Most Americans Living Paycheck To Paycheck, Report Says

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By Casey Harper
The Center Square

Recently released survey data reports that the majority of Americans are feeling the pain of inflation and living paycheck to paycheck.

PYMNTS released its latest survey, which showed that as of November, 63 percent of U.S. consumers say they are living paycheck to paycheck, a 3 percent increase from the previous month but roughly the same as this time last year.

“Paycheck-to-paycheck consumers are less likely to be stable savers and more likely to lack savings and saving capacity,” the report said. “Our data shows that living paycheck to paycheck is a strong differentiator in the likelihood of having clearly defined financial goals. More than half of those living paycheck to paycheck with issues paying monthly bills have unclear short-term or long-term financial objectives.

According to the report, the majority of those living paycheck to paycheck blame inflation for their situation at least in part.

“Our data also finds that 57% of paycheck-to-paycheck consumers think high inflation has diminished their capacity to reach their long-term financial goals,” the report said. “Compared to a year ago, 32% of all consumers reported a decrease in the portion of their paycheck they can save, while 42% of consumers living paycheck to paycheck with issues paying bills say the same.”

The latest federal data has shown consumer prices rose about 7 percent overall in the last year, but some items like food rose much more.

The results vary by income bracket.

“In November 2022, 47% of consumers earning more than $100,000 per year reported living paycheck to paycheck, a 4 percentage point increase from 43% in October 2022,” the report said. “Meanwhile, in November 2022, 76% of consumers annually earning less than $50,000 were living paycheck to paycheck, compared to 74% the month prior, and 66% of consumers annually earning between $50,000 and $100,000 were living paycheck to paycheck, up from 65% the month prior.”


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