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Survey: For 1 in 5 Americans, Monthly Spending Exceeds Income

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One in every five Americans is not making ends meet, according to a new study.

Country Financial, Bloomington, Ill., published this finding in a summary of results from a national telephone survey of 3,000 Americans. The results were compiled by the research firm Rasmussen Reports, LLC, Asbury Park, N.J.

The survey reveals that while fewer than 1 in 10 Americans (9%) say their lifestyle is more than they can afford, more than one in five (21%) say their monthly spending exceeds their income at least half of the year.

The survey attributes this “perception gap” to the fact that only 51% of Americans use a household budget system. Those who budget are more likely to set monthly savings goals (61%) than those who don’t (30%).

But the survey adds that most budgeters (57%) and non-budgeters (54%) admit they meet their savings goals only half the time or less.

Among the survey’s additional findings:

The 52% of Americans whose monthly spending exceeds their income at least a few months of the year rely on other means to make ends meet.

36% dip into savings to meet financial obligations.

22% use credit cards to meet financial obligations.

14% adjust spending the following month to meet financial obligations.

Correction: The original version of this story mistakenly cited Bloomington, Ind. as the location for Country Financial.


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