Worker Finances Stretched Too Thin to Save

A third of workers are not participating in a retirement plan.

The current economy has workers stretching their paychecks more than ever, according to a nationwide survey of over 7,192 workers by half of workers (47%) say they always or usually live paycheck to paycheck just to make ends meet, up from 43% last year, according to a press release. One in five (21%) workers with salaries of $100,000 or more also report they live paycheck to paycheck.

Stretching their income leaves little room to save. A quarter of workers say they do not put any money aside for savings each month, and of those who do save, 34% set aside less than $100 a month and 18% save $50 or less. In addition, a third of workers say they do not participate in a 401k, IRA, or other retirement plan.

One in ten workers making more than $100,000 report putting no money into savings each month or participating in a 401k, IRA, or comparable retirement plan.

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for, said in the press release, that nearly two-thirds of workers say they have a set budget each pay period, but only 19% admit to typically reviewing it. Four in 10 (42%) workers report they would need up to an additional $500 per paycheck to live comfortably, and 14% say they have to work more than one job to keep up with monthly expenses.

By gender, more female workers (54%) than male workers (41%) indicate they always or usually have to live paycheck to paycheck, while more men (77%) than women (72%) say they save some portion of their paycheck each month. Seventy percent of women claim to have a set budget, compared with 61% of men.

The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of It surveyed 2,770 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 7,192 full-time U.S. employees (not self-employed, non-government) ages 18 and older.