Military Families Expected To Spend Less On Thanksgiving

A new study shows a 9-point spike this year in the number of Military families scaling down their Thanksgiving festivities on account of budget worries.

Thanksgiving preps are in full swing, but for Military families and workers, this holiday season punctuates a year of budget cuts, furloughs and shutdowns.

And with next year's federal budget still uncertain, some are timid about going all out.

"It adds up, you buy a turkey, you buy a ham, you buy the sides, you're spending quite a bit, but now everybody is suffering," said Raylene Gill, Army wife and mother of six, who also has the a severely handicapped daughter in and out of the hospital.

Two rounds of 2013 furloughs have taken their toll on civilian's too.

"That would definitely influence some people, especially when you talk about DoD contractors, because the job security is gone," said Army Veteran Ryan Sutton.

According to a survey by Texas-based First Command Financial Services, economic worries are causing two out of three middle class, Military families to spend less this Thanksgiving.

"It doesn't surprise me at all, we're certainly cutting back," said Raylene.

Stay-at-home Military mom Tabitha Madrid has been saving up for the holidays all year.

"I start the day after Christmas, Christmas shopping. That way we can do it throughout the year," she said.

"We have a deep freezer, so throughout the year, if we find a turkey on sale, we'll buy a turkey and then stick it in the freezer," added Tabitha.

Some Military families, who give our country so much more than they could ever be compensated for, have taken their financial fight to the web

Facebook pages, like Savealotmom, pop up around Military installations, so that families can join forces when it comes to discounts and savings.

And though every family's needs and resources are different, the true meaning of the holidays remains the same.

"So I'm sure our kids will be fine, and we'll just do a lot smaller of a meal, and no traveling," said Raylene.

She's thankful for what they do have and hopeful about the new year.

Reporter: Sophia Stamas

Photographer: Chris Buford


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