than eating out, over half have been doing so for over three years.
“Once again frugal living is the theme in military families,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services, Inc. “While summer getaways remain popular, active-duty families are keeping spending under control as part of their larger strategies for dealing with the financial challenges of the continuing economic downturn and fears about pending military budget cuts.”
About the First Command Financial Behaviors Index®
Compiled by Sentient Decision Science, Inc., the First Command Financial Behaviors Index® assesses trends among the American public’s financial behaviors, attitudes and intentions through a monthly survey of approximately 530 U.S. consumers aged 25 to 70 with annual household incomes of at least $50,000. Results are reported quarterly. The margin of error is +/- 4.3 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence. www.firstcommand.com/research
About Sentient Decision Science, Inc.
Sentient Decision Science was commissioned by First Command to compile the Financial Behaviors Index®. SDS is a behavioral science and consumer psychology consulting firm with special vertical expertise within the financial services industry. SDS specializes in advanced research methods and statistical analysis of behavioral and attitudinal data.
About First Command
First Command Financial Services and its subsidiaries, including First Command Bank and First Command Financial Planning, assist American families in their efforts to build wealth, reduce debt and pursue their lifetime financial goals and dreams—focusing on consumer behavior as the first and most powerful determinant of results. Through knowledgeable advice and coaching of the financial behaviors conducive to success, First Command Financial Advisors have built trustworthy, lasting relationships with hundreds of thousands of client families since 1958.
First Command Financial Services, Inc., is the parent of First Command Financial Planning, Inc. (Member SIPC, FINRA), First Command Insurance Services, Inc. and First Command Bank. Financial planning services and investment products, including securities, are offered by First Command Financial Planning, Inc. Insurance products and services are offered by First Command Insurance Services, Inc. in all states except Montana, where as required by law, insurance products and services are offered by First Command Financial Services, Inc. (a separate Montana domestic corporation). Banking products and services are offered by First Command Bank. In certain states, as required by law, First Command Insurance Services, Inc. does business as a separate domestic corporation. Securities products are not FDIC insured, have no bank guarantee and may lose value. A financial plan, by itself, cannot assure that retirement or other financial goals will be met.