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A majority of American employees are finding themselves hard-pressed to live up to their household budgets, according to a new report from CareerBuilder. The survey of more than 4,400 full-time U.S. staffers found that 61 percent of respondents reported that they always or usually live paycheck to paycheck, an increase from 47 percent in 2008.
One in five workers (21 percent) polled said they arere taking money from their long-term savings to satisfy financial burdens and have decreased their personal savings or 401(k) contributions over the past six months.
One-third of employees have forgone long-term savings plans. They have increased their savings each month (33 percent) and don’t participate in 401(k)s, IRAs or other retirement plans (36 percent). Of those who did attempt to save, 30 percent saved $100 per month, and 16 percent saved less than $50 per month.
“Workers are employing a variety of tactics to help make ends meet in this economy,” said Rosemary Haefner, VP of human resources for Chicago-based CareerBuilder. “Whether it’s by keeping a tighter budget, finding ways to bring in additional income or adjusting their savings strategies, workers are doing their best to weather the current storm. These good financial habits will not only help workers in the short term, but better position them for the future.”
What’s more, staffers earning annual salaries above $100,000 also reported financial difficulty. Thirty percent of this demographic said they live paycheck to paycheck -- an uptick of 9 percent from last year. Nearly a quarter of this group (23 percent) have reduced their 401(k) or long-term savings contributions.