8 in 10 Americans use a budget – up 10 percent from the last two years.

Debt.com has run its budgeting survey for three years now. This year, the highest number of respondents in the survey’s history have answered “yes” to the question, “do you budget?”

Eighty percent of Americans told Debt.com they’re on a budget – compared to the last two years when 70 percent answered “yes” to the same question. The following infographics are some of the most interesting data we found in this year’s survey…

More men than women feel that everyone needs to budget

 

Baby boomers are the age group most likely to use a budget – but not by much

 

More people started budgeting in hopes of increasing their wealth and savings

 

The majority of men who don’t budget say they earn too little to need one

 

The women who don’t budget also say they don’t earn enough money

 

Most men have never thought to search personal finance websites for tips on building a budget

 

More than half of women haven’t checked out finance website for budgeting tips

 

If you’d like to read the full survey data, click the button below.

Who should budget?2020
Everyone97.48%
People with a limited income1.39%
People with a lot of debt0.64%
People who spend a lot of money0.49%
Do you use a budget?YesNo
202079.46%20.54%
What prompted you to start budgeting?2020
I want to increase my wealth/savings42.46%
Debt31.33%
Retirement13.41%
Loss of job/income9.57%
Retirement7.56%
Divorce/loss of spouse3.22%
How does your household feel about budgeting?2020
My whole household works to stay on budget.50.40%
I’m single, financially independent, and I budget!29.49%
I love to budget, but my significant other doesn’t.15.93%
My significant other is on a budget, but I am not.2.18%
I live with my parents, and I don’t use a budget because I’m saving up to live on my own.1.99%
Why don’t you budget?2020
I don’t earn enough income32.05%
It’s too time consuming24.54%
It makes me feel anxious/bad.21.43%
I have budgeted, but it’s never helped me.16.12%
It causes disagreements with my spouse.5.86%
Have you used websites for tips on how to build a budget?2020
No, I never thought about it55.12%
Yes, this is one of the reasons why I visited Debt.com23.66%
Yes, I have visited sites other than Debt.com.21.21%
How do you prefer to create a budget?2020
Pen and paper58.61%
Spreadsheets23.47%
Mobile apps8.39%
My bank/credit union’s budgeting tools6.78%
A financial advisor2.75%
Which method of budgeting would you be most interested in trying?2020
None – I’m not interested in budgeting28.26%
Pen and paper27.34%
Mobile apps22.94%
Spreadsheets12.48%
My bank/credit union’s budgeting tools5.69%
A financial advisor3.30%
Has budgeting helped you get out or stay out of debt?YesNo
202085.63%14.37%
Have you been able to stay out of debt without a budget?YesNo
202051.56%48.44%
When I shop for groceries…2020
I shop with a list, stick to my budget, AND use coupons46.70%
I shop with a list and stick to my budget27.26%
I shop without a list, but control my spending19.11%
I walk in to buy one thing, and walk out with a cart full of stuff4.08%
I buy whatever I want2.84%
Do you budget for special events and holidays?2020
Yes, I save for these events throughout the year59.93%
No, I spend on special events without a budget.15.88%
Yes, but I shop at the last minute and often go over budget13.23%
No, I don’t buy gifts or celebrate special events10.95%
Do you budget separately for special events and holidays?2020
No, I spend on special events without a budget.52.48%
No, I don’t buy gifts or celebrate special events.17.61%
Yes, I save for these events throughout the year.16.70%
Yes, but I shop at the last minute and often go over budget.13.21%
Do you think restaurant meals should be included in a grocery budget? YesNo
202059.32%40.68%
Do you budget for the “little things”? (For example, vending machines, gas stations, coffee shop runs, etc.)YesNo
202057.71%42.29%

For the full data from the 2018 and 2019 surveys, click the button below.

