71% Of Americans Can’t Keep Up With Inflation, “Falling Behind”

Although the rate of inflation has slowed, costs are still much higher than they were last year. Americans are finding themselves struggling to keep up with the rising costs of basic needs.

Living Ain't Cheap

According to Bank of America's 12th annual Workplace Benefits Report, “Navigating a New Era of Financial Wellness,” 71% of respondents said their cost of living far outpaces their salary and wages.

824 employees and 846 employers participated in this workplace survey in February. Responses showed that people are stressed about inflation and its continual squeezing of people's wallets.

In February, 58% of people said that they felt their cost of living outpaced their salary and wages. By July. that number had shot up to 71%. In addition, 80% of respondents said they are concerned about their overall financial well-being. Half of those people said they have had to make emergency moves to make ends meet.

21% of respondents are working extra hours, 20% are looking for higher-wage jobs, and 6% have had to resort to drawing on their 401(k).

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A Steady Rise

August's inflation report indicates that inflation has grown by 8.1% over the years. Some costs, like energy, have decreased, but everyday essentials such as food, clothing, housing, and vehicles have continued to rise. Although job reports show that employment rates are strong, inflation will continue to be an issue. Wages are failing to keep up with inflation for middle-class families.

Just last month, inflation rates hit a record high of 9.1%. Consumer good prices are skyrocketing, and wages aren't able to keep up.

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Falling Behind

In a survey of 1,384 adults, 75% said that their income is “falling behind the cost of living.” Most of the respondents are under the impression that financial issues will continue to grow. 61% of respondents think that the economy will be worse off next year, and 16% think they will be better off financially next year than they are this year.

Researchers asked families how their budgets have changed to account for the increased cost of living, and the answers were significant.

  • 77% say they're preparing for a recession
  • 71% say they're already cutting back on spending to be able to make ends meet
  • 38% say they've delayed major purchases thanks to rising interest rates
  • 31% say they are having to rely more heavily on credit cards to make purchases

Credit card debt is skyrocketing, and a June report showed that Americans are already starting to pull in their spending on things such as restaurants and travel.

Silver Linings

On September 26th, A D.C. council committee met to push through a bill that will make public transit far more affordable and accessible. The bill would grant residents $100 a month to be used towards buses and subways. The goal of the bill is to take this expense off of the already full plate American families are having to deal with currently.

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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.