First Command Reports: Career Military Families Sticking with Frugal Ways for Thanksgiving

First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals top cost-cutting
techniques of men and women in uniform

FORT WORTH, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Again this year, financial uncertainty and concern is prompting
middle-class military families to kick off the holiday spending season
with a leaner Thanksgiving celebration.

The annual Thanksgiving spending survey through the First Command
Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that 82 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) say their
Thanksgiving plans will change as a result of the current economic
situation. That’s unchanged from last year. In contrast just 44 percent
of civilian families say their plans will change. That’s also unchanged
from last year.

“Our Thanksgiving survey results reveal that the frugal spending
behaviors that began several years ago with the economic downturn have
eased for the general population, but remain in place for America’s
career military families,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command
Financial Services, Inc. “Four years ago, similar percentages of
military and civilian families indicated that the economy was impacting
their Thanksgiving plans. As the economy improved, Thanksgiving
frugality dropped in the general population. But concerns over
sequestration and defense downsizing have been prompting military
families to continue to pursue leaner Thanksgiving celebrations. Also,
military families are cutting back on everyday spending at a rate that
outpaces their civilian counterparts.”

The portion of military families who are cutting back on everyday
spending hit 42 percent in September, up from a year-to-date low of 34
percent in June. In contrast, just 24 percent of general population
families say they are cutting back, down from 30 percent in June.

Active-duty families will be cutting back on Thanksgiving in a variety
of ways, including:

  • Reducing travel (28 percent)
  • Sticking to a set budget (28 percent)
  • Dining with immediate family members only (22 percent)
  • Spending less on decorations (22 percent)
  • Have a “pot luck” dinner (20 percent)
  • Spending less on food (18 percent)
  • Go to someone else’s house for dinner (16 percent)
  • Go out to a restaurant for dinner (11 percent)

“By tightening their belts a bit at Thanksgiving, military families are
making it easier on themselves to remain frugal in their daily spending
habits so they can more effectively pursue long-term financial security
during this uncertain time,” Spiker said.

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 Advisory Services, Inc., 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., a broker-dealer. Financial planning and investment
advisory services are offered by First Command Advisory Services, Inc.,
an investment adviser.
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. First Command Financial Services,
Inc. and its related entities are not affiliated with, authorized to
sell or represent on behalf of or otherwise endorsed by any federal
employee benefits programs referenced, by the U.S. government, or the
U.S. armed forces.

Contacts

First Command Financial Services, Inc.
Mark Leach, 817-569-2419
Media
Relations
msleach@firstcommand.com
www.firstcommand.com