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Higher pay would be welcome; financial management advice also can help
Roughly 3 in 4 workers in the U.S. say a delayed paycheck would have an immediate impact on their financial well-being, indicating that they are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
The survey, conducted in spring 2016 among 2,000 full-time and contract workers, revealed "the precarious financial position of many American workers in 2016," said Brent Warrington, CEO of San Francisco-based Hyperwallet, a provider of payee account services and the survey's sponsor.
Half of respondents reported that they would have to stop buying nonessential items and delay payment on important bills in the event of a delayed paycheck, according to the firm's
Payday in America report.
On a positive note, most American workers are satisfied with the way they receive their paychecks, the Hyperwallet survey found, with 82 percent of workers receiving direct deposit and 78 percent indicating that their payments are processed in two days or less.
But contract workers often wait for payments much longer than their full-time counterparts: About 28 percent of contract workers wait three to four business days for a payment to process, while an additional 15 percent wait more than a week, forcing them to deal with inconsistent payment dates as many struggle to make ends meet.
Not Just Low-Wage Workers
The above findings are in line with other
survey results released in August by recruitment website CareerBuilder. This survey of more than 3,200 full-time employees, fielded in May and June, found that:
It's not just minimum-wage workers who are struggling, CareerBuilder found. While the likelihood of living paycheck-to-paycheck decreases for workers with higher salaries, a lack of savings was found among all salary ranges:
Further, 68 percent of all workers say they're in debt, CareerBuilder found, and among those workers only 46 percent say their debt is manageable. That's having an effect on their retirement savings, the findings suggest:
Better Savings Habits
An Aug. 29 online post by Christina Lavingia, an editor at the personal finance website GoBankRates.com,
addresses those struggling to make ends meet and cautions that "sometimes, your income isn't the culprit—it's your financial habits, or lack thereof."
Making common mistakes often leads people to end up living paycheck-to-paycheck, "no matter how big your paycheck is," Lavingia observed. These missteps, which employers can warn against as part of their financial wellness initiatives, include:
Related SHRM Articles:
Financial Wellness Success Requires Proactive HR,
SHRM Online Benefits, September 2016
Big Companies Are Raising Wages for Lower Earners,
SHRM Online Compensation, July 2016
Financial Planning Tackles Gender Savings Gap,
SHRM Online Benefits, March 2016
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