Frugal Military Families Cutting Back on Valentine’s Day Spending, First Command Reports

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals military families are more likely to give flowers than are other middle-class Americans

FORT WORTH, Texas--()--Servicemembers and their families are bringing their frugal ways to Valentine’s Day again this year, with roughly one in four consumers planning to spend less than they did in 2013.

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveals that 22 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) who typically celebrate Valentine’s Day expect to spend less in 2014. On average, they say they’ll spend $51, down from $120 in 2013. Another 69 percent say they expect to spend about the same as last year.

“Frugality is a Valentine’s Day tradition for our men and women in uniform, with more than a third of military families cutting back on spending for more than three years,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services. “But that doesn’t mean they are any less romantic than their civilian counterparts. In fact, servicemembers are more likely to celebrate Valentine’s Day than members of the general population – 70 percent versus 57 percent.”

The majority of general population families are also planning on a frugal Valentine’s Day for 2014. The Index reveals that 18 percent of civilian households expect to spend less this year (an average of $46, down from $134 in 2013). And 75 percent of these households expect to spend about the same as last year.

Valentine’s Day plans are similar between military and civilian families. The most common way of celebrating is “eating out,” which was identified by 56 percent of military and 57 percent of general population respondents. Other popular holiday purchases include:

  • Cards (45 percent of military and 41 percent of general population)
  • Gifts (24 percent and 20 percent)
  • Candy (17 percent and 19 percent)

Servicemembers stand out from the crowd when it comes to keeping the florists busy. Celebrating with flowers was selected by 41 percent of military respondents versus 24 percent of the general population.

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 Insurance Services, Inc. and First Command Bank. Financial planning services and investment products, including securities, are offered by First Command Financial Planning, Inc. 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.

Contacts

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

Release Summary

First Command reports that servicemembers and their families are bringing their frugal ways to Valentine’s Day, with roughly one in four consumers planning to spend less than they did in 2013.

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Contacts

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