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Slightly fewer Americans report living paycheck to paycheck

Image of fanned out $100 bills. According to the LendingClub on Monday, more high-end earners said they are living paycheck to paycheck as compared to 2021. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/0e61e7dec2f6b62407e773b4b3d6b48d/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Image of fanned out $100 bills. According to the LendingClub on Monday, more high-end earners said they are living paycheck to paycheck as compared to 2021. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Slightly fewer U.S. residents say they are living paycheck to paycheck, but more high earners described themselves in that boat, according to a new report by LendingClub, released Monday.

The LendingClub's Reality Check: Paycheck-to-Paycheck research series revealed that 59% of its respondents said in July they were living paycheck to paycheck, compared to 61% in June. That is still higher than the 54% who said they were in the same position this time in 2021.

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Among high-income earners, those making $150,000 to $200,000, 48% said in July they were living paycheck to paycheck, up 7 percentage points from last month and 13 points more than May 2022.

LendingClub said data by its researchers and PYMNTS found that over the last 90 days, 56% of its respondents said they need more than $400 for emergency expenses. The organization respondents put the average emergency expense at $1,400.

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"The need to update the $400 emergency expense benchmark is evident in this report," Anuj Nayar, LendingClub's financial health officer, said in a statement. "Inflation in the last year, let alone the last decade, has made it much more difficult for consumers to save while staying on top of their expenses.

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"Not only are consumers saving less every month, but they are likely to encounter an emergency expense, if not multiple, putting them at a greater risk for increased financial hardship. This fact paves a financially difficult road ahead for consumers."

The research found that over the last 90 days 46% of consumers were forced to pay for at least one unexpected expense, with some tackling multiple emergencies.

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"Common emergency expenses include everything from car repairs to health-related and housing and relocation expenses," LendingClub said. "At 30%, car repairs are the most common unexpected expense, and consumers paid an average of $1,008.

"The next-most common expenses are health-related, with 21% of consumers facing at least one health-related emergency expense and spending an average of $1,361. Housing- and relocation-related expenses had the highest average cost at $2,042, and 19% of consumers faced this type of expense."

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