Households Getting Better About Budgeting

Although the economy and personal financial situations of some Americans are improving, some households say they are still living paycheck to paycheck. Unfortunately, this can leave little room for unexpected expenses.

According to a recent survey from cash advances bad credit, 40 percent of American households are living paycheck to paycheck. While this may seem like a significant share of families, it was a notable decline from the post-recession high of 46 percent experienced in 2022.

Nearly 72 percent of workers say they have become more fiscally responsible in recent years, Haefner added. If the job market continues to build momentum in the near future, this could allow households to grow their incomes and free up more money to put toward necessary expenses.

Meanwhile, 37 percent of respondents revealed they sometimes live paycheck to paycheck, while 23 percent claim this is never an issue, the survey indicated. Not unexpectedly, the lowest percentage of households having difficulty making ends meet earn more than $100,000 every year. However, 12 percent of these families still claim they are forced to wait for their next payday to make expenses.

In an effort to make their budgets work, 59 percent of respondents said they have cut out leisure expenses since the start of the recession. But there are still some costs that few households are willing to give up.

Specifically, 57 percent of families said they would never give up paying for internet connectivity, regardless of their financial situation. In addition, 44 percent said they would not stop paying expenses on their automobiles, such as gasoline, insurance and maintenance.

Other areas many households are refusing to cut back on include pets, cable television and phone service, the survey found.

For households finding themselves falling behind on monthly expenses, it’s time to learn some basics about budgeting for a family.

Budgeting Basics

Some people believe if their income matches their household expenses, they have a balanced budget. While this can work in the short-term, it means you will have to work forever, since you won’t be saving any money.

To start cutting back on your spending, take a couple months to account for where all your money is going. Even if you make a small expense, such as buying a cup of coffee, include this in your record keeping. Once you have an idea of your monthly expenses, you should separate them into necessary and luxury spending.

This is where you need to be realistic. Consider costs, such as rent, food and debt payments as necessities. Although you might cherish certain goods and services, at the end of the day, they may not count as necessities. Reduce the amount of money you funnel to these expenses, and you may be able to escape the routine of living paycheck to paycheck.…

Categorized as Budgeting

Getting Certain Products And Services For Free

Some people say “the best things in life are free.” Unfortunately, you can’t get everything without paying. For those unexpected expenses that threaten your financial well-being, you may be able to use a payday loan advance to keep your footing.

However, according to CNNMoney, there are a few products and services out there you may never have to pay for again if you play your cards right.

Wireless Internet

If you currently have cable service from Bright House, Cablevision, Comcast or Time Warner Cable, you may soon have access to free wireless internet in select areas.

These companies are launching free hotspots for all of their customers in New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Tampa and Orlando. Should the program prove to be successful, it could be expanded to many more metropolitan areas in the near future.

Meanwhile, even if you don’t consider yourself much of a reader, you will most likely be able to get a free wireless connection at a public library. According to the American Library Association, 82 percent of public libraries have wireless hotspots open to the public.

Computer Software

Computers are expensive enough, so you don’t want to shell out a few hundred extra dollars on basic programs such as Excel, PowerPoint and Word.

Instead, opt a free alternative. Google Drive offers tools that mirror these Microsoft programs free-of-charge.

Acquire Other People’s Items

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Take to the internet, and you may be able to find that much-needed item for free.

Just be sure whatever you pick up is in decent shape. You may be better off getting certain items, such as mattresses, new or from someone you know. In addition, thoroughly inspect any furniture you acquire, since introducing bed bugs to your home could have long-term consequences.

Movie Tickets

Certain movie studios screen new films way ahead of time at select theaters across the country. Sign up for a private invitation your chance to see the latest Hollywood blockbuster for free. With the average price of movie tickets steadily rising, this could save you a significant amount of money.…

Categorized as Services

Local Areas Experience Notable Job Growth

The national unemployment rate has remained above 8 percent so far this year, and it could be quite some time before it drops below this threshold. However, on a local basis, there are certain areas of the country where job creation is booming. The prospect of finding employment in one of the following markets could give you the option to utilize a payday loan advance if you ever hit a financial rough patch.

Loudoun County, VA

According to CNNMoney, Loudoun County, Virginia, is currently the area with the fastest job growth in the country. Employment in this area expanded at a rate of 83.6 percent between 2012 and 2022.

Several major companies, such as Verizon and AOL are located in this market. In addition, the Washington, D.C., public transportation system has plans to expand to this location, which could drive even more job grown, traffic and activity in the near future.

Fort Bend County, TX

With a job growth rate of 78.1 percent, companies in Fort Bend County, Texas, have experienced the second-fastest payroll expansion rate in the past decade. Favorable tax structures for corporations has resulted in many companies relocating their headquarters here, driving local development.

Key companies in the energy industry, such as Schlumberger and CVR Energy, have a large presence in the area.

Williamson County, TX

Corporate tax breaks and affordable property taxes has driven job growth in Williamson County, Texas, since 2011. Located just outside of Austin, this area has a job growth rate of 72.8 percent, thanks to companies such as Dell and Thermo Fisher Scientifics.

Douglas County, CO

Douglas County, Colorado, has also been a hotbed for job growth in the past decade, which expanded 58.6 percent during this period. Companies such as Dish Network, Sprint Nextel and Western Union all operate out this location. In addition, there has been a recent influx of companies to the region as they capitalize on prospects of expanding their books of business.

Williamson County, TN

Local legislators in Williamson County, Tennessee, have made this area a magnet for businesses. Specifically, certain companies qualify for concierge permitting. Under this program, a staff member from the local codes department is assigned to a company to help them speed up the zoning and permit process. As a result, job growth experience a gain of 40.3 percent between 2012 and 2022.…

The Shrinking Middle Class

There has been a lot of talk about the changing face of wealth distribution across the country, and a new report suggests that the middle class is shrinking. As more households edge toward either end of the financial spectrum, a payday loan advance could help you with any unexpected bills until your next paycheck arrives.

According to a report from SCLMoney, in 1971, roughly 61 percent of American households were classified as middle class. Meanwhile, 14 percent of households were in the upper-income bracket, while 25 percent qualified as lower-income.

As a result of the changing face of household finances, nowadays, only 51 percent of families qualify as middle class, which is a staggering decline from 40 years ago. At the same time, the lower-income bracket grew to 29 percent of all households, while upper-income households increased to a 20 percent share.

What Caused The Shift?

According to experts at the Pew Institute, one of biggest issues the middle class is facing is the deterioration of their wealth. In the wake of the housing market collapse, the wealth of many Americans followed the plummeting property values.

Additionally, income levels have remained very stagnant during recent years. The middle class alone endured a roughly 4 percent decline in wages between 2012 and 2022 to a median income of just under $70,000. This all occurred while the cost of living continued to increase.

What Can The Middle Class Do?

One of the best ways to cope with the changing financial landscape of the country is to formulate a sound household budget. Take a few months to track where all of your money is being spent. Even if you buy a cup of coffee, account for this expense.

Once you get a feel for your costs, separate them into two different categories: necessary and luxury. While it can be difficult to cut back on necessary expenses, eliminating some frivolous spending from your budget could leave you with some extra cash at the end of every month.…