As Prices Soar, More People Struggle to Make Ends Meet

Off the Charts: The Visual Says It All

Hispanic man pumping gas.
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Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd / Getty Images

Nearly 1 in 5 adults had trouble making ends meet in January, highlighting how roaring inflation is taking its toll on households, according to a recent survey.

A monthly survey by Morning Consult showed 18.6% of adults had household expenses that exceeded their monthly income, more than in any month since the question was first asked in September 2020. As the chart below shows, that’s a sharp jump from December, which also saw an increase.

Inflation is at 7.5%, the highest in nearly 40 years, and doesn’t look like it will abate any time soon with the Russia-Ukraine war pushing oil and gas prices higher. Not surprisingly, those with lower incomes are the most likely to find themselves without enough to cover expenses. Of the 18.6%, 78% earned less than $50,000 annually.

An overall increase in wages has helped offset the impact of inflation, but it hasn’t been enough.

“Rising wages have helped some households keep up with increasingly costly monthly expenses, but inflationary pressures have continued to heat up for everyday purchases like groceries and gas, in addition to big-ticket items like housing and cars,“ Morning Consult said in a report.

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