Majority of Americans on $100,000 salaries are living paycheck to paycheck

A larger proportion of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, including those making at least $100,000 a year, a new survey found.

The LendingClub and PYMNTS survey found the percentage of U.S. consumers that lived paycheck to paycheck in December came in at 64%. That figure equated to about 166 million and marked a 3% jump year-over-year.

The survey found that in December 2022, 51% of consumers earning more than $100,000 annually said they lived paycheck to paycheck, up 9 percentage points from 42% in December 2021.

The data also show that an increasing number of consumers earning more than $100,000 are having difficulty paying their monthly bills. In December 2022, 16% of these high-income paycheck-to-paycheck consumers struggled to pay their monthly bills, up from 11% in December 2021.

The report showed that for consumers making between $50-100,000, two-thirds lived paycheck to paycheck in December, and over three-quarters (78%) of those earning under $50,000 also said that.

"The effects of inflation are eating into every American's wallet and as the Fed's efforts to curb inflation drive up the cost of debt, we are seeing near record numbers of Americans living paycheck to paycheck," said Anuj Nayar, financial health officer at LendingClub. "While the number of Americans living paycheck to paycheck is close to the height we saw in the middle of the pandemic, the causes appear to be very different, as the economy is not sheltering in place like it was back in 2020."

Meanwhile, the report found about 40% of consumers living paycheck to paycheck expressed rosy outlooks about their financial situations. Just over a quarter, 27%, said they expected it "will worsen."

The report, conducted in collaboration with PYMNTS, polled over 3,900 consumers in the U.S. The surveys took place Dec. 8 to Dec. 23.