Many Georgians cannot cover essential expenses

ATLANTA — More than half of all Georgians (52.6 percent) could not cover essential expenses for more than three months if they lost their source of income, an improvement from a year ago when 76.3 percent said they could not survive more than three months if they lost their income.

Concurrently, more than three-quarters of the state’s residents could not make it more than a year, a new poll finds.

The poll findings are included in the most recent Georgia Credit Unions’ “Paying Attention.” The quarterly report compiles recent poll responses from more than 6,000 credit union members and aggregated data from credit unions statewide.

“The good news is that many Georgians are starting to realize the need to save, but the bad news is most haven’t saved enough to cover essential expenses more than three months,” said Mike Mercer, president and CEO of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates. “Our poll shows that paying down debt and cutting expenses are among the top strategies consumers are using to get back to saving consistently.”

Not surprisingly, the most recent poll also found that nearly six in 10 Georgians feel they are living paycheck to paycheck. At the same time, more than four out of five Georgians (86.8 percent) said they are reducing spending while three in five (60.8 percent) are using coupons as a means to cut costs.

At the same time, 17.1 percent of residents statewide say they are “very” happy with their current level of income, but the bulk (49.2 percent) say they are somewhat happy with their current income level. Of the 33.7 percent of Georgians who are “not very” or “not at all” happy with their current income, 90.7 percent are taking action – either looking to increase their income or reducing expenses.

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