According to a new survey from CareerBuilder.com, nearly 79% of workers are living paycheck-to-paycheck in the Los Angles area. More than 3,400 full-time workers across industries and companies of all sizes in the private sector participated in the survey with more than three-quarters of those saying they have just enough money for expenses with little to nothing left over for savings.
Ladan Nikraven-Hayes, a career advisor at CareerBuilder, says that's very similar to data they see on the national level.
"We see numbers that are very similar to the national data. When we look at Los Angeles, it's 79%, and when we look at a broader region, when we look at the West, it's 80%."
Even workers who earn more than the national average are having trouble keeping up. Nearly 9% of workers that earn over six figures or more per year, usually or always live paycheck-to-paycheck.
The survey also indicated that more women are living paycheck-to-paycheck than men. Eighty-one percent of women reported doing so, as opposed to only 75% of men. Nikraven-Hayes says the trend of workers living paycheck-to-paycheck is only increasing.
"From our survey we found that 78% are living paycheck-to-paycheck to make ends meet. And that's up from 75% last year. And it's a trait more common in women than men."
What's the culprit for the increase among workers treading water? The cost-of-living is one culprit, but Nikraven-Hayes says that's not the full story.
"The cost of living just continues to increase at a speed, at a pace that is not keeping up with bonuses and with raises. The salaries that are coming with these jobs those haven't bounced back the way actual employment has."
Living paycheck-to-paycheck is complicated, and can be dependent on an individual's circumstances. If you're tired of being caught in the cycle of only having just enough to make it through, here are a few tips that might help:
Create and stick to a budget
You can't save any money if you don't know where it's going. Make informed choices over what's a necessity (rent, food) and what may have to stop (coffee runs, traveling).
The fastest way to go into debt is to not having anything put away for a rainy day if something happens. A good rule is to have at least three to six months worth of expenses put aside in an account you don't touch.
Pay down your debt
The worst thing you can do is ignore your credit card balances and allow the interest to pile up. Try and negotiate lower interest rates, or a better payment plan with your creditors. There are many schools of thought on how to pay down your debt, so research the one that is right for you.