More than three-quarters of workers say they are living paycheck to paycheck, a CareerBuilder survey finds. And 22 percent say that they are sometimes unable to make ends meet, and have missed bill payments over the past year.
The recession has forced Americans to change their daily lives. More than half of those surveyed said they have reduced their leisure activities. Nearly half used coupons or shopped at discount stores. Thirty-seven percent drove less to save on gas, while 5 percent opted for public transportation. And 12 percent canceled cable and other subscriptions.
"The last 18 months have required some workers to tighten their day-to-day spending and make some adjustments to their financial futures," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. "Our survey found that six in 10 workers say that the recession has made them more fiscally responsible. Maintaining a budget is not only important now, but will better position workers - both personally and professionally - for the long run."
The financial climate has taken its toll on savings. Twenty-one percent of those surveyed said they reduced personal savings or 401(k) contributions over the past year. About a third put aside no savings each month.