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Americans ‘Running Out of Money’ to Pay Bills After Loss of COVID-Related ‘Financial Cushion’

edsl48

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Helicopter money drying up as inflation explodes​


As the US economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic fallout, Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to pay their bills.

According to the Census Bureau’s “household pulse” survey, last May, 46.7 percent of respondents said they had no difficulty paying usual household expenses, but by December 2021, it was 39.9 percent.


The number of those acknowledging it was “a little, somewhat or very difficult” to pay those bills rose from 45.9 percent to 49.9 percent during the same period.

According to analysts cited by US media, this is happening as the US economy has been steadily bouncing back, growing at a slightly faster pace in the three months ending September 2021 than originally predicted, according to Commerce Department figures released in late December.

It was stated that GDP had increased at a 2.3 percent annualised rate in the third quarter of last year.

‘Financial Cushion’​

Gradually eroding buying power, claim analysts, is most probably explained by federal relief ending that was designed to support millions of people during the lockdowns and various measures set in place to curb the spread of the respiratory disease.

Approximately $6 trillion in relief programmes were passed by Congress to allow people to pay for rent, food, and other necessities during the pandemic.

Get back in the game, jump on our major sale at the store now!
This was done in the form of enhanced unemployment benefits, expanded Child Tax Credit, and the most far-reaching of these programmes – three rounds of stimulus checks. First introduced in the CARES Act of March 2020, Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks) were direct cash injections directly into the bank accounts of individual people. However, the last stimulus payments went out in the first half of 2021.


In September 2021, emergency federal jobless benefits wrapped up. The expanded child tax credit expired last December, with no clarity regarding whether Congress will renew it.

Furthermore, the curtailment of aid is coming as US inflation surged to 6.8 percent in November – the highest level since 1982.“There are people who are running out of money. It’s getting harder for them to pay their bills. The expiration of expanded unemployment insurance benefits and stimulus payments have taken a toll on household finances,” Philippa Dunne of TLR Analytics was cited by Yahoo Finance as saying.

Despite the strains that household finances are revealed to be under, unfilled jobs had reached unprecedented levels in 2021, with employers reporting 10.6 million openings.
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With the Omicron variant of the coronavirus driving cases up, several million potential workers are believed to be still wary of catching COVID on the job. Some parents deplore a lack of job offerings with enough flexibility to allow them to manage their children’s unpredictable school schedules or care for sick family members.

Federal aid money had granted millions a financial cushion that has evaporated, with analysts predicting that tougher financial times for some Americans may impact political decisions in 2022 and the outcome of upcoming midterm elections.
 

the_shootist

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It seems like there's plenty of jobs. I don't see the problem.
 

hammerhead

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With the large number of people coming down with infections, there could still be a need for the one weeks worth of rona pay. Employers would be reimbursed from the state on this paid leave. It's supposed to be good until April 1, 2022 or until the $75m well runs dry.
 

hammerhead

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Personal note:

When we received the first stimi payment, we got caught up on our mortgage payments and have been current ever since. I was even able to drop $200.00 into the area food bank coffers. Wife, being an employee, got her state unemployment along with a six hundred dollar boost for 6 weeks and then she was able to go back to work. Her employer carried our insurance for a few months. All in all, we didn't sink nor did we excel but we made it this far and learned many things along the way.
 

southfork

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Everyone I know having problems making bills have new cars, cell phones ect, living over their means waiting for another handout, one said why dont they just print more money to give out
 

the_shootist

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Personal note:

When we received the first stimi payment, we got caught up on our mortgage payments and have been current ever since. I was even able to drop $200.00 into the area food bank coffers. Wife, being an employee, got her state unemployment along with a six hundred dollar boost for 6 weeks and then she was able to go back to work. Her employer carried our insurance for a few months. All in all, we didn't sink nor did we excel but we made it this far and learned many things along the way.
I put mine into more PMs.

I didn't need it nor did I ask for it! I viewed it as a small rebate to my taxes which I've been paying the government for 50 years and happily turned it into real value. I make no apologies!
 

the_shootist

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Everyone I know having problems making bills have new cars, cell phones ect, living over their means waiting for another handout, one said why dont they just print more money to give out
Now there's a great point. We have no car loans, we use our own older cell phones and have no bills other than a mortgage payment that's pretty small by today's standards. Maybe that's why we didn't need it huh? :2 thumbs up:

Living beyond our means without any buffer, thinking the paychecks will just keep coming in, would keep me up at night
 

hammerhead

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Everyone I know having problems making bills have new cars, cell phones ect, living over their means waiting for another handout, one said why dont they just print more money to give out
I was talking with my grandson who was 12 at the time about the money being given away. I asked if everyone has 1200 dollars does that make everyone wealthier. He said it doesn't.
 

southfork

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Now there's a great point. We have no car loans, we use our own older cell phones and have no bills other than a mortgage payment that's pretty small by today's standards. Maybe that's why we didn't need it huh? :2 thumbs up:

Living beyond our means without any buffer, thinking the paychecks will just keep coming in, would keep me up at night
Me also, both age 71 wife has 2008 suv i have 99 marquis, her cell is 2 years old, mine 3 with multi cracks on screen, no car loans, used the stimulus to add on patio and new sidewalk and a few ounces of silver
 

Casey Jones

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I was talking with my grandson who was 12 at the time about the money being given away. I asked if everyone has 1200 dollars does that make everyone wealthier. He said it doesn't.
Just shows how stupid kids are.

