First Command Financial Services has recently published the Tax Refund survey (it’s a Powerpoint that you’ll have to download, sorry) that investigates how people spend their income tax return money, and breaks that spending down between military and civilian populations. It is a sort-of long study, but several really interesting things jumped out at me:
19% will use their tax refund to pay monthly bills
Whoa! That is concerning. This number is up from 16% in 2013, and 14% in 2012. The report breaks down this bill spending even further, and then it gets even more concerning:
- 65% of those using their tax refund to pay monthly bills have been doing this for three or more years, and
- 39% of those using their tax refund to pay monthly bills will be using this money to pay their housing costs.
Folks, I think we have a problem here. A little math using these figures shows that nearly 8 percent of military respondents plan to use their income tax return money to pay their rent or mortgage. I have to assume that they’re paying their rent or mortgage because they don’t have the money to pay their rent or mortgage otherwise. These are people who are getting a housing allowance from the military to pay their housing expenses. What in the heck does this mean?
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this.
The rest of the report is really interesting, too. Just keep in mind that it was sponsored by a company that makes a profit by providing financial services to military service members.