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First Command News & Media

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 9, 2014

Servicemembers Stick With Frugal Ways As Other Americans Warm Up To Spending, First Command Reports

FORT WORTH, Texas — A shift in financial attitudes is taking place between middle-class military families and their civilian counterparts, with growing concerns over sequestration motivating servicemembers to stick to their frugal ways even as the improving economy is inspiring some members of the general population to warm up to spending.

An ongoing research initiative that looks at how financial attitudes have changed since the economic downturn reveals that just one in four middle-class military families (senior NCOs and commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000) display a mindset associated with more liberal spending behaviors. Meanwhile, these same attitudes are becoming more prevalent in the general population, where they are now held by roughly a third of consumers.

Called “Free Spirits,” these spendthrift consumers made up just 25 percent of middle-class households in 2009 and 2010 during the depths of the economic downturn. Their numbers rose slightly in 2011 and 2012, holding at just under 30 percent. The gap between military families and the general population began to appear last year. The annual results for 2013 show that Free Spirits made up 26 percent of military households and 30 percent of the general population. The most recent quarterly results show the size of gap is still growing. During the fourth quarter of 2013, the percentage of Free Spirits in military households dropped three points to 24 percent and in general population households surged seven points to 34 percent — a 10-point gap.

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Archives

Financial Literacy Lifting Confidence in Military Families, First Command ReportsApril 3, 2014

First Command Offers Tips On Money Conversations For CouplesMarch 5, 2014

Career Military Concerned About Job Security, First Command ReportsFebruary 27, 2014

First Command Identifies Top Financial Strategies Of Servicemembers For Military Saves WeekFebruary 27, 2014

Frugal Military Families Cutting Back On Valentine’s Day Spending, First Command ReportsFebruary 12, 2014

Financial Advisors Bump Up Savings Behaviors Of Military Families, First Command ReportsFebruary 10, 2014

Military Families Concerned About Budget Cuts To Retirement Benefits, First Command ReportsFebruary 6, 2014

Servicemembers Expect Health Care Costs To Rise Under Affordable Care Act, First Command ReportsFebruary 5, 2014

Servicemembers Recommit To Frugal Living For 2014, First Command ReportsFebruary 4, 2014

First Command Is A Proud Partner Of The 2013 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces BowlDecember 20, 2013

Nation’s Budget Battles Slow Holiday Spending In Military Families, First Command ReportsDecember 19, 2013

First Command Offers Frugal Holiday Shopping Tips From Military FamiliesDecember 18, 2013

First Command Ranked Among Nation’s Top Employers Of Military Vets And SpousesDecember 12, 2013

Servicemembers Ratchet Up Savings Rate In Face Of Uncertain Financial Future, First Command ReportsDecember 5, 2013

Military Families Expect Another Government Shutdown in January, First Command ReportsNovember 20, 2013

Military Families Planning for Leaner Thanksgiving, First Command ReportsNovember 7, 2013

Military Families Feel Nation’s Budget Strain, First Command ReportsNovember 6, 2013

Federal Employees Bracing for Second Round of Sequestration, First Command ReportsNovember 1, 2013

First Command Sponsors Marine Corps MarathonOctober 16, 2013

Military Families Respond to Economic Concerns Through Frugal Living, First Command ReportsOctober 14, 2013

Government Employee Furloughs Negatively Impacting Lives Of Military Families, First Command ReportsOctober 10, 2013

Servicemembers Doubt Congress Will Act In Time To Avoid Government Shutdown, First Command ReportsSeptember 26, 2013

Military Families Express Heightened Concerns Over Healthcare Costs, First Command ReportsSeptember 17, 2013

First Command Offers Financial Help In Event Of Government ShutdownSeptember 16, 2013

Middle Class Americans Grow Increasingly Likely To Buy Permanent Life Insurance, First Command ReportsSeptember 11, 2013

Sequestration Fears Prompt Servicemembers To Pump Up Family Finances, First Command ReportsSeptember 10, 2013

Military Families Holding The Line On Back-To-School Spending, First Command ReportsAugust 16, 2013

Financial Worries Prompt ServicemembersTo Rein In Summer Vacations, First Command ReportsAugust 15, 2013

Retirement Worries Growing In Military Families, First Command ReportsAugust 1, 2013

Sequestration Concerns Ease In Military Families, First Command ReportsJuly 31, 2013

Servicemembers And Civilians Report Improving Economic Outlook, First Command ReportsJuly 31, 2013

Servicemembers Struggling To Save In Face Of Defense Downsizing, First Command ReportsJune 26, 2013

Military Families Intensifying Financial Preparations For Sequestration, First Command ReportsJune 25, 2013

First Command Offers Financial Help For Furloughed Defense WorkersJune 24, 2013

First Command Offers Banking Support To Clients Impacted By Colorado Forest FiresJune 20, 2013

Financial Planners Inoculate Military Families Against Anxiety And Stress, First Command ReportsJune 20, 2013

First Command Offers Five Belt-Tightening Tips For Military FamiliesMay 31, 2013

Servicemembers Rank Honesty And Trust As Top Assets For A Financial Planner, First Command ReportsMay 30, 2013

