The percentage of Americans living paycheck to paycheck skyrocketed in 2022

Buyers in San Francisco on December 21, 2022.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Months of high inflation have weighed heavily on budgets.

According to a recent study, as of December, 64% of Americans were living from paycheck to paycheck LendingClub Report – an increase of 61% on the previous year and in line with the historical high first reached in March 2020.

Also, for the first time, more than half of all six-figure earners said they were too thin, a jump from 42% a year ago.

“The effects of inflation are eating away at every American’s wallet, and while the Fed’s efforts to curb inflation are driving up the cost of debt, we are seeing near record numbers of Americans living paycheck to paycheck,” said Anuj Nayar, Financial Health Officer of LendingClub.

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For its part, the Federal Reserve is widely expected to announce its eighth straight rate hike this week political session.

Wage growth, while high by historical standards, has not kept pace with the rise in the cost of living, which rose 6.5% year-on-year in December.

That leaves many Americans in a bind as inflation and higher prices force more people to draw on their cash reserves or lean on credit even as interest rates are rising at the fastest rates they have been in decades.

Other reports also show that overall financial well-being is deteriorating.

How to get your budget back on track

Certified Financial Planner Ted Jenkin, CEO and Founder of oXYGen Financial in Atlanta and a member of CNBC’s Financial Advisor Council offers its best advice on how to spend less and get a better return on your savings.

1. Cut spending

Jenkin said some simple financial tricks, like going to the grocery store less and limiting online shopping, can help.

“Grocery stores are just like Las Vegas; they are there to separate you from your wallet,” he said. Meal planning is a way to narrow down your grocery list to the essentials of the week and save money.

Why US salaries aren't keeping up with inflation

2. Increase savings The percentage of Americans living paycheck to paycheck skyrocketed in 2022

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