4 Ways Americans Can Shake Financial Hardship
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you're a middle-class income earner fearing a slide into a lower economic demographic, take some steps to take to improve your situation.
A Pew Research Center says report says Americans who define themselves as "middle class" have declined from 53% in 2008 to 44%, an eye-opening figure showing how millions of average consumers have lost self-confidence.
Worse, the number of adults who admit they have dropped into a lower economic category (especially the lower middle class) has risen 15% from 2008 to 2014, from 25% of the country to 40%, Pew says.Pew calls it a "shrinking of the American middle class" and says Americans have experienced a "lost decade" in terms of economic stability. study from the American Institute of CPAs shines an even harsher light on the topic of personal economic instability. According to the IACPA, adults are actually getting more "comfortable" in their descent to a lower economic class, with 74% of those surveyed saying they are "worse off" financially than last year but have "grown accustomed to the financial pain in their lives." "With slightly more than half of U.S. adults expressing little to no stress about their increasingly difficult financial circumstances, it seems that many Americans are reconciled to an uphill financial battle and that financial juggling and sacrifice will be a part of the foreseeable future," explains Ernie Almonte, chairman of the AICPA's National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, which ran the study. Almonte says Americans have a fighting chance to live comfortably. "You can improve your situation through simple steps many of which Americans are already being forced to do," Almonte says. "Creating a monthly budget, sticking to it and putting $50 a month into savings are small actions that can make a big difference over time."