Most Americans, two paychecks from bankruptcy, with less than $1000 in emergency savings.

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More Americans may be struggling to make ends meet. A majority, 65%, say they live paycheck to paycheck, according to CNBC and SurveyMonkey’s recent Your Money International Financial Security Survey, which polled 498 U.S. adults. That’s a slight increase from last year’s results, which found that 58% of Americans considered themselves to be living paycheck to paycheck.

While last year’s survey polled more than 4,000 U.S. adults, this year, CNBC took a worldwide look at personal finance. The 2024 survey polled 4,342 adults altogether and included 500 adults from Mexico, 503 adults from Australia and 482 adults from Singapore.

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Of those who said they live paycheck to paycheck, 35% said they would need to make $50,000 per year to feel financially secure, 44% said they’d need to make $100,000 per year and 11% said they’d need to make $500,000 per year.

Here’s what’s putting the pressure on people’s wallets, and what experts recommend doing to relieve some of that stress.

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A recent Bankrate survey reveals 44 percent of Americans can’t cover a $1,000 emergency expense from savings, pointing to inherent challenges in saving habits. Behavioral finance expert Brad Klontz attributes this to human instincts prioritizing immediate needs over saving, suggesting emotional reframing to encourage saving habits.

“We’re just not wired to save,” Klontz, a certified financial planner and expert in financial psychology and behavioral finance, told CNBC. Instead, we are programmed to focus on our immediate needs.

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