Inflation has more Utahns living paycheck to paycheck

Oct 12, 2022, 5:22 PM | Updated: 6:00 pm

SALT LAKE CITY —  A new report said people are living paycheck to paycheck right now in the face of record-high inflation.

Utah is no exception. In fact, stretching the dollar may be the new norm.

Rachelle Peterson, a Layton mom, is asking a question many are asking themselves, “What else can I cut?”
In a new report from PYMNTS.com and Lending Club, three in five U.S. consumers are now living paycheck to paycheck.“It’s a scary moment when you realize we’re one emergency away from a real crisis,” Peterson said.As a mom of three young children, Peterson said things can add up fast.

What’s unique about inflation right now, though, is no financial bracket is exempt from inflation.“I don’t think we’re considered lower income, but even like, we had an emergency last month where we had to buy a new vehicle. And because of that, it drained our cash and savings, and now we really are paycheck to paycheck until we can build that back up,” Peterson said.Clint Cottam, Executive Director of the Community Action Partnership of Utah, sees paycheck to paycheck playing out more post-pandemic as pandemic benefits like stimulus checks and free school lunches dwindle with inflation taking their place.“People are reaching out with more need than I think we saw in a lot of even parts of the pandemic,” Cottam said.
It serves as a double whammy of sorts with no short-term fix in sight.“I’m kind of waiting for the bottom to really hit in the next couple of months. On top of it, let’s be honest people want to get their kids Christmas gifts,” he said.
When you’re stretching the dollar to the max, any minor hiccup becomes major.

On Wednesday, the Kroger Company confirmed two percent of all their associates, including Smith’s workers, faced a technical error with their usual paycheck coming through. The crisis was averted by way of cash advances but it still made for stretching the dollar all the more dire for employees.The Community Action Partnership of Utah said it is better to act on those resources and ask for help now rather than waiting until January and February post those holiday expenses when you’re really in a pinch.

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Inflation has more Utahns living paycheck to paycheck