About half of Americans say they are living paycheck to paycheck - meaning they're making just enough money to cover monthly expenses without having enough to save.

That's according to several surveys including one from GOBankingRates where the majority of people who said they were living paycheck-to-paycheck - 56 percent - were women.

Women who took the survey were also less likely than men to report having enough money saved to cover 6 months of living expenses.

Atlanta certified public accountant and financial specialist Jini Thornton is the owner of Never Broke Nation and said the top five reasons people are in debt are:

  • Social pressure
  • Will not sacrifice
  • Fearing change
  • Addicted to stuff
  • Don't know where to start

She said the very first step is coming to terms with how much you are in debt. During a segment on the Willie Moore Jr. Radio show Thornton said it's best to list the amount you owe by each creditor and confront it head on.

She said coming out of debt for her family was a process that took years.

"I was running from something rather than running to something,” she said. “But it just took a lot longer than I expected."

Experts also suggest tracking spending over several months to identify where money is going so that you can decide which expenses to cut. That money that is now available can be used to pay off debts or be put into a savings account.


The National Endowment for Financial Education is a nonprofit that focuses on teaching money management. Their site smartaboutmoney.org provides detailed information on tracking spending, creating budgets and meeting financial goals.