Military Families Cutting Debt, Spending in 2017
America’s military families are planning to improve their finances in 2017 by reducing both debt and household spending, according to recent research from First Command Financial Services.
The First Command Financial Behaviors Index found 89% of middle-class military families (those with annual household incomes of at least $50,000) are confident they can improve their finances this year.
The top 10 New Year’s resolutions from military families included:
- Decrease excessive spending (36%)
- Get out of debt (33%)
- Improve credit score (29%)
- Better track financial activities (28%)
- Budget responsibly (27%)
- Use cash or debit cards instead of credit (26%)
- Start saving for retirement or put more in the retirement account (25%)
- Maintain adequate health insurance (25%)
- Learn to live within means (24%)
- Make sound stock market investments (22%)
A number of the resolutions reflect financial issues that career military families are facing, as the study also found many are struggling with credit card debt (31%), overall debt levels (28%), inadequate savings (28%) and spending without a budget (27%). In addition, many career military families are concerned about their long-term income outlook. 74% are concerned about cuts to defense spending. Also on the minds of America’s military forces are healthcare costs (31%).
The study found financial advisors could set minds at ease. Of those who have a financial advisor, 67% are confident their financial situation will improve. However, of those who do not have a financial advisor, only 43% felt as if their situation would improve.
“Families who work with a financial coach are more likely to enact frugal strategies in their pursuit of financial security,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services. “We look for a growing number of military families to put their trust in knowledgeable financial professionals as they look for new ways to grow their household finances in 2017.”