DES MOINES, Iowa (2/1/16)--Iowans have their sights on some big-ticket financial items for 2016--and most have a budget in place to achieve their goals, according to a recent survey conducted by the Iowa Credit Union League (ICUL).
Of nearly 1,000 Iowa consumers polled by the league, 62% of respondents have milestone events, such as a wedding, new baby or large purchase that they need to budget for in 2016. While not everyone has a large ticket item to budget for, 75% of respondents said they have started the new year with a household budget.
Sticking to a budget takes discipline and can feel very restrictive. Roughly 97% of respondents gave themselves a less-than-perfect score when it came to budgeting, with the majority claiming they had a lot of room for improvement.
However, budgeting can bring a sense of security and empowerment when people stay loyal to their budgets. Jim Niederhauser, ICUL vice president of member services, said the key to a budget is to set realistic, tangible goals and to start with a plan.
“Most of us plan a trip, we plan our weekend activities and we plan work projects, so why not plan how we use our money?” Niederhauser said. “Participation from everyone in the household, even children, can ensure you stay focused and aware of the budget. When making a budget it’s important to be realistic, if it’s too restrictive, many people become frustrated and feel deprived.”
According to research by CreditDonkey, a national credit card comparison and financial education website, 29.2% of Americans aren’t saving any of their income. In addition, a recent survey conducted by Bankrate showed that more than 60% of Americans do not have enough rainy-day funds set aside to deal with even minor emergencies. These statistics indicate the pitfalls of budgeting appear to be widespread, making it hard for consumers to be resolute in their intentions.
Niederhauser emphasized the importance of having at least $1,000 in an emergency fund for all of life’s unplanned events. While many Iowans plan to budget for the events 2016 will bring, it’s just as important to plan for the unexpected ones as well.