Budgeting Still a Challenge for Most Americans

Budgeting Still a Challenge for Most Americans

January 23, 2019         Written By John H. Oldshue

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to re-evaluate finances and create a new budget. But creating and sticking to a budget is an area where a lot of Americans struggle.

According to a recent CFP survey, 43% of consumers in the United States have a written budget, but nearly the same amount (40%) have never had one. The remaining 17% say they had a budget at one point but no longer do.

The budgeting dilemmas come from two key sources: the ease of spending money and the difficulty of tracking it. According to the survey, 77% of respondents said it is easy for them to spend money. Meanwhile, 59% say they do not track their monthly spending, and just 41% do monitor that spending.

When asked if credit cards contribute to overspending, 64% of respondents said they strongly or somewhat agreed. A simple way to combat this is to only use credit cards when you can pay for that transaction in its entirety at the end of the month. Make a purchase on the card to build up credit, then pay off the balance with the funds you already have. Otherwise, create a precise and attainable repayment plan for every credit card purchase.

Despite overspending habits, 59% of Americans say they save more than they spend. And while many consumers do not have a written budget, 60% say they review bank statements, credit card bills and receipts to keep track of their spending.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 23, 2019. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of LowCards.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for LowCards.com.