Around half (45%) of Scottish adults are actively budgeting their monthly finances, according to a recent survey from Bank of Scotland, with roughly six in 10 of these setting specific amounts for their monthly spending.
The research also found that just over half (51%) of people are not keeping track of their monthly incomings and outgoings. Of this group, over a third (34%) said they’re unable to do so because their spending fluctuates too much, a fifth (20%) don't see the value in doing so, and a further 13% saying they aren’t interested in budgeting.
Bank of Scotland’s poll also asked people in Scotland what they thought they spent in August of this year on certain areas, including food and drink, eating out and household bills.
However, when compared to Bank of Scotland’s own spending data, the perceived amounts spent were different. While the actual spending data represents a much larger population than the poll, it indicates that more structured monthly budgeting may be helpful to some, to help them get a deeper understanding of where households finances are being spent.
Within the mobile banking app, Bank of Scotland has a Spending Insights feature which helps customers keep track of their money each month, including:
- Viewing current account spending in categories such as debit card, regular Direct Debits, bank transfer, cash machine and other.
- Spotting patterns in spending to see where money may be able to be saved.
- Seeing where spending has gone up and down each month.
- Viewing the amount and frequency of spending at all retailers.
- Getting an overview of monthly spend against the last month.
Customers can also sign up to receive free SMS alerts to stay up to date with their account and spending.
Philip Grant, Chair of Bank of Scotland's Executive Committee, said: “It can be difficult for families to keep track of their household finances, with work and busy lifestyles understandably taking up a great deal of time – it’s no wonder around half of us don’t sit down and figure out a monthly budget. However, taking time to regularly look at your income and spending not only allows you to keep track, but also may help you spot where funds could be saved or redirected.
“We've built an easy-to-use Spending Insights tool, making valuable insights readily available at your fingertips.”