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Budgeting Woes

Budgeting Woes

REP. Readers Do It by the Numbers

Is there a financial advisor who does not recommend that clients establish and maintain budgets? Yet surveys show that it’s not easy for clients to start new habits or break old ones. To encourage better budgeting, FAs need better statistics.

Ratio of adult Americans who admit they do not maintain a budget: three in five

Percentage of Americans who admit they do not have a “good idea” of what they spend on various expenses: 13

Maximum variance in interest rates paid by savings banks from city to city, depending on competitive factors: 550%

Percentage of the deposit account market controlled by the country’s 10 largest banks: 70

Average API for savings accounts offered by the 10 largest banks: 0.036%

Factor by which the “teaser” interest rate offered by Capital One on savings accounts is increased when standard rates go into effect after the 12-month promotional rate expires: 16

Source: WalletHub

Average API on a credit card with a balance on it as of August 2014: 13.18%

Total U.S. outstanding revolving debt as of August 2014: $880.3 billion

Percentage of Americans whose households carry credit card debt from month to month in 2014, down from 44% in 2009: 34%

Sources: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston,

Percentage of Americans who consider talking to a stranger about their credit card debt more of a taboo than talking about their salary: 85

Source: National Foundation for Credit Card Counseling

Differential nationwide in the cost of car insurance for a person with an excellent credit score and a person with no credit history: 65%

Of the four major credit card networks (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express), the number that require cardholders to decline supplemental insurance / Collision Damage Waivers (CDW) offered by the rental company in order to be eligible: 4

Percentage of car renters who purchase supplemental insurance coverage when renting a car, despite the fact that their major credit card almost always covers them: 20

Percentage of car renters who aren’t sure whether their cards provide any sort of coverage: 24

Source: Progressive Insurance

Optimum number of days before departure to secure the lowest fares in 2014, up from 42 days in 2012: 57

The best day to purchase lowest-cost domestic airline tickets, replacing Tuesday, previously the most popular day for booking: Sunday

Sources: Airlines Reporting Corp., Wall Street Journal

The average cost of a conventional delivery for a baby at an American hospital in 2014: $9,775

Source: International Federation of Health Plans

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

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