Breaking News: Budgeters Have $150k More in Net Worth

And by “breaking news,” I mean “from a new infographic that’s being passed around right now” ;) By a software company called HelloWallet that offers “high-quality, individualized guidance to all Americans.” And, apparently sexy research too.

Because, unlike you fine readers, people tend to not believe me when I say budgets are sexy… It’s like, come on! What’s a guy gotta do around here to prove it? Make a fancy pants graphic?

So, this is my attempt of passing this new centuries old knowledge as far and wide as possible so there’s never a doubt again on the power of budgeting. They might as well have dubbed it the “J. Money was right, bitches!” infographic. A tad bit catchier, if you ask me ;)

5 More Reasons Budgeters Are Sexy(er):

  1. Budgeters have twice the the amount of money saved for retirement
  2. Budgeters have twice the liquid assets vs non-budgeters ($12,600 vs. $5,200)
  3. 81% of budgeters own a home vs 73% of non-budgeters
  4. 10% of budgeters pay their bills late vs 22% of non-budgeters
  5. 35% of budgeters carry credit card balances vs 50% of non-budgeters

Again, all from the wondrous research of HelloWallet when they took an “in-depth look among retirement plan participants,” where they “explored the demographic and behavioral characteristics of those participants who budget versus those who don’t, and examined the impact of budgeting on finances over time.” My favorite takeaway though was that budgeters have $150,000 more in net wealth when compared to other workers with the same wages.

That’s pretty legit stuff right there. I don’t have any pools of retirement plan participants to pull from myself, but I’d like to (unless you count? You ARE participating in retirement plans, right? RIGHT??)

There were some other interesting comparisons they found too, though not directly relating to money:

  • 84% of budgeters had college degrees vs 58% of non-budgeters
  • 6% of budgeters had only high school diplomas vs 26% of non-budgeters
  • 11% of budgeters were found to smoke, or live with a smoker, vs 23% of non-budgeters
  • And non-budgeting families are 10x more likely to skimp on medical care than non-budgeters

So. The moral of the story? Budgeters have their $hit together. And they save more in the long run too, while also becoming my very bestest friends. If that’s not enough to get you to pay attention to your money, I don’t know what is.

Keep going, mother budgeters!!

PS: I have now broken the world record for the most usage of “budget” in a single article with 26. Including the headline, and that last usage in this P.S…
PPS: A fun fact: I also own the domain (but don’t click it).
PPPS: The grand total is now 27.

[Photo by welivefast // Modified by J$]

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  1. a terrible husband... January 28, 2014 at 6:07 AM

    I didn’t click it. But I really want to. I have so many questions! Like “why” can’t I click it!?! And “when” can I click it?!?! Will I EVER be able to click it?!?!

    And I’m pretty sure I know why less budgeters smoke or live with a smoker. The day before I moved to NJ I checked the price of cigarettes at the deli across from my office in NYC. I don’t smoke but I’ve been watching and laughing as the price rose over the last 10 years.

    One pack was $16.95 as of the end of October. One. Pack. No way I would let that cost in my budget either!

    Ok, I really can’t get my mind off of the whole “don’t click” thing. Let us know how many clicks you get…

    1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:01 PM

      “Why” can’t I click it!?! (Because you have to exercise restraint!)
      And “when” can I click it?!?! (tomorrow. but you already cheated.)
      Will I EVER be able to click it?!?! (see above :))

  2. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life January 28, 2014 at 6:39 AM

    SO sexy ;)

    It seems that smart life style choices- not smoking, living healthily, budgeting- all seem to correlate- I’d also like to see a stat on rate of teenage pregnancy thrown in there.

    All these topics, finance, health, (and sex education), are where I find our education system really fails us. Unless you have a good model somewhere else in your life, or are exposed in some fashion to the basics, how are you supposed to learn these things?

