smart spending

Track spending against a budget?



[Begin VIDEO with Kristin Arnold, anchor introducing the video topic]

Kristin: Do you track your spending against a budget? recently polled Americans on that very question as part of the monthly Financial Security Index. We're joined now by Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for

[Cut to a double screen of Kristin Arnold and Greg McBride]

Kristin: What did find out about Americans and their budgeting habits?

Greg: Just 58-percent of Americans track their monthly spending against a budget. Some do a little bit better, some not as well. Parents were one group that did particularly well. Sixty-five percent of them said they track their spending against a monthly budget. The reason this is really important is that budgeting is really the road map towards savings, which most people don't have nearly enough of as we saw in last month's poll.

Kristin: And how are Americans feeling about their overall financial security?

Greg: Jobs and savings continue to be the real sore spots. Both of those are at their lowest levels of the year in terms of the readings ... how consumers feel about that. Unemployment's really high, job growth is really weak, incomes are stagnant ... you put all that together and it's really starting to take a toll on how American's feel about their financial security.

[Cut to one shot of Kristin on camera]

Kristin's close: To see more of's Financial Security index, log on to


« Back to the July 2011 Financial Security Index .



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