Just 49 percent of consumers recently said they had some extra money left over after paying their monthly bills in November, according to a survey from Discover Financial Services. While that number tied the 2010 high observed by the monthly poll, it was the 20th consecutive period in which fewer than half of consumers were able to save or spend any excess money.
The poll also found that 80 percent of those who did have money left over after paying their bills expected to have as much as or more than that amount in December, the report said. However, more consumers also think they will see an income shortfall in the month, though the company said this was likely because most are going to take on credit card debt or otherwise spend more during the holiday season.
Many consumers have made a greater effort to reduce their credit card debt, specifically by spending less on these accounts, in an attempt to lower their monthly bills.