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Sad but true: Those earning over $150k/year are working more to stay out of debt

More and more Americans are going into debt

As U.S. inflation continues to rear its head, so does its effect on people. A new report shows just how striking the impact has been on Americans’ wallets and work-life balance.

The four-day workweek may be a trending concept. However, a new survey of more than 1,500 people by financial content hub Finmasters found that nearly one-third (30%) of people who are making more than $150,000 per year were logging more hours at work. Why? They were afraid of going into even more debt

someone paying with a credit card that is blue
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Of all of the people Finmasters surveyed, 23.18% said they have been delaying paying off their debts. More than half of all individuals (53.78%) polled admitted that they have taken on more debt, and almost 3 in 10 people (27.18%) said they had been forced to put more dough on credit cards

That stat may cause you to do a double-take, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

More than 88% of people polled admitted to Finmasters that inflation has had a high, moderate, or very high effect on their household budgets in the last six months. People in the youngest age group surveyed, ages 18 to 29, were the most likely to choose “moderate impact,” with 48.46% selecting that option. They were also the least likely to say inflation has had a “very high” impact on them (14.51%).

Many were eliminating items from their budget plans. In fact, almost all of the respondents said they had slashed expenses — only about 8% said they hadn’t. The most significant cutback came from restaurants. About two-thirds of people said they were eating out less. Groceries and apparel were also placed people were looking to save.

That said, personal savings aren’t growing as much since household budgets have had to increase to afford the rising costs of essential items like food. More than one-third of the people Finmasters spoke with reported putting less money into savings. 

If you’ve noticed a surge of people putting personal items on Facebook Marketplace, it’s probably not just you. According to Finmasters, 28.86% of respondents said they had sold personal items to help them bring in more money. 

The survey included participants of varying incomes and age groups. Of the participants:

  • 38.4% earned less than $50,000 annually
  • 31.56% earned between $50,000 to $100,000 annually
  • 13.3% had a yearly salary of $100,000 to $150,000
  • 9.88% earned more than $150,000 per year
  • The remainder (6.91%) didn’t want to disclose their income
  • 20.92% were 18 to 29 years old
  • 26.21% were 30 to 44 years old
  • 28.21% were 45 to 60 years old
  • 28.21% were over 60 years old

In other words, it was a diverse pool, and it shows the extent to which Americans are struggling right now.

It’s unclear when inflation will end, though some factors that would help include:

  • Lowering interest rates
  • Tax cuts
  • Investment in the supply chain

Here’s hoping it goes down in 2023 — as charts, studies, and anecdotal evidence accumulated during conversations over holiday dinners that cost more than usual have shown the wide effects it has had on so many people.

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BethAnn Mayer
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