When the economy gets tough, Americans get tougher — on their variable expenses. U.S. residents are looking online to become more budget-savvy and make better financial decisions. Americans search budget-related queries an average of 64,000 times every month.
As part of its recent merger with Thrifty Guardian, the website Mama Say What?! conducted a study that shows the states where budget-related searches are peaking and analyzed the trends associated with these spikes.
Researchers accessed Google search data through Google Trends and Ahrefs and found Missouri has the most searches, particularly within the last month.
Who Wants To Create a Budget?
While the cost of living crisis continues, earning more income isn’t always viable for everyone. Learning how to budget can be helpful for those battling to stay afloat in tough economic times.
In recent months, budgeting has become increasingly critical for more Americans across various income and expense levels. From students trying to make ends meet to retirees managing a fixed income and small businesses balancing the books, people are learning budgeting skills to manage resources and avoid debt.
Americans can access many budgeting resources with tools like budgeting apps or more traditional resources like worksheets and templates. Searching for resources online can be an excellent way to start a budgeting journey.
According to Mama Say What?!, the top search queries related to budgeting were “budgeting apps,” which received 15,000 monthly searches; “best budgeting apps,” at 14,000 monthly searches; “budget worksheet,” with 9,400 monthly searches, and “budget template,” which had the highest number of monthly searches at 26,000.
To interpret this data, researchers scored each state on a scale of 0-400 to determine where individuals are most interested in learning about budgeting in the country. The study separated the results into 12-month and 30-day trends for further analysis.
Ways To Help Better Budgeting
Budgeting apps are a fast and convenient way to track household finances in real-time. They enable the user to set financial goals and monitor progress. They can also offer insight into spending patterns, encourage financial boundary setting, and improve budgeting skills.
For the less tech-savvy, a budget worksheet in the form of a simple table or spreadsheet will do the same job. It helps to manage income and expenses and plan for special events, and it provides a visual tool for managing a budget in a structured way.
There are plenty of budgeting templates available online, ready to be downloaded. You don’t need to waste time starting from scratch – these convenient tools are pre-structured and can often be customized to suit the user’s requirements.
Top 10 States in the Last 30 Days Seeking Budget Advice
Several states are turning to the internet to find solutions to their financial difficulties far more than others, represented by the top 10 according to the analysis.
Missouri was the number one state searching for information related to budgeting resources, with a score of 231. The search term Missouri residents searched the most was “best budgeting apps.” This term indicates that residents were looking for a fast, convenient way to manage their money.
Missouri’s score is 16 points higher than that of the second-place state. South Carolina had a score of 215. South Carolina residents favor the search term “budget worksheets” over others. Missouri and South Carolina ranked substantially higher than the remaining top 10 states on the list, indicating a significantly higher interest in creating budgets.
Massachusetts came in third with a score of 173 points. The Old Bay State does not rank on the 12-month list but features prominently on the 30-day list, indicating a newfound interest in budgeting information. A recent increase in financial pressures is driving Bay Staters to take their income and expenses in hand.
Wisconsin places fourth. Next is Oregon, ranking fifth. Completing the top ten list are the states of Colorado, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Washington.
Over the last 12 months, Utah has proven to be the most interested in budgeting, ranking first on the top ten list with a score of 314.
Utah residents favor the search terms “budgeting apps” and “best budgeting apps” over other related words. Residents of Utah appear to have curbed their interest in budgeting as of late, as despite their top-ranking placement on the 12-month list, this state doesn’t even rank on the 30-day list. Utah has experienced one of the fastest-growing economies in the U.S. in recent months.
Utah scored 54 points more than Colorado’s 260. After Colorado, third place is awarded to Minnesota. Fourth and fifth place are dedicated to North Carolina and Missouri, with 227 and 224 points, respectively. Missouri’s consistent appearance on each list denotes a sustained interest in budgeting, with a recent spike in the last 30 days earning its first-place ranking.
In sixth place is Tennessee. South Carolina takes seventh place, appearing again on both lists, indicating that this state’s residents have consistently sought answers to their budgeting questions. This indication is supported by data that suggests this state is experiencing below-average growth compared to other states.
Eighth, ninth, and tenth place go to Wisconsin, Virginia, and Georgia. Georgia and Tennessee have recently reduced interest in budgeting, falling off the 30-day list following its placement on the 12-month rankings. This decline correlates with growth in these states and a rise in income levels.
As Americans feel the squeeze of sustained inflation, creating a household budget can provide relief when those few extra dollars can mean all the difference. Whether using online apps, templates, or general resources, online searches may help individuals looking to build their own budgeting systems to weather the current economic storm.