The past two years have been a whirlwind for families. The rising prices of basic needs from groceries to rent to mortgages and even used cars have not made things easier. Though jobs reports show that employment rates are incredibly strong, inflation continues to be an issue. And a new report shows just how much wages are failing to keep up with inflation for middle-class families.
Last month, inflation rates in the United States hit another record high at 9.1%, and consumer goods are exploding in price. Although some goods are dropping in cost — gas prices, namely — a new survey from Primerica and Change Research shows the impact the state of the economy has on the middle class.
The survey polled 1,384 adults over 18 years old and found that 75% say their income is "falling behind the cost of living." This means they're not making enough money through wages to keep up with the inflated living costs.
Most people surveyed think financial issues will continue to grow, with 61% believing the economy will be worse off over the next year than it is right now. Only 16% think they'll be better off financially next year than this year.
But that's not the only startling statistic the survey uncovered. Researchers asked families how they've shifted their budget to account for the increased cost of living, and the answers shows how significant this financial boondoggle has been on families:
- 77% of respondents say they're preparing for a recession
- 71% say they're already cutting back on spending to make ends meet
- 38% say they've delayed a major purchase due to rising interest rates
- 31% report having to rely more on their credit cards to make purchases
Considering that credit card debt is reportedly soaring and that a June report claimed that Americans were beginning to pull back on spending at restaurants and on travel, these poll claims seem to be backed by other data.