Study finds household finances becoming more secure


A new report finds that fewer Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, a strong sign that household financial situations are becoming more stable. As many as 46% of American households were counting on the next check to make ends meet more often than not, but now only 40% say the same thing.

The 46% high water mark was hit in 2008; compared to 2011, the percentage is down moderately from 42% but is still trending in the right direction, according to the survey put out by CareerBuilder.

The situation is worse for female workers than it is for males – 44% of females fall into the paycheck-to-paycheck category, compared to only 36% of the other gender.

The economic turmoil of 2008 put 53% of current p-to-p respondents into that category, whereas they weren’t in the group before.

“Making ends meet remains a challenge for millions of households, but the situation has improved for workers who’ve grown more confident with their job security or who’ve taken steps to pay down debt and save more,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Seventy-two percent of workers report they are more fiscally responsible since the end of the recession, and as the labor market continues to improve, we expect more workers will again be able to spend in ways that will drive the economy forward.”

Respondents were asked which expenses were untouchable when it comes to finding savings in the household budget. The study found cable ranked  below taking care of the family pet, as far below maintaining an internet connection.

Here are CareerBuilder’s valued-expense results:

A majority (59 percent) of workers said they cut back on leisure activities since the start of the recession, but for many, the following expenses are too important to give up, regardless of financial concerns:
* Internet connection – 57 percent
* Driving – 44 percent
* Pet – 39 percent
* Cable TV –29 percent