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Military members budget better than civilians, survey indicates

Active-duty milliennials report having better financial literacy and are less likely to live from paycheck to paycheck than their civilian counterparts, according to a new survey by a military credit union. 

The survey of military personnel and civilians ages 18 to 34, most commonly referred to as millennials, showed stark contrasts between service members and civilians in spending and savings habits, economic confidence and financial readiness. 

Only 22% of military millennials, for instance, report living paycheck to paycheck, according to the survey, commissioned by Navy Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in the U.S. 

That compares to 40% of millennials in the general population. 

"We’re encouraged to see that young active-duty service members are leading the way in financial health amongst their millennial peers,” said Maritza DiSciullo, vice president of member research and intelligence at Navy Federal. "Military millennials are grasping the importance of a disciplined approach to financial responsibility.”

DiSciullo said the findings by research firm ORC International are consistent with the credit union's internal research of its members.

Of the military members who participated in the survey, conducted in the third quarter of this year, 44% -- nearly twice the percentage of their civilian counterparts -- reported having a household budget that they review at least once a year.

Nearly three-quarters of those in uniform said they are prepared to confront a personal disaster affecting their finances, compared with 49% of the civilians surveyed. 

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