PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–The stock market has reached record highs, the unemployment rate is at a 16-year low and yet according to a new survey many American workers are struggling financially.
Shantel Walker is a fast food worker and says she barely makes enough to scrape by.
“A lot of money that I make goes back into my rent,” she says.
In a new survey from CareerBuilder.com, 78 percent of workers say they are living paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet. That’s up from 75 percent last year.
“The trend is continuing and we expect it to go forward,” said Michael Erwin, senior career advisor at CareerBuilder.com
Erwin says a higher cost of living and stagnant wages are hitting workers across the board.
One in ten people earning more than $100,000 a year say they’re waiting for pay day to pay the bills.
“Too many people are in debt and as they approach that retirement age they’re not going to be able to support themselves and be able to retire,” Erwin said.
Trimming monthly expenses can help, but the survey found most people are not willing to give up things like their home internet connection and smartphone.
Erwin advises people to negotiate their bills.
“You should definitely look at all of your bills and call them up and see if you can lower those interest rates, lower those contracts and see if you can save yourself some money, that will go a long way to not living paycheck to paycheck,” said Erwin.
Walker found one way to save: pedal power.
“My bike it takes me from point A to point B,” said Walker.
She’s also working to get a raise and take on extra hours, hoping it will put her on the road to financial security.
The CareerBuilder survey also found that women are more likely than men to live paycheck to paycheck.