    1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:02 PM

      Yep. Maybe they’ll do an infographic on that teen pregnancy next? ;)

  3. Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial January 28, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    I cracked up at the end – I think mother budgeters is my new favorite phrase!! That’s really interesting that keeping and sticking to a budget truly makes that much of a difference. Great motivation for us all to keep at it!

    1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      Glad you liked it – that’s what I do when I procrastinate on doing my work: make $hit up ;)

  4. Lance @ Money Life and More January 28, 2014 at 7:56 AM

    Good to see the positive correlations! What we talk about so much now has a little bit of research to back it up :) New research project, how to save domain buying addicts from themselves :D

    1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      Good luck with THAT.

  5. Travis @debtchronicles January 28, 2014 at 8:02 AM

    Seriously, you told people not to click on You know that made it a huge red button just BEGGING to be pushed. And yes, I did click on it. LOL.

    1. jim January 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      I clicked on it too. I thought the “don’t click on it” was a psychological ploy to get people to click on it, kind of like when you tell your kids not to finish their vegetables ’cause you’d like to eat the rest of them.

      1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

        (You all get an F)

  6. Anne @ Unique Gifter January 28, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    27 uses eh? That’s impressive, it’s not even a whale of an article! I must be an outlier in the non-budgeting category then, non-smoking, lots of degrees, etc. Plus, I’m confident we’re on the high end of savers. It can be done folks!

  7. Scooze January 28, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    Fascinating. I wonder what the causality is in each of these items? Does better education create better budgeters? Does budgeting get passed down in families with higher incomes? I’m guessing that smoking is correlated with poverty but not just because smoking costs money. Also because smoking is more prevalent in poorer communities.

    1. Gene Roberts January 29, 2014 at 9:15 AM

      I imagine that its as simple as:
      “Those who budget are at least trying to pay attention to their financial health, and are therefore more likely to tailor the outcome in their favor.”

      If you are not paying attention, it will all slip through your fingers.

  8. Matt Becker January 28, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    Of course I clicked. And I laughed. Glad to see someone’s having some fun!

    1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:06 PM

      You’re a good man.

  9. Brit January 28, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    *bows head in shame* I clicked.. LOL

    1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:06 PM

      (I take away one gold star off your chart!)

  10. January 28, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    I definitely clicked because I’m a bad ass like that ;) Horray for budgets!

    1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:07 PM

      (I add one gold star to your chart because you OWNED it!)

  11. John S @ Frugal Rules January 28, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    Add me to the count of those who clicked. :) I’m SO finding a way to use mother budgeter today in a conversation.

    1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:07 PM

      (Your daddy’s a mother budgeter too! ;))

  12. Shondell January 28, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    I love it! Mother Budgeters!

  13. Katie January 28, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    I’m one of the designers at HelloWallet who worked on this infographic and I’m so excited that you are spreading the news! As a former non-budgeter myself, I’ve seen the benefits first hand. (Microphone Jones agrees:

    1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM


      You are my new favorite person. Tied now with Microphone Jones!

  14. Broke Millennial January 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    I gotta ask, what constitutes a budgeter?

    Is it a person who has any sort of handle on the ebb and flow of her money or is it someone who is anal about writing down every single penny spent and sticks to an incredibly rigid itemized budget?

    I just can’t really get down with the rigid itemized budgets, but I do track my spending. I know how much I save out of each paycheck and then need to spend each month just to keep a roof over my head, electricity turned on and the all important Hulu Plus and Netflix accounts running. The left over money doesn’t get focused into certain areas, it’s just there for me to spend.

    Granted, I have more wiggle room than some because I don’t own a home or have kids or a pet or a spouse or debt…

    1. Jake January 28, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      Hi there Broke Millenial,

      I’m one of the analysts who worked on the stats behind this infographic. We looked at survey data from the Federal Reserve. Since it’s self-reported, one person’s idea of keeping a budget means tracking every penny spent, while another might take your approach. It’d be interesting to see the correlations between budget strictness and the outcomes we measured, but unfortunately the data do not allow for that kind of distinction. Hope that helps clear things up!

