According to a survey conducted by Impulse Research Corporation, 59% of Americans stated that they regularly maintain a household budget. This number is shocking considering the average household debt in America has grown to $18,700, with credit cards and auto loans combined. This ever increasing debt load suggests that American families continue to spend more than they make. Obviously, many of the methods being used to manage household finances are not effective.
Of the 41% who stated that they did not keep a budget, these are the main reasons why:
- 57% say, “I have a good idea what I can afford, I don’t need to keep a budget.”
Statistics, however, show that many American families spend as much as 10% more each month than they earn. This can often be traced back to not knowing how much has been spent, and how much is left, on a daily basis.
- 45% say that budgeting is “too difficult,” “too time consuming,” or “too confusing.”
Budgeting can be all of the above, if you don’t have the right tools or information. With Money for Life you are able to follow the 12-week step-by-step program to achieve success.
- 23% say, “I start budgeting, but loose momentum as the year goes on.”
- 21% say, “It is too hard to stick to a set budget with more than one person making purchases and using the accounts.”
Maintaining a budget can be a daunting task- tracking purchases, manually recording transactions, several different accounts to balance, etc. The list goes on and on. In our near cashless society, it’s harder than ever to keep everything straight. It doesn’t have to be difficult though, by using the principles in Money for Life, it’s easier than ever to create and maintain a spending plan.
There are numerous different ways to create and keep a household budget. Of the 59% of Americans who stated they maintain personal budgets, these are the methods they use:
- 35% of respondents use a paper system to budget
- 14 % use a software (examples of these systems are: Mvelopes Personal, Quicken, or MS Money)
- 13% use a spreadsheet system to balance their budgets
- 2% use the traditional envelope method of budgeting
- 36% use a combination of the above systems
Given the substantial debt carried by the average family, it’s not surprising that Financial Freedom is at the forefront of the American mind this year. Among the top New Year’s Resolutions were increased savings, debt reduction, and increased investments.
- 63% resolve to save more money in 2004
- 51% resolve to pay off their debts
- 23% resolve to dedicate more money towards retirement
With Consumer debt at an all time high, it’s no wonder more and more people are looking for help with personal financial management. Money for Life, Budgeting Success and Financial Fitness in Just 12 Weeks, offers this much needed help in a format that is easy to read and follow. The step-by-step 12-week plan puts readers on the right path- towards not only financial fitness but financial freedom as well.
Source: Money for Life Consumer Survey conducted by Impulse Research Corporation, February 2004. Margin of error +/- 3 percent