LEHI, Utah, Jan. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --People who actively use a zero-based budgeting system to manage their money experience little to no financial stress despite COVID-19 and an uncertain global economy, according to a recent You Need A Budget survey of over 6,000 respondents. Among them, 29% of respondents experienced job or income loss in 2020, and nearly all those surveyed (98%) claim they felt more in control of their money and financial future since starting a budget.
The survey includes employed and unemployed budgeters, with 53% of households making less than $100,000 a year.
Key survey findings include:
Of the survey respondents, 67% received or plan to receive a government stimulus check, with the most widespread use of the check being to build an emergency fund or pay off debt. Spending breakdown included:
Build an emergency fund (30.6%)
Pay off debt (25.55%)
Get a month ahead on expenses (16.4%)
Cover bills including utilities, cable, internet, and phone (13.9%)
Purchase food (13.8%)
Despite the financial stresses of the year, 92% of budgeters had enough cash available and financial confidence to adjust their spending or saving as needed throughout the year.
76% experienced a decrease or no increase in their financial stress. Among them, 84% report that they check their budget more than once a week.
More than half (66%) say they saved more money than in 2019 and that they spent less on travel (74.9%), gas (67.8%), and dining out (51.2%), than the year prior. In contrast, 66% spent more on groceries in 2020 than in 2019.
Almost all (94.1%) said they incurred no debt due to holiday spending, with 66.6% saying they plan and budget towards the holidays monthly.
Over half of the respondents (56.2%) said the thing that surprised them the most about their budget in 2020 was how in control they felt. While 38.4% were surprised by how much they saved, 38.1% were surprised at how their spending priorities changed throughout the year.
Looking at the year ahead, 26.4% said their biggest financial goal for 2021 was to build wealth, with 22.6% hoping to pay off debt, and 21.2% intending to save for a large purchase.
"These insights show the impact a budget can have on limiting and, in some cases, reducing one's financial stress," said Jesse Mecham, CEO and Founder of You Need A Budget. "In a year of economic upheaval, people's plans have uprooted, and financial anxiety has been at an all time high. Having a hands-on spending plan and budgeting system in place provided an element of control. A budget puts people in the driver's seat of their financial choices, allowing them to maintain peace of mind and change their priorities as needed."
FOR MORE INFORMATION: To learn more about You Need A Budget, the user survey, or to schedule an interview, contact Haley Messner at [email protected]
METHODOLOGY: This study was conducted for You Need A Budget using TypeForm. The sample consisted of 6,090 responses with no fewer than 4,094 completed responses per question. Responses were collected from December 10 to December 14.
ABOUT YOU NEED A BUDGET: You Need A Budget (or YNAB if you are very busy and important) is an award-winning personal finance app and proven method to help you gain total control of your money and build wealth. YNAB has taught hundreds of thousands of people four simple rules that helped them stop living paycheck-to-paycheck, get out of debt, and save more money to spend on their priorities. Forget everything you think you know about money, and get ready to experience total control. Watch YNAB's free video trainings and live workshops, learn the method, join the community, and sign up for a free 34-day trial (no credit card required) at www.youneedabudget.com