Paycheck-to-Paycheck Living: Financial Struggles Persist Despite Adaptive Spending Habits
As of January 2023, 60% of all U.S. adults are living paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent report by LendingClub. This figure is a slight decrease from the 64% reported a year prior, suggesting that last year's spending cutbacks have positively impacted some consumer's financial situations. Moreover, concerns over the financial future have decreased, with 25% of consumers expecting their financial standing to worsen, and 36% expecting it to stay the same.
At the end of 2022, credit card debt hit a record $930.6 billion, up 18.5 percent from a year earlier, and the average credit card balance rose to $5,805, according to TransUnion. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, total household debt rose by 2.4% to $16.9 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The new “Reality Check: Paycheck-to-Paycheck” report, from LendingClub Corporation and PYMNTS, found that consumers have adapted to inflationary pressures and are actively making behavioral changes to better manage their cash flow. Thirty-two percent of cardholders altered their budgets and 31% cut back on expenses, which were popular techniques for managing money.
“You really have to get disciplined or you're going to outspend your income,” said Jade Warshaw, Ramsey Personality and debt elimination expert. “Your income is your biggest wealth-building tool, and if you’re giving it away in debt payments every month, you’ll never get ahead. Now is the time to make a plan for your money so you can have a better financial foundation months and years from now.”
As wage adjustments are still lagging behind rising cost-of-living increases, Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck are still struggling financially. However, Americans have adjusted their spending habits to cope with inflationary pressures, and increased optimism indicates that the situation may be improving. Consumers must remain proactive in managing their finances and adjust their spending habits to ensure financial stability in the long run.
0. “Fewer Americans Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck” GOBankingRates, 28 Feb. 2023, https://www.gobankingrates.com/money/economy/living-paycheck-to-paycheck-down-what-consumers-are-doing-right
1. “60% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck — ‘inflation is part of their everyday lives,' expert says” msnNOW, 28 Feb. 2023, https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance/60-of-americans-live-paycheck-to-paycheck-inflation-is-part-of-their-everyday-lives-expert-says/ar-AA182nbo
2. “60% of Americans Now Living Pa” GuruFocus.com, 28 Feb. 2023, https://www.gurufocus.com/news/1959092/60-of-americans-now-living-paycheck-to-paycheck-down-from-64-a-month-ago
3. “Percentage Of Americans Living Paycheck To Paycheck Falls To 60%” Moguldom, 28 Feb. 2023, https://moguldom.com/438314/percentage-of-americans-living-paycheck-to-paycheck-falls-to-60/
4. “The State of Personal Finance: Trends for 2023 Report by Ramsey Solutions Finds Half of Americans Feel Fi” Benzinga, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/23/03/g31176542/the-state-of-personal-finance-trends-for-2023-report-by-ramsey-solutions-finds-half-of-americans-f
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