Americans Scramble As Expenses Outpace Earnings

( – Household expenses have increased over the last year for two out of three Americans, according to a new poll. However, the poll shows that only one in four Americans say their income has increased over the last year.

According to an Oct. 5–9 Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll of 1,163 adults, eight out of 10 Americans say that in the last year their overall household debt was either higher or close to the same as it was a year ago. Four out of 10 Americans say they have auto loans, while half of Americans say they have credit card debt.

As the pause on student loans comes to an end, almost one out of four adults reports having student loan debt.

Close to one out of four Americans say they have medical debt, with only 26 percent of respondents saying they are very or extremely confident they would be able to pay an unexpected medical bill.

During the last year, only 15 percent of households stated their household savings had increased.

Eighteen percent say they are very or extremely confident they have enough money for retirement. Three out of 10 retirees are highly confident there’s enough saved for retirement, four out of 10 are somewhat confident, and 31 percent are not confident at all.

Close to one-third of those who responded to the poll are very confident or extremely confident that their current financial situation can allow them to keep up with expenses, while 42 percent said they are somewhat confident.

In the last year, three out of 10 Americans say they have held off on a major purchase due to the higher interest rate.

On paper, the economy is doing well, “but I’m not doing great,” said Steve Shapiro, 61. Shapiro stated he’s been paying about $200 a week for groceries, compared to $100 last year.

Will Clouse, 77, stated that his biggest concern is inflation.

The poll shows Americans remain split as to which party is best suited to solve the inflation crisis. Twenty-nine percent feel Republicans would be best, 25 percent feel it’s the Democrats, and three in 10 say they don’t trust either party.

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