Mental accounting and behavioural hierarchy: Understanding consumer budgeting behaviour

Jing Jian Xiao, Barbara O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Budgeting is an important step in consumer finance. Budgeting behaviour is considered a desirable financial behaviour to indicate consumer financial capability. However, systematic research on budgeting behaviour with a large scale national sample is limited. The purpose of this study was to address this research gap and examine characteristics of budgeting behaviour from the perspective of a behavioural hierarchy, which is related to mental accounting. The assumption holds that consumer financial behaviours may be performed in a hierarchical manner along with an increase in economic resources. Using data from the 2015 National Financial Capability Study, evidence suggests that budgeting behaviour is at the lower end of the behavioural hierarchy. This finding has implications for consumer financial professionals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-459
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Marketing


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