When strapped for cash, about half of Americans would delay paying important bills rather than give up going out with friends or ordering takeout.
More people (almost 50%) would miss payment on bills rather than modify their social life (almost 40%) if their next paycheck was delayed, according to a new survey by Hyperwallet. At the same time, over half of 2,000 people surveyed are working two or more jobs, and most say they're doing so in order to save more money. It looks like the extra money being earned isn't going toward the essentials, but rather toward maintaining an enjoyable lifestyle.
“Regardless of age or education level, more workers said a delayed paycheck would cause them to skip payment on important bills than modify their social life,” says Brent Warrington, Hyperwallet's CEO.
Somewhat surprisingly, older workers are more likely than the young to feel more comfortable delaying payment on their bills. Over 51% of Baby Boomers and 56% of Gen Xers surveyed said they more likely to skip things like utility bills if their paychecks were delayed, compared to 47% of millennials.
Other parts of the survey give an indication about how many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Three out of four people reported that a delayed paycheck would cause serious problems. And about a third of those surveyed said they feel anxious leading up to their next paycheck, even though many are picking up extra work.
Among millennials, particularly men, the #1 reason to work more is to save more money, which Warrington says makes sense as they look forward to their future. But the survey found that as people get older, working two jobs is simply about making ends meet. Warrington said the shift in mindsets starts to take place around the age of 36.