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Most Americans Living Paycheck to Paycheck Amid Rising Costs: 'Hard Work Is Not Enough Anymore'

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Inflation is a major concern for most Americans as prices have been going up faster than incomes for the last few years, making it harder for people to make ends meet.

If you feel like you're pinching pennies, you're not alone. Surveys find that up to two-thirds of Americans feel like they are living paycheck to paycheck. According to MarketWatch Guides, 66% feel this way, while 49% consider themselves broke.

"We have to work harder, but I think hard work is not enough anymore," said one Virginia Beach resident.

Americans say they're struggling to manage their finances because of high inflation. Salaries simply are not keeping up with the rising cost of living leading to heavy debt.

That same report says Americans need an average of $17,430 in savings to feel financially secure. Despite the average annual salary being just over $61,000, people believe they need an income of about $73,000 to feel financially solvent.

Surveys have also found a gender gap in financial pain, with women feeling the pinch more than men. One female college graduate told CBN's Brody Carter she hasn't been able to pay student loans for six months – relying on her grandma to cover the cost.

For others like Deborah Pearson, a retired teacher in Virginia Beach, careful financial planning has helped her manage expenses better than some.

"Work, while you are young and kick back, relax, and enjoy with you, are 40-55-60," said Pearson. "You can't make your money when you get old, so make it while you're young. You can take two jobs and get this taken care of and get that taken care of."

Economist Mark Hamrick of Bankrate told CBN's Faith Nation making a budget to have savings on hand, when necessary, should be a priority.

"At Bankrate, we urge people to live beneath their means – not on the cutting edge of the envelope. The place to begin is a budget," said Hamrick. "The second place to begin is to use a savings account with a direct deposit that comes straight from the paycheck into the savings account. As Warren Buffet once said, 'We should save first and spend later'."

There are some positive signs on that front – the MarketWatch Guides survey reports younger Americans are putting more money in savings accounts every month.

MARKETWATCH GUIDES: Paycheck to Paycheck Statistics: 66.2% of Americans Report Struggling Between Paydays

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About The Author


Brody Carter has been reporting and anchoring at CBN since 2021. In his time at CBN, he has found his stride in national news, including political and foreign affairs, extreme weather, and in-depth faith-based reporting. Brody frequently covers news for The 700 Club, Faith Nation, Newswatch, and Christian World News. Brody is passionate about news and displays standout dedication and work ethic in the field. Since starting at CBN, Brody has not only grown as a journalist but also as a person of faith thanks to close family, friends, co-workers, and the church body in Virginia Beach. He