Going extra light at the grocery store. Cutting down on medical supplies. Buying clothing and household supplies secondhand.
These are just some of the many ways many Americans are making it work when money is tight. For about a third of Americans, this is a regular financial stress, with 32% running out of money before their next paycheck hits, according to a new survey fielded by Salary Finance of over 2,700 U.S. adults working at companies with over 500 employees.
Amy,* 36, is intimately familiar with running short on cash and using these workarounds, especially during tax season. That’s in spite of the fact that she and her husband make about $50,000 a year, just short of the average household income in the U.S. “Tax time hurts for us because we don’t get a refund, we get a bill,” she tells CNBC Make It. Her husband, the primary earner, works for a company in a different state, so state income taxes aren’t taken out, she says. While they typically get a federal refund, they end up owing the state more than the federal refund.
Salary Finance compared the percent of working American who said they run out of money before payday “most of the time” or “always” among different income levels.
“We never have a lot, but spring, summer and fall we can usually get what we want at the grocery store,” Amy says. The hard times start pretty much as soon as winter hits because the heat bill goes up, and she and her husband know tax time is coming soon. It’s back to cutting corners at the grocery store, or hitting up the fresh food giveaways that occur in their region of central New York.