'Speshelly way-cyst white kids.
 

ttazzman

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Now there's a great point. We have no car loans, we use our own older cell phones and have no bills other than a mortgage payment that's pretty small by today's standards. Maybe that's why we didn't need it huh? :2 thumbs up:

Living beyond our means without any buffer, thinking the paychecks will just keep coming in, would keep me up at night
Curious how you could have no bills other than mortgage....

I have no loans whatsoever.....but still have plenty of bills...ie...utilities...insurance....food...fuel....etc
 

the_shootist

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Curious how you could have no bills other than mortgage....

I have no loans whatsoever.....but still have plenty of bills...ie...utilities...insurance....food...fuel....etc
Good catch, I stand corrected. :2 thumbs up:

My point about some people choosing to live beyond their means as their chosen lifestyle stills stands tho
 
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jrog100

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Curious how you could have no bills other than mortgage....

I have no loans whatsoever.....but still have plenty of bills...ie...utilities...insurance....food...fuel....etc

Yeah, food, gas, cell phone, electric, insurance, maintenance all cost money. I don't know how people who also have car loans and mortgages are able to get by. or maybe they just don't save 80% of their income like I do ;) BTW, I consider firearm, gold and silver purchases "Investment assets".
 

ttazzman

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Yeah, food, gas, cell phone, electric, insurance, maintenance all cost money. I don't know how people who also have car loans and mortgages are able to get by. or maybe they just don't save 80% of their income like I do ;) BTW, I consider firearm, gold and silver purchases "Investment assets".
worked for me .....retired early 10+ years ago
 

the_shootist

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Yeah, food, gas, cell phone, electric, insurance, maintenance all cost money. I don't know how people who also have car loans and mortgages are able to get by. or maybe they just don't save 80% of their income like I do ;) BTW, I consider firearm, gold and silver purchases "Investment assets".
I was taught that savings is the key to success as a little boy. Looking back that was a most valuable lesson for me
 

ttazzman

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I was taught that savings is the key to success as a little boy. Looking back that was a most valuable lesson for me
we live in a poor part of the country.......and grandparents went thru the depression.......and parents were exposed to that mentality......i think that mentality and all that came with it was passed along directly to me and served me well........my kids did not get that direct contact with Depression survivors
 

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I was taught that savings is the key to success as a little boy. Looking back that was a most valuable lesson for me
It was and is.

But I was a little boy before Nixon did his dirty deed in 1971.

I remember my grandmother talking to me, age 5 or so, about money. She had just given me $10 for my birthday (as well as something else) that was to be opened in a bank account in my name.

Well...time goes on. I don't remember much about age 5; but I sure remember 1977-78. I was 19 and living off my own wages; and my old VW was about dead...I needed a new car; and after the reaming I got with that used Beetle, I wanted NEW.

There were the issues - Japanese cars had extraordinary quality when new, but rusted so fast it was shocking. American economy cars lasted longer, but were troublesome from Day 1. And which wouldn't last? The Vega debacle was fresh on our minds.

But it was a moot issue, because credit was tightening, ridiculously. A young married guy I worked with, wanted a Ford truck - a stripper; a work truck. Those were the days when such a thing was made. But he couldn't get the credit approved, and if he HAD, it would have been 12 percent.

Save money? Prices were going up so fast, the Wagon Wheel Diner, where we all took lunch, didn't put prices on the menu. They wrote them on the menus with a grease pencil every morning. The chicken-fried steakburger that was 75 cents yesterday, might be $1.05 today.

Only thing that wasn't going up was my pay.

On to today. Saving money is an old-people's thing; a conservative thing. I had to re-learn the habit, and I think I did, just because I'd aged out of the lust for new toys. I have a car note right now; I didn't need to take one out, to buy my current truck, but, with a three-percent loan (sterling credit) and for only half the book value of the truck...and inflation at 12 percent; and my stacks' value soon to start poppin', if it comes to that (right now I'm comfortable with my expenses) it's all good.

For the moment. There's the danger, though, as government becomes increasingly crazed...a danger in owing anyone anything.