Rising inflation has been putting more pressure on household budgets, as consumers buying products like food have faced higher costs at the checkouts.
This has had a knock-on effect and has meant more people struggling to pay their bills. A new survey by LendingTree has found that an increasing number of people are now late paying bills.
The survey asked American consumers about their current financial situation. It found that, in the last six months, 32% of respondents had paid at least one bill late in the last six months.
Of the bills going unpaid, utility bills were at the top of the list, closely followed by credit card bills, internet bills, and cable bills, with 61% saying it was because they didn’t have enough money to cover the cost.
In total, 40% of people said they were less able to afford bills than this time last year and 62% said they were struggling to pay at least one bill. Women were slightly more likely to struggle to pay their bills, with 64% saying they didn’t have enough money compared with 57% of men.
When commenting on the results of the survey, LendingTree’s chief credit analyst Matt Schulz said: “Life is getting more expensive by the day and it’s shrinking Americans’ already tiny financial margin for error down to zero.
Unless they’ve been able to increase their income, millions of Americans have had to make sacrifices because of inflation to pay the bills. Perhaps the worst part is that inflation likely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. That means that short-term quick fixes won’t cut it.”
What is driving inflation?
According to the US Labor Department, inflation is being driven mainly by food prices and housing costs. In fact, rents appeared to be one of the biggest contributors to inflation in August.
Price increases have also been seen by consumers in medical care, insurance, new vehicles, education, and medical care. Globally, food inflation has declined in the last few months as supply chain issues have improved. However, prices aren’t expected to fall anytime soon.