Many working Americans are at a crisis point when it comes to their personal finances. With inflation reaching historic highs throughout 2022, the rising costs of everyday expenses has made it difficult, if not impossible, for workers to build their savings and avoid going into high-cost debt.
Workers continue to face the high cost of necessities including food, up 7.7% over last year and shelter, up 8.1% over last year. Families faced with the need for childcare are also dealing with increased costs to the point where in three out of four regions of the U.S., center-based child care for an infant is more than the cost of housing.
Americans are unable to keep up. Living paycheck to paycheck has made it difficult to replenish depleted emergency savings accounts. When unplanned expenses such as household and auto repairs or medical bills arise, those without emergency savings or access to affordable credit turn to the only solutions available to them such as credits cards, and payday loans.
Of the 2,000 employees surveyed in the 5th Annual Inside the Wallets of Working Americans Report, 62% of those who regularly use credit cards carry a month-to-month balance, with the balance for most exceeding $1,000. Twenty-two percent have taken out a payday loan in the last twelve months.
Employees are looking for help. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed would like help saving more money, 31% would like help with paying down existing or avoiding high-cost debt and 27% would like a financial wellness benefit with access to a financial coach.
A holistic financial wellbeing program that supports emergency savings, inclusive access to earned wages and affordable loans, as well as wrap-around financial resilience programs including coaching and education – will lead the efforts to close the benefits gap.
For more information on the findings of our annual report and for greater insight into the opportunities for financial wellbeing in the workplace, access our full report, Inside the Wallets of Working Americans for free.