I know what it is like to have to swallow my pride and constantly dun people to pay me so that I can pay others.
I know what it is like to have to juggle creditors to make it through a week.
The conclusion: Nearly half of American adults are “financially fragile” and “living very close to the financial edge.” Yet another analysis, this one led by Jacob Hacker of Yale, measured the number of households that had lost a quarter or more of their “available income” in a given year—income minus medical expenses and interest on debt—and found that in each year from 2001 to 2012, at least one in five had suffered such a loss and couldn’t compensate by digging into savings.
You could think of this as a liquidity problem: Maybe people just don’t have enough ready cash in their checking or savings accounts to meet an unexpected expense.
And though the bursting of the housing bubble in 2008 certainly contributed to the drop, the decline for the lower quintiles began long before the recession—as early as the mid-1980s, Wolff says.