      1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:10 PM

        Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Grayson @ Debt Roundup January 28, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Damn, I am feeling sexy now!! I need to go home to the lady and say, “hey baby, I budget! What do you think of me now?”

    1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:10 PM

      Her clothes will just fly off – enjoy!

  16. Charlie @ Our Journey To Zero Debt January 28, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    You other brotha’s can’t deny?

    January is almost over and this is the first time I’ve ever been this close to trying to stay under budget. Thank God February only has 28 days!

  17. Amanda @ Passionately Simple Life January 28, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    It was too tempting, I had to click it…

    But it would make sense that people who are able to control one aspect of their lives are better at controlling other parts, especially indulgences. It makes sense that budgeters are awesome overall!

  18. Done by Forty January 28, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Ha! Why is it that I have to click everything I’m not supposed to click? (Don’t look too deeply into that question.)

    I wonder how folks like MMM, who track spending but don’t budget per se, would fit. I mean, what he does is KIND OF a budget, you know?

    1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:15 PM

      Yeah, I think everyone budgets to a degree – even if it’s in their head and it’s rudimentary. My guess is that Mr. MMM knows he makes well over what he needs in any given month – especially with the awesome success of this blog – so that he doesn’t need to concern himself much with cash flow. He knows more is coming in than going out because he’s a jedi master at keeping his expenses crazy low. (I don’t know who or what jedi is actually, but hopefully I used him/it right in that thought ;)).

  19. Crystal January 28, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    I have to say that I wasn’t too surprised by the money correlations, but the lifestyle ones were interesting. I looked at this from our immediate friend group and I can say that the two smokers don’t budget. But they are actually both starting to create a plan this year, AND they both are quitting smoking at the same time. Sort of funny.

  20. Fig January 28, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Awesome sauce! I’m glad I finally came around to the budgeting side of things. I’ll be collecting my higher net worth soon. :)

  21. SaintsFan82 January 28, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    I had to click…very funny:)

    I also want to add that I recently found your blog and have been going through the archives over the last couple of weeks. Great blog.

    1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:15 PM

      Thank you!! That means a lot :)

  22. Rezdent January 28, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    Oh dang. I cannot lie. I clicked it, haha! Great stuff. Not surprised about the budgeters – I know a couple who can be total drama queens living a soap opera and still keep a handle on the wallet.

  23. Charles@gettingarichlife January 28, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    J that’s why I always budget time in my day to read your blog while working on my budget.

    1. J. Money January 28, 2014 at 8:16 PM

      You’re a smart man.

  24. Kalen Bruce @ MoneyMiniBlog January 29, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    I love me some budgets! It’s funny when I sit down with people to look at their finances and we realize that if they will just set a solid budget, they will be debt-free in a few months.

  25. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar January 29, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    LOL I love that motherbudgeter website.

    We only started having a budget last March. Our net worth has skyrocketed. We feel like we have a plan for buying a house in the next few years, and without our budget, we wouldn’t be able to handle it.

    I sum it up with this quick story: Friends got married last year. We budgeted over the 4 months coming up to the wedding. Drove out, had a blast, and on the Sunday after a friend said “Man, this was fun but I can’t believe how much money I spent. I’m going to have to shuffle some money around so I can pay some bills….” My wife and I were shocked. We didn’t even think about how much we had spent. Checked the budget when we got home and saw that we actually were $150 under budget! BAM!

    1. J. Money January 29, 2014 at 9:49 PM

      BAM! That’s how it’s done, son!

  26. Ryan @ Impersonal Fiannce January 29, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    I love this. I keep reading it over and over, just feeling sexier every time. And I totally clicked the link, and it definitely made me laugh. Out loud, even.

  27. J. Money January 29, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    Is there such a thing as osmosis for the eyes? :)