35% Of Americans Still Struggling to Make Ends Meet Each Month


30-Somethings and Those with Children Under Age 18 Hit Hardest, Annual CashNetUSA Survey Finds

CHICAGO (April 9, 2013) – Facing an April 15 tax deadline, Americans are still coming up short on cash. Thirty-five percent report struggling to make ends meet each month, according to a new survey by online lender CashNetUSA.com. The greatest pressure is felt among those ages 30 to 39. Almost half of that age group (48 percent) is struggling to makes ends meet. That compares to an average of 36 to 37 percent for all other age groups under the age of 60. The findings show that Americans continue to live paycheck to paycheck and have to make do with limited financial resources.

The CashNetUSA survey is a follow-up to one conducted at the same time last year which found one in four Americans considered themselves poor.

A higher percentage of women report struggling compared to men. Thirty-nine percent of women reported financial hardship compared to 31 percent of men. Those with children under the age of 18 report having a tough time making ends meet at 41 percent. That compares to 32 percent of those without young children.

“Too many Americans are still experiencing economic pain, and the upcoming tax deadline only exacerbates the cash flow squeeze on young families,” says Megan Staton, director of marketing at CashNetUSA.com. “The continued weakness in the overall economy hasn’t helped consumer spending habits.”

According to the survey, most Americans have a solid understanding of their available funds and monthly expenses:

  • Almost half (45 percent) know the exact amount in their checking or savings account right now. This compares to 47 percent at the same time last year.
  • Thirty-three percent of Americans say they know the “exact amount” they spend on bills each month. That compares to 36 percent last year. Fifty-nine percent have a “rough idea” of the amount they spend on bills this year, up from 58 percent last year.
  • Nine percent of people today currently have “no idea” what they spend on bills each month. That compares to seven percent last year.
  • Forty-nine percent of Americans loosely follow a monthly budget. Twenty-seven percent strictly adhere to one. Twenty-five percent of people have no budget at all.
  • Those in the struggling 30-to-39 age bracket are more likely to use a monthly budget than last year. Eighty-three percent report following a budget strictly or loosely versus 77 percent this time last year.

Click here to download the complete findings and data of the newest survey.

About the Survey

This CashNetUSA.com survey was conducted online in February 2013 by TNS among a U.S. Census representative, national random sample of 1,000 Americans, one year after the original study in February 2012. The margin of error for the national sample is about 3%. Surveys are subject to other error sources as well, including sampling coverage error, recording error, and respondent error.

Nivene obtained her Bachelors of Communication from Loyola University Chicago. She loves to discuss fashion, finance, TV and cupcakes. Rumor has it she has an owl fetish and drinks too much coffee – that is yet to be determined.

Nivene – who has written posts on CashNetUSA Blog.

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