Personal Finance 101: How to Budget the "SMART" Way

 According to data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, the U.S. personal savings rate as of Sept. 2016 was just 5.7%. That’s down nearly 50% from where we were 50 years ago, and it’s a far cry from what the citizens of other developed countries are socking away.
It’s not hard to understand why America’s saving habits are so poor. Aside from the fact that consumption comprises around 70% of our GDP, and thus consumers tend to be freewheeling with their disposable income, a bigger factor could be that just a third of American households is keeping a detailed monthly budget, at least according to Gallup.
Gallup’s findings in 2013 showed that it really didn’t matter all too much how much money you made, what political ideology you believed in, or how educated you were — America gets a big fat “F” when it comes to budgeting.
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