Servicemembers use tax refunds to fortify family finances

| May 5, 2014

Facing another year of fiscal uncertainties, middle-class military families are again committing tax refunds to shore up their household finances.

Recent survey findings from the First Command Financial Behaviors Index® reveal that 72 percent of middle-class military families who have received or expect to receive a tax refund plan to use it to save more or cut debt. This marks the third consecutive year that the majority of military families reported plans to commit their refunds to these and other frugal strategies.

The top tax refund spending plans among middle-class military families for 2014 are:

  • Pay down debt (44 percent)
  • Put into general savings (43 percent)
  • Pay monthly bills (19 percent)
  • Put toward an investment account (17 percent)
  • Vacation (16 percent)
  • Build up an emergency fund (14 percent)
  • Home improvements (11 percent)
  • Consumer purchases (10 percent)

Notably, the Index reveals at least one different area of emphasis between servicemembers who work with a financial advisor and those who take a do-it-yourself approach. Middle-class military families with a financial advisor are significantly less likely to spend their tax refunds on paying monthly bills than those without an advisor (10 percent versus 24 percent).

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