Military Families Rein In Spending on Summer Vacations
First Command reports spending trends lower.
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.”
What did your family do this summer, tell us in the comments below.