Who should budget?20192018
Everyone94.45%92.61%
People with a limited income2.43%3.64%
People with a lot of debt2.08%2.50%
People who spend a lot of money1.04%1.25%
Do you use a budget?YesNo
201968.69%31.31%
201870.24%29.76%
What prompted you to start budgeting?20192018
Desire to manage my money better34.43%36.15%
I have always budgeted my money25.22%18.96%
Debt13.24%16.44%
I want to increase my wealth/savings7.94%9.33%
Retirement7.44%7.56%
Loss of job/income7.31%8.44%
Divorce2.40%1.93%
Loss of spouse2.02%1.19%
How do you feel about budgeting?20192018
My whole household works to stay on budget43.81%48.15%
I’m single, financially independent and use a budget39.65%34.67%
I’m on a budget, but my significant other is not13.76%11.11%
I’m living with my parents, and budget because I’m saving to live on my own1.39%3.85%
My significant other is on a budget, but I’m not1.39%2.22%
Why don’t you budget?20192018
I don’t earn enough money39.61%33.80%
It’s too time-consuming21.05%21.25%
I have budgeted, but it’s never helped me15.51%19.86%
I have budgeted, but only for special occasions and holidays14.13%16.72%
I never overspend8.31%7.32%
I make so much money I don’t need to budget1.39%1.05%
Have you used websites for tips on how to build a budget?20192018
No, I never thought about it32.78%26.74%
Yes, this is one of the reasons why I visited Debt.com28.01%41.52%
I have a budget that I created on my own22.46%11.65%
Yes, I have visited sites other than Debt.com for advice16.74%20.08%
What tools do you use to budget?20192018
Pen and paper67.05%66.22%
Spreadsheets28.66%32.00%
I budget in my head25.38%26.52%
I use my bank/credit union budgeting tools15.28%13.33%
Mobile apps13.26%16.74%
I have a financial advisor5.43%5.93%
I don’t budget0.88%0.44%
Have you ever thought about trying any of these budgeting tools/methods?20192018
Pen and paper73.65%72.01%
Spreadsheets32.63%36.19%
Mobile apps32.63%32.46%
Budgeting tools/software provided by my bank/credit union20.36%18.28%
Financial advisor14.67%18.66%
Has budgeting helped you get out or stay out of debt?YesNo
201975.88%24.12%
201872.74%27.26%
Have you been able to stay out of debt without a budget?YesNo
201929.25%70.75%
201826.67%73.33%
When I shop for groceries…20192018
I shop with a list, stick to my budget, AND use coupons46.21%57.33%
I shop with a list and follow in according to my budget32.07%23.41%
I don’t bring a list, but I control myself from overspending14.52%12.44%
I usually walk in wanting to buy one thing, and walk out with a cart full4.80%5.48%
I buy whatever I want2.40%1.33%
Do you budget for special events and holidays?20192018
Yes, I save throughout the year so I can afford to celebrate with my loved ones33.21%33.63%
I rarely have the money to budget for special events or gifts because I am living paycheck to paycheck23.11%24.74%
I set a budget and start saving a month or two before the event21.09%24.74%
I usually don’t buy gifts or celebrate special events14.14%10.52%
I shop at the last minute and I often break my weekly/monthly budget for special events8.46%6.37%
Do you budget separately for special events and holidays?20192018
I rarely have the money to budget for special events or gifts because I am living paycheck to paycheck44.04%45.10%
I usually don’t buy gifts or celebrate special events17.73%8.04%
Yes, I save throughout the year so I can afford to celebrate with my loved ones14.40%19.23%
I set a budget and start saving a month or two before the event12.19%12.94%
I shop at the last minute and I often break my weekly/monthly budget for special events11.63%14.69%
Do you separate the cost of meals at restaurants from your grocery budget?YesNo
201962.12%37.88%
201857.93%42.07%
Do you budget for the “little things”? (For example, vending machines, gas stations, coffee shop runs, etc.)20192018
Yes, I put extra money aside for the “little things”42.68%44.74%
I probably should, but I don’t29.04%28.44%
No, these things cost me little money so I do not budget for them28.28%26.81%

Methodology:  Debt.com surveyed 2,654 people and asked ten questions related to their budgeting behavior. People responded from all 50 states and Washington, DC and were aged 18 and above. Responses were collected through SurveyMonkey. The survey was conducted from Feb. 04, 2020 to Feb. 24, 2020. *In 2019 Debt.com surveyed 1,153 people using the same type of consumer-focused questions regarding budgeting utilizing SurveyMoney. And in 2018 Debt.com surveyed 961 people with the same survey tool.

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