I came across an interesting finding by Gallup today on the topic of household budgeting.
32% of Americans “prepare a detailed written or computerized household budget each month that tracks your income and expenditures,” while 30% “prepare a long-term financial plan that outlines your savings and investment goals in detail.”
The rest–a large majority–don’t do either.
Do those numbers sound awfully low? They should. How can we expect Americans to prioritize House and Senate budget production or government debt management when they don’t prioritize those ideals within the confines of their own daily living?
How can a live-within-your-means policy for the government resonate if Americans don’t practice a live-within-your-means philosophy at home?
Limited-government, combat-the-debt, balance-the-budget, look-to-the-future policies will only be embraced if and when the majority of Americans begin to value those things in their day-to-day lives.
And if they don’t–yes, the financial future of the country is in trouble. Once practical budgeting and living within your means cease to matter on a personal level, the kinds of politicians who get elected and the kind of policy that gets furthered year after year have the potential to do more damage than I can imagine.
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