Relationships And Reputation Fuel Financial Planner Hires By Servicemembers, First Command ReportsMay 29, 2013

Servicemembers Tightening Family Budgets In Face Of Military Budget Cuts, First Command Reports May 23, 2013

Military Families Confident In Their Own Financial Planners, First Command Reports May 21, 2013

Military Families Deploying Tax Refunds To Cut Debt And Grow Savings, First Command Reports April 30, 2013

Financial Literacy Boosts Confidence in Military Families, First Command ReportsApril 25, 2013

Middle-class Americans Agree Servicemembers Paid Less Than Civilians, First Command ReportsMarch 7, 2013

First Command Announces Initiative to Tackle Critical Issues Facing ServicemembersFebruary 26, 2013

Threat Of Commissary Closures Worries Budget-Challenged Servicemembers, First Command ReportsFebruary 11, 2013

Sequestration Delay Leaves Military Families Bracing For Financial Blow, First Command ReportsJanuary 21, 2013

First Command Offers Top 10 Financial Resolutions For Military Families in 2013January 2, 2013

Sequestration And Fiscal Cliff Fears Drive Belt Tightening In Military Families, First Command ReportsDecember 24, 2012

First Command Is A Proud Partner Of The 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces BowlDecember 20, 2012

First Command in the Media

Brig. Gen Halstead: Accountability, leadership needed to handle military challenges
Las Vegas Review-Journal — Jan. 19, 2014

Military cuts retiree COLAs
Bankrate.com — Jan. 17, 2014

Budget Cuts Worry Military Families
Financial Advisor Magazine — Jan. 15, 2014

Military Families Resolve to Save More in 2014
PlanSponsor.com — Jan. 8, 2014

For military families, Santa is still coming to town
Pensacola News Journal — Dec. 14, 2013

Consumer Watch: Debt-free holiday is a gift
Military Times — Dec. 12, 2013

Military Families Cut Gift Spending In Half, Survey Says
Financial Advisor Magazine — Dec. 10, 2013

Military families expect to spend less this Christmas
San Antonio Business Journal — Nov 19, 2013

'We take care of each other': Military families already prepping for another government shutdown
NBC.com — Nov. 18, 2013

Military families say they will curtail Thanksgiving
USA Today — Oct. 30, 2013

Annapolis financial planners urge calm as Congress approaches default
CapitalGazette.com — Oct. 16, 2013

Shutdown Survival
Financial Advisor Magazine — Oct. 14, 2013

Feds expect sequester to return in 2014
Federal Times — Oct. 13, 2013

A Financial ‘Wake Up Call’ for Federal Workers
Fedsmith.com — Oct. 3, 2013

Federal Workers Seek Help Tightening Belts
Wall Street Journal — Sept. 30, 2013

How to prepare for a federal government shutdown
CNBC — Sept. 23, 2013

Air Force personnel fear what coming cuts will bring
Las Vegas Review-Journal — Sept. 22, 2013

Military Community Feels the Effects of Furloughs, Too
Government Executive — Sept. 18, 2013

Military families pinched by furloughs, sequester
San Diego Union-Tribune — Sept. 16, 2013

Armed Forces Bowl extends agreement with presenting sponsor for 2013 contest
Fort Worth Star-Telegram — Aug. 19, 2013

Military families top public in coverage
LifeHealthPro.com — Aug. 14, 2013

Military Families Save More As Budget Cuts Loom
Financial Advisor Magazine — Aug. 13, 2013

Hawaii staycations can be a bright spot for federal workers affected by sequester
Pacific Business News - Aug 5, 2013

Survey: Military members feeling better about finances
San Diego Source — Aug 2, 2013

Military families optimistic about economy; for now
USA Today — July 1, 2013

Survey of Military Members Shows Retirement Anxiety
Credit Union Times — June 24, 2013

Civilian And Military Growing More Confident About Economy, Study Says
Financial Advisor Magazine — June 21, 2013

Military families with planning enjoy better health
Financial Advisor Magazine — June 6, 2013

Adviser Navigates Finances With Survivors of Fallen
Wall Street Journal — May 24, 2013

Facing Cuts, Defense Workers Seek Financial Advice
Wall Street Journal — May 7, 2013

Financial Advisor Reaches Female Clients With Two Messages
Financial Advisor Magazine — April 30, 2013

Servicemembers Tightening Family Budgets In Face Of Military Budget Cuts
Camp Pendleton Patch — April 24, 2013

Military families adjust budgets
Pensacola News Journal — April 20, 2013

Advisors See More Military Families Due To Sequestration
Financial Advisor Magazine — March 27, 2013

Sequester Strikes Military Families as Pentagon Makes Budget Cuts
AdvisorOne.com — March 26, 2013

Get ‘Squared Away’
The Northwest Airlifter, Lakewood, Wash — March 21, 2013

Hiring Our Heroes
NBC 4 in Washington, D.C. — February 26, 2013

FIRST COMMAND IS PROUD
TO PARTNER WITH:

Hiring Our Heroes Project Sanctuary First Command Educational Foundation Armed Forces Bowl Marine Corps Marathon First Command Package Brigade FPA Alliance