July 2011 monthly spending

Financial Security Index survey chart

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Do you, or does your spouse, track your monthly spending against a budget?

  • A majority of all demographic groups reported tracking budgets, with the smallest majority, at 52 percent, being those whose education ended with high school.
  • Among ethnic groups, Hispanics were most likely to track their budget, at 67 percent, versus 65 percent of blacks and 57 percent of whites.
  • By income, households earning $30,000 to $49,900 ranked first, with 63 percent saying they tracked monthly spending.

Only 58 percent of Americans track their spending against a monthly budget.

Greg McBride, CFA

Bankrate senior financial analyst

Those with college degrees (66 percent) and — not surprisingly — parents (65 percent) are highly likely to track spending against a budget. Least likely are those with a high school diploma or less (52 percent) and households with under $30,000 in annual income (53 percent). Geographically, those in the Northeast are less likely (53 percent) than their counterparts in other parts of the country. This is ironic, given the high cost of living through most of the region.

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Financial Security Index