Survey: A Majority of Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck Sixty-four percent of U.S. consumers live paycheck to paycheck — even those who earn more than $100,000 a year.

By Jonathan Small

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Inflation continues to impact American wallets.

Some 64% of U.S. consumers (166 million) say they're living paycheck to paycheck, according to a new survey by LendingClub in partnership with PYMNTS. That number is up 3% from last year.

And it's not just middle-income Americans struggling to pay their bills.

Surprisingly, 51% of consumers earning more than $100,000 said they also lived paycheck to paycheck.

"While the number of Americans living paycheck to paycheck is close to the height we saw in the middle of the pandemic, the causes appear to be very different, as the economy is not sheltering in place like it was back in 2020," said Anuj Nayar, financial health officer at LendingClub.

Nayar pointed to inflation and the Fed's efforts to curb it as a reason for consumers' paycheck-to-paycheck status, as debt continues to be on the rise.

Americans remain optimistic

Despite the dire news, many paycheck-to-paycheck consumers remain optimistic that things will turn around for them. According to the survey, four out of 10 expect their money situation to improve next year — up 7 percentage points from 33% in July 2022.

Why the positive vibes? Paycheck-to-paycheck consumers believe that promotions and side hustles will help them earn more cash in the coming year.

But Nayar expressed concern that this kind of magical thinking could slow economic recovery.

"If the consumer perception that their incomes will improve this year is proven true, it will hamper the effects of the Fed to curb inflationary pressures," said Nayar. "We can expect more and more Americans of all incomes identifying themselves as living paycheck to paycheck until we see the economy recover. Now more than ever, it is crucial for consumers to examine spending and build a cushion of savings to prepare for the unexpected."

Most Americans agree, shying away from buying big-ticket items in 2023. Many in the survey said they wouldn't purchase expensive OLED TVs and Smart refrigerators this year. They also expect to take fewer vacations. Only 35% of consumers said they would travel for pleasure in 2023.

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Founder, Write About Now Media

Jonathan Small is an award-winning author, journalist, producer, and podcast host. For 25 years, he has worked as a sought-after storyteller for top media companies such as The New York Times, Hearst, Entrepreneur, and Condé Nast. He has held executive roles at Glamour, Fitness, and Entrepreneur and regularly contributes to The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, Maxim, and Good Housekeeping. He is the former “Jake” advice columnist for Glamour magazine and the “Guy Guru” at Cosmo.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics


7 Ways to Create a Seamless Marketing Campaign Across All Platforms

Achieving cross-platform harmony requires strategic goal-setting, customized content optimization, and a mix of paid and organic efforts.

Business News

Bumble Is Laying Off Over 30% of Workforce as Gen Z Moves Away From Dating Apps

The company revealed its restructuring plans during a Q4 2023 earnings report.

Business News

Amazon's $1 Billion Innovation Fund Is Looking to Invest in a Specific Kind of Startup

The company's Innovation Fund invests in startups that focus on robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and autonomy.

Starting a Business

How Can You Make Sure Your Business Will Survive Anything? Try These 3 Proven Strategies

No matter how uncertain the economy is, you can survive anything as long as you prepare. Here are a few strategies to consider.

Business News

Oprah Winfrey Announces She's Leaving WeightWatchers' Board, Company Stock Plummets

The news comes just months after Winfrey admitted to using weight loss medication to aid her health journey.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.