Military Families Cutting Back on Vacation Spending

A majority of US military members on active duty are reducing spending on family vacations this summer due to financial concerns about the unsteady economy and budget sequestration, according to a financial behaviors index by First Command Financial Services. In fact, 68 percent of US military personnel said sequestration concerns are prompting them to change their vacation plans, states First Command’s July 26 release, which cites its new quarterly index. Fifty-four percent of “middle-class military families”—pay grade E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000—are utilizing cost-cutting tactics for their vacation plans, such as taking shorter vacations; opting for “staycations”—staying home and participating in activities within driving distance; and driving versus flying to destinations, states the release. “In the months ahead, we will likely see military families express new concerns about their financial lives and respond by making a continuing commitment to spending less, saving more, and [preparing] for an uncertain future,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command, which is headquartered in Fort Worth, Tex.