Poll Results: How Do You Budget?

Here’s how Consumerist readers responded to a poll about how they go about setting their personal budgets:

Interesting that the “auto-everything and forget about it” is followed closely by “budgets are for the weak.” We also expected more responses for the choice involving eagles and surgical instruments.

In the end, it seems a “set up a good system, let it run, and get on with your life” approach is still the most popular.

Even still, could it be that consumers who don’t take the time to set up a good budget are more likely to become enraged when something goes wrong with their products that they perhaps cannot truly afford, and thus more likely to visit a site like The Consumerist? Hmm… — BEN POPKEN


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  1. thrillhouse says:

    I think what is even more interesting is that ~43% are interested in budgeting but don’t quite have it figured out yet. This, while ~35% are satisfied with their means of budgeting and that last 22%, well all of those consumerist post about banks and credit card companies have to come from somewhere.

    At least thats what I took away from this. Good poll.

  2. spanky says:

    Eh, I’m in the 22%. I don’t sit down and write out my budget. I’m such a piker, I never really need to.

    I figure out the best arrangements for my recurring expenses when I sign up for them, and then I review them every now and again when I get bored. I rarely find any big problems, although I’ll switch things around every now and again to get better and/or cheaper service.

    The only debt I have is my mortgage. I pay my credit card off every month, I don’t have car payments, and I rarely buy anything besides groceries and other necessities. I really just don’t spend money lightly.

    Maybe it’s not entirely accurate to say I don’t budget at all, but I never write it down or really have to be disciplined about it or anything.

  3. I said, “I review my budget weekly and make adjustments but it doesn’t always work out as well [as] I like” but I think I’ll be in the auto-auto-cushion group by the end of the month.

    I thought the some of the people selecting “Budgets are for the weak” are people who don’t have to worry about going broke.

  4. lpranal says:

    “We also expected more responses for the choice involving eagles and surgical instruments.”

    I guess they realized that eagles don’t have nipples?

  5. I’m one of the ‘budgets are for the week’ and while I am not loaded, I always know how much money I have on hand, and on reserve, and that helps me make buying decisions.

  6. Papa K says:

    My complaints never come from the gadgets I can’t afford, it comes from being screwed with the gadgets I buy and budgeted for get broken.

    I’m in the top 27.6% there, and I always have a good idea on my budget (never off more then $20).