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No money to save in today’s economy

Counting down the hours until payday? You’re not alone. As the downturntrudges on, many workers are struggling with household budgets.

Counting down the hours until payday? You’re not alone. As the downturn trudges on, many workers are struggling with household budgets.

Six out of 10 (61 per cent) workers report they always or usually live paycheque to paycheque just to make ends meet, up from 49 per cent last year and 43 per cent in 2007. This is according to a new nationwide survey of more than 4,400 workers by CareerBuilder. Three out of 10 (30 per cent) workers with salaries of $100,000 or more report that they, too, live paycheque to paycheque, up from 21 per cent in 2008.

Some workers are making ends meet by dipping into their long-term savings. More than one-in-five (21 per cent) workers say they have reduced their retirement contributions or personal savings in the last six months to get by. Looking at workers earning six figures or more, a nearly equal number (23 per cent) report that they have also reduced their retirement or savings.

“Workers are employing a variety of tactics to help make ends meet in this economy,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice-president of human resources for CareerBuilder.

“Whether it’s by keeping a tighter budget, finding ways to bring in additional income or adjusting their savings strategies, workers are doing their best to weather the current storm.

These good financial habits will not only help workers in the short-term, but better position them for the future.”

Haefner offers the following tips for riding out the economic downturn and preparing for the future:

Keep track of spending: Create a spreadsheet to analyze what you spend each month, including the money spent on those inevitable invisible expenses, such as a morning coffee, cab ride or afternoon snack. Once you can see where your money goes, you can clearly see where you can cut back.

Boost your income: One-in-ten workers report taking on a second job in this economy to help make ends meet. Ask yourself if you could handle a second job on top of your current job and then pursue some viable options.

Speak up: Talk to your HR department and see what is available to help you save on your monthly expenses. Even though times are tough, companies are still offering flexible spending accounts, wellness benefits, retail discounts, transit reimbursement and more.

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