The trend of working from home is becoming more popular than ever, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, but overspending continues to be a problem.
As of today, there are now over 19 million infections brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 12 million recoveries, and more than 730,000 deaths.
It has urged people to leave their offices for a while and set up work-from-home (WFH) spaces where they could work and earn. Some companies have ensured benefits for their WFH employees until the year 2021, the Wall Street Journal stated.
The work-from-home setup has its pros and cons, but when it comes to personal finance, it is interesting to find out what the stand of the employees are.
A survey was conducted by CouponLawn, seeking information from individuals, and knowing if they need financial therapy or assistance in the time of the pandemic. Financial therapy, combining wealth and psychological coaching, is deemed beneficial for employees who may need to manage their finances better.
The survey was launched in July 2020 on MTurk, gathering information from 1,100 work-from-home workers based in the US only. We specifically asked our survey participants to indicate their age so we can see which generation they belong to.
- It has been found that out of the respondents who were surveyed, the Gen Z or those from 16 to 23 years old are at 5.10 percent, the Millennials or those from 24 to 37 years old are at 57.8 percent.
- Moreover, Gen X or people from 38 to 56 years old are at 30.4 percent, while the Baby Boomers or those from 57 to 64 years old are at 6.6 percent. Most of the respondents are 24 to 37 years old.
How long have you been in the work-from-home (WFH) job?
- When the United States released official lockdown measures during the last days of March, the companies followed suit and also implemented work-from-home regulations.
- Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started, 59.3 percent of the respondents have been working from home. Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed said they have been in the WFH environment for one to two years, with 11.7 percent in this industry for two years already.
What are your job levels and responsibilities?
In the work-from-home setup, there are various job responsibilities that the employees may find themselves. CouponLawn has included these in the details.
- Those in the senior management level are at 13.10 percent, and people in the mid-management level are at 24.90 percent.
- There is a 34.50 percent in the mid-level, with 15.20 and 12.20 percent respectively in the junior level department, and admin/clerical/office support fields.
What is your income level?
The income levels among the work-from-home employees varied, with most of the respondents earning between $50,000 to $74,999.
- Almost twelve percent of those surveyed are earning less than $15,000 with almost 13 percent earning $15,000 to $24,9999. Those in the income bracket of $25,000 to $34,999 are at 13.8 percent, with 20 percent with income from $35,000 to $49,999.
- Twenty-three percent have $50,000 to $74,999 income levels, with 10.8 percent at $75,000 to $99,999 income levels, 5.6 percent at the $100,000 to $149,000 bracket, and 2.10 percent getting $150,000 and more according to the survey demographics and results.
Do you work the full week or rest on weekends?
The WFH environment provides an avenue for these individuals to take hold of their time. Meaning to say, they can determine at which parts of the day they can work, unlike working in the traditional office setup.
- Day-offs among these work-from-home employees vary according to the companies they are in. Some companies require them to work daily, while others are more lenient on the schedule. Time tracking is also a consideration.
- For 47.20 percent, they have to work every day. Thirty-one percent are saying they are also working during the weekends, with 17.90 percent who spend time for themselves during the weekend and do not work on these days.
Do you consider that you are kind of overspending while in WFH versus when you were not in WFH?
Overspending is a controversy among WFH employees, and surprisingly, most of those CouponLawn has surveyed yield to this habit.
- It is interesting to note that the survey respondents admitted they tend to overspend while working from home, as opposed to when they are not in this setup. Around 63 percent of the respondents have the habit to overspend in the WFH versus approximately 37 percent who are not yielding to overspending.
- Their expenses are enumerated as grocery goods, non-child food products, home entertainment, household supplies, snacks, books and magazines, personal care products, and other minor necessities.
Out of these expenses, grocery items comprise most of their necessities from their job earnings, while the least goes to out-of-home entertainment.
Since working from home, besides physical and basic needs, do you believe that psychological needs should be considered with the same important level?
Data from the World Health Organization show that mental health illness affects one in four people worldwide, placing this as one of the leading causes of diseases and disabilities in the globe. How important is mental health for WFH workers?
- Many of the respondents feel that psychological counselling should be part of the WFH environment. Ninety percent say they need to be able to get guided on their psychological needs. There is a 10 percent who say otherwise.
- The basic needs are food, drink, sleep, and more; while the psychological needs are mental health care, therapy treatments, etc.
Your estimated number for weekly spending?
- When asked about their estimated number for weekly spending, the respondents say the average is at 274,4303972.
- For the Gen Z group (16 to 23 years old), it is at 277,5454545; for the Millennials (24 to 37 years old), it is at 264,9086614; for Gen X (38 to 56 years old), the weekly spend is at 331,3633634, while it is 223,9041096 for the Baby Boomers (57 to 64 years old).
- From the list, it is Gen X or those from 38 to 56 years old who are having the most weekly spending, with the least being the Baby Boomers, from 57 to 64 years old.
Would you find yourself in need of consulting from a financial therapist?
In the United States, financial therapy refers to merging financial know-how from financial therapists, or financial advisors, given to people who need to cope up with distressing times. The therapy is offered to clients to make sure that their decisions are logical as they deal with financial issues.
- Many of the respondents said they need financial therapy sessions while in the work from home setup, but this comprises 48.3 percent. Still, most of them, over half of the survey respondents at 51.7 percent, can manage without financial therapy.
Are you experiencing debt on your credit card?
Reports reveal that almost half of Americans are burdened by credit card debt, citing COVID-19 as one of the factors leading to this situation.
There are some individuals from the respondents who are into credit cards when spending on their necessities, needs and wants. The money they pay for their credit cards may come from their remote work earnings. Are they able to pay the credit card bills on time? Many are not able to.
- For instance, the survey has shown that more than half, at particularly 60.40 percent of the respondents, saying that they experience debt with their credit card bills.
- On the other hand, almost 40 percent are saying these debts are managed, or they do not have credit card debts.
Do you have children, or the need to support your family?
- Many of the work-from-home employees also have families to support, adding more to the challenges and the need to have financial therapy talks.
- Among those who CouponLawn surveyed, 73 percent are supporting their family while there is 27 percent who do not have their own family yet.
Keep in mind that with the pandemic still going on, there is a high risk that your job might get even more affected, and having an over-spender lifestyle will certainly not help. As statistics presented, a whopping 90% of Americans complacently continue to overspend on purchasing products and services despite drastic changes in their salary due to the work from home situation.
However, there are available helpful methods online to help employees who work from home that are on a tight budget but still choose to overspend. For example, this guide highlights information about inexpensive internet options while working remotely or traveling
Budget management software will help you manage the financial priorities that use a monthly calendar to help you keep track of your earnings, purchases, and savings. Software that is well optimized and easy to navigate is perfect for any user who wants convenience.
CalendarBudget allows you to set up your bank accounts within the app for you to switch between them with ease within your calendar. Your account activity will also be recorded and shown as you make transactions along with the name and amount presented of each entry and the total sum of balance displayed in its category.
You can even click on the amount to see more details such as the title itself, the date, the amount, and the segment. In the same screen displayed details screen, you will also find the “remind me” button so that you will not forget to pay a bill or do certain arrangements.
Those are just a few features that a well-optimized budget management software can do. There are various features you can take advantage of like moving forward to future months to plan your finances, infographic reports of your spending by category, and many more. With the calendar budget app, monitoring your finances will get easier.