Most Investors Shun Household Budgeting, John Hancock Survey Finds

- Only one-third of respondents prepare a detailed budget tracking income and spending

- Of the majority who don't budget, only a third think they would be better off if they did

Jan 27, 2014, 10:00 ET from John Hancock Financial

BOSTON, Jan. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent survey of affluent investors by John Hancock found that most (67 percent) do not have much use for household budgeting. Of those who don't budget, only a third think they would be better off financially if they prepared one.  

Investors cite several reasons for not relying on a household budget. Just under a third say they have a different system for financial management, and 29 percent say they keep track of budgeting in their head. Forty-one percent don't use a monthly budget because they don't worry about having enough money to cover their needs.

"Despite its apparent lack of popularity, budgeting has benefits for nearly everyone, especially when it comes to monitoring and controlling expenses," said Bill Cheney, Chief Economist for John Hancock.

A little more than 20 percent believe it would be too time-consuming to prepare a monthly budget, and 16 percent don't think it would help them.

Five percent of respondents said they need to spend everything they have to make ends meet. Four percent say they are not sure how to use a budget and as many say their parents never used one, when citing reasons for not budgeting income and expenditures.

The findings were drawn from the fourth quarter 2013 John Hancock Investor Sentiment Survey, a quarterly poll of affluent investors.

About the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Survey
John Hancock's Investor Sentiment Survey is a quarterly poll of affluent investors.  The survey measures investors' feelings about the current economic climate and their evaluations of what represents a good or bad investment given the current environment.  The poll also asks consumers about their confidence in reaching key financial goals and their attitudes toward specific financial products and services.  This online survey was conducted by independent research firm Mathew Greenwald & Associates.  A total of 1,031 investors were surveyed from November 11th to November 22nd, 2013.    To qualify, respondents were required to participate at least to some extent in their household's financial decision-making process, have a household income of at least $75,000, and assets of $100,000 or more. The data were weighted by age and education to reflect the population of Americans matching the survey's qualification requirements. In a similarly-sized random sample survey, the margin of error would be plus or minus 3.11 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. 

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$575 billion (US$559 billion) as at September 30, 2013.  Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at

SOURCE John Hancock Financial