Money and budgeting are the root causes of stress for so many people, including myself. With seemingly endless financial and personal reasons affecting how different people spend $100 at the grocery store, we can start to recognize patterns that lead to money-related stress. Do you have any kids? Are you unemployed? How old are you? What is your relationship status? These questions seem like they should only be applicable on your tax exemption form — but in reality those are the exact factors responsible for your spending habits. What I'm saying is that there in a reason I keep buying frozen dinners and still got to see Deadpool three times in theaters.
A team of brilliant humans over at The Simple Dollar created a website for people struggling with debt and budgeting. Their articles help start the organization process for everyone and anyone in need of some advice when it comes to their wallet. The Simple Dollar's most recent contribution is in the form of a video that shows how different people spend the same amount of money at the grocery store. A sample group of Americans, all being from different age groups and currently living at very different points in their lives, shared what they bought on camera. Items were broken down into categories and the results from the survey showed a lot of interesting things. While some of the results were predictable, others really surprised me. I guess this goes to show you that not everything you think about the world is true.
What would you buy with $100? Seems simple. Personally, I try to go grocery shopping every two weeks. Obviously I stray from time to time, because depending on how stressed I am, I can devour my fridge's contents fairly quickly. Usually I spend about $60 to $70 at each trip. I'm careful to treat myself to delicious pricey items on special occasions. That sushi display has tempted me once or twice. The items I buy least are in the bottom right category — non-food items. Living with roommates helps eliminate that from my list by having us take turns buying paper towels or cleaning supplies.
The video surveyed people from all walks of life. Younger, older, single, married with kids, unemployed and happily working at a bar.
Right away I spotted someone I could relate to – Karen. While we differ in that she is still a student, I feel like she is the closest representation of where I am on the budgeting scale. Kind of broke but still independent enough to feed myself.
Then you have people like Komal, who has two kids. Her situation is totally different from mine. All I have to worry about is feeding myself. She has an entire family to shop for every week. Her budgeting is a lot more stressful. I don't have to worry about buying formula, dippers, snacks, or keeping a healthy balance of things stocked up. If I wanted to eat chips for a week that would be on me.
What People Feel About Their Budgets
It seems like the only universally similar notion all these people shared with one another, happens to be stress over their budgets. Everyone felt that their money was tight and that they had a lot of responsibility. It didn't matter if you had kids or were single. Money = stress.
I can totally relate to this. Do I splurge on shampoo or do I get that name brand cereal I like? Choices, choices, choices.
Obviously, employment has a lot to do with it. Being dependent on state funds or a low paying job means having to worry month to month.
Watch the entire video below and check out The Simple Dollar's website for more information of how to better your life and budget away your stress.
Images: Pixabay; YouTube