Middle-class military families have increased their savings to nearly $3,000 per month in the face of sequestration budget cuts, according to the First Command Financial Behaviors Index released Tuesday.
The survey of 530 senior NCOs and commissioned officers in pay grades E-6 and above with household incomes of at least $50,000 put an average of $2,926 per month into savings and retirement accounts during the second quarter, an increase of 12 percent from the first quarter.
Notably, these frugal behaviors are strongest among military families working with a financial planner, says First Command. In the second quarter, those with a financial planner saved an average of $3,740 per month, while those without a planner saved an average of $2,270 per month.
They increased repayment of short-term debt by 4 percent from the previous quarter to an average of $1,124 per month, says First Command, a financial planning and educational resource for military families.
The index shows that 52 percent of military families increased their efforts to cut back on every day spending during the second quarter, up 10 points from the previous quarter.
First Command attributes the increased emphasis on saving and reducing debt to the affects of budget cuts forced by the sequester. In the previous survey conducted in April, three out of five military families indicated they were feeling anxious about sequestration.