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61% Of Americans Still Living Paycheck to Paycheck



Cropped hands of businessman opening envelope with paycheck | 61% Of Americans Still Living Paycheck to Paycheck | featured

A growing number of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. This is the major effect of rising inflation rates that are outpacing the rate of salary increases.  

RELATED: Despite Pay Hikes, Americans Are Earning Less Due to Inflation

Inflation Is Pushing Americans To Live Paycheck to Paycheck

Close-up Of A Business Woman Giving Cheque To Her Colleague At Workplace In Office | Inflation Is Pushing Americans To Live Paycheck to Paycheck

Money is tight for many Americans right now, as salaries can’t seem to keep up with rising inflation. As a result, many Americans are reporting that they are now living paycheck to paycheck. 

PYMNTS and LendingClub released a new report titled: New Reality Check: The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Report. It surveyed roughly 3,000 U.S. consumers between December  2 to December 14, 2021, about their current financial status.

It reported that 61%  of consumers were living paycheck to paycheck. The situation is a growing trend since May 2021. The sharp rise is now approaching pre-pandemic levels. 

More Millennials Living Paycheck to Paycheck Compared to Other Generations

However, the problem of living paycheck to paycheck isn’t spread across generations equally. The report found out that 70% of millennials (aged 23-28) are experiencing a financial crunch.

Meanwhile, only 65% of Generation Z (7-22), 60% of Generation X (39-54), and 54% of Baby Boomers (55+) reported the same status.  

When the report evaluated data based on income bracket, 42% of consumers making more than $100,000 also said they live paycheck to paycheck.

Meanwhile, 66% of Americans living an annual income between $55,000 to $100,000 said they’ll also live paycheck to paycheck. Among Americans earning below $50,000, 77% say the same thing.  

Wage Increases Can’t Keep Up With Inflation

This 2022, companies are setting aside an average of 3.9% of payroll for wage increases. However, inflation rates are outpacing these increases.

This means that even with higher wages, Americans are spending more to maintain their current purchases.   

Interestingly, research also showed that even if most millennials claimed living paycheck to paycheck, they also reported the highest savings.

They reported an average of $3,731 in savings even as they struggled to pay the bills. Among Americans who reported living paycheck to paycheck, 39% say they manage to pay their bills. Meanwhile, 22% struggle to do the same. 

Emergency Expenses

When asked if they can afford to shell out $400 in emergency expenses, 59% of Gen Xers who said they live on payroll say they cannot afford to do so.

This is consistent with a bigger study that found that less than half of Americans can afford an emergency payment of $1,000. 

In addition, those who live on a weekly budget are more likely to sell something, borrow money, or use a credit card to pay expenses.

Those who said they live on a weekly salary but manage to pay their bills are more likely to survive a $1,000 emergency payment. 

Inflation Is To Blame

A separate Quinnipiac survey confirmed that most Americans blame Inflation for their financial woes. 27% of their respondents view inflation as America’s most urgent issue.

This is consistent with the Labor Department’s report that prices rose by 7.5% between 2020 and 2021. 

Watch The Hill’s video reporting that 70 percent of Americans say they live paycheck to paycheck:

Do you see yourself as living paycheck to paycheck?

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Do you live paycheck to paycheck? In addition, do you have more problems balancing your monthly budget despite getting a raise from work?

Tell us what you think of today’s economic situation. Share your thoughts below.

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  • Theresa Swaw says:

    If they don’t get them people out of the WH our country is doomed period. At least President Trump let us live we had enough gas food basics everything people were working. Now SS doesn’t hardly pay for food the illegal migrants are living better that older people on SS. We paid our share of taxes in this country now we sell what we worked for so we can still live best we can. I have sOld most of our farm land. Our country is a joke now. We are not the greatest no more our seniors are poor our politicians are rich and care nothing about us.I’m not a smart or well educated person but I see what’s happening and coming

  • Arthur Russell says:

    People live from check to check because they consistently live beyond their means, according to Susie Orman. According to her, you shouldn’t even live within your means. You should live just below your means and create a savings for emergencies. Living beyond your means, means you are in constant debt. Living within your means, means you spend what you make, but don’t have an emergency fund or anything to fall back on. I worked jobs where people made $6.00 and lived from check. Later in life I worked a job where I was making $43 an hour and a lot of people there were making more than I was, many of them making 6 figures a year, and guess what? They were always complaining about how they were living from check to check. That’s because the more most people make, the more they spend. I watched as these guys bought king cab, $65,000 pickup trucks to drive only themselves to work. They had snowmobiles for the winter and Sea-Doos for the summer months or large boats that cost thousands to gas up, store for the winter, etc. Each of their kids had to have a large screen TV in their room, personal computer, Blu-Ray player, etc. What’s wrong with one large TV in the family room? Living from check to check has nothing to do with how much a person makes; it depends on how they manage their expenses. It makes my skin crawl when politicians cry how everyone lives from check to check and how THEY have to do something about it. Living from check to check is a personal choice. The smartest thing you can do if you’re in this situation is to see a financial planner. They will teach you how to manage your money, live comfortably and save at the same time.

  • Sam says:

    There is no way the number is that good. Most people aren’t living paycheck to paycheck because they overspend. It’s because inflation is the wosrt it’s been in 40 years and there are no jobs, and everything is significantly higher expense which means the dollar isn’t going as far. But lot’s of the elite and the government have made billions over a flu. Thank you Xiden!

  • BBA says:

    If you do not think this is all preplanned by the globalist bureaucrats then you are a fool. The REAL Government in the likes of Black Rock, Bil Gates and others have us right where they want us. Desperate for financial relief from our “superiors”!!! You better wake the hell up people and realize that YOUR country is no longer YOURS!!!! It belongs to a small group of powerful groups that make the decisions for all of us!! A real revolution would be the only way to EVER retake this country back from these snakes!!

  • Deanna Mitchell says:

    Living on social security, 624 a month. There is no way I could possibly live beyond my means. I can barely live within my means. On top of this, I have a student loan of 42,000. How can I ever pay this off? I do own my house, if I sell, where do we go? Rents are 2k for a small apartment. I’d love to get a job, but guess what? I was told if I make 250.00 a month, I will lose my medical! I’m in good health, 65 years young, and willing to work. It’s a shame.

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