The unemployment rate edged higher last month and many Americans are still unsure about the country’s economic future. During the month of May, only 36 percent of Americans felt the economy was on the right track, according to a report from Fannie Mae. Although this share may seem like a somewhat promising amount, it was a decline from the previous month.
Meanwhile, 15 percent of respondents expect their personal financial situations to deteriorate in the next 12 months, the survey found, representing the largest number of consumers to feel this way since the beginning of the year. In contrast, only 43 percent anticipated their situation to improve during the same period.
However, the survey wasn’t all negative. In fact, 20 percent of respondents claimed their household incomes had increased since the middle of last summer, which could make it easier for many of them to cover necessary monthly expenses. In addition, 65 percent said their income levels have remained the same.
Although average rental rates, the price of gasoline and food costs have steadily risen in recent years, 59 percent of American households say their expenses have not changed during the past year. This was a 4 percent increase from the previous month, when only 55 percent of respondents had the same response.
Creating A Family Budget
Planning a money management system around the earnings, spending and savings habits of an entire family can be much more complicated than creating a budget for a single person.
To start, determine the real income of your household. If more than one person brings in money that is put toward monthly expenses, account for these amounts. Just make sure to deduct federal and local taxes and well as Social Security and Medicare to get an idea of your real household income.
Remember, not everyone in the household is necessarily on the same payment schedule. If one spouse receives paycheck every two weeks, while the other is only paid once a month, this can change the way you manage your monthly expenses since you will have different amounts of money at various parts of the month.