Worker Finances Stretched too Thin to Save

September 4, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The current economy has workers stretching their paychecks more than ever, according to a nationwide survey of over 7,192 workers by CareerBuilder.com.

Nearly 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 CareerBuilder.com, 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-ten (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 to 61% of men.

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 2,770 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 7,192 U.S. employees (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between May 22 and June 13, 2008.

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