Are you having a hard time saving money? Well, saving money doesn’t come easily for anyone, whether it’s a retirement account or an emergency fund. But it turns out most people are struggling with it as much – or more – than you.

A recent survey from GoBankingRates found that making more money doesn’t mean you necessarily have more money stashed away. And that’s true even if you earn nearly $100,000. This is a big problem, since having some savings can protect your overall personal finances from unexpected (and unpleasant) surprises.

Here are some of the reasons employees at all income levels face issues putting money away, and how employers can help them correct their habits.

A universal problem putting money away

According to the survey, more than 70 percent of Americans making less than $25,000 a year have less than $1,000 in savings. The numbers are nearly identical for employees earning $50,000  – or even $75,000 – annually. Clearly, the problem isn’t just the amount of take home pay.

It can be confusing for employees in a lower income bracket to think those making double or triple their salary could still be living paycheck-to-paycheck. Many people likely think a decent raise in pay would solve all of their money problems, but it seems that for a majority of employees as their pay goes up, so does their spending.

Stress caused by a lack of savings

Without adequate savings, your employees are at the mercy of any unexpected expenses or changes to their budget. An injury, car problem or home repair could throw their finances out of whack and put them at risk of missing other bills and monthly payments or racking up debt to cover these costs.

Counting on the next paycheck to get by means there’s never a chance to build up a safety net and there are several factors creating this problem.

When an employee’s spending rises along with their salary, they experience  ‘lifestyle inflation’ and in some ways it’s understandable. A promotion or raise typically means a change in stature, so your employees might feel social pressure to upgrade their lifestyle along with their income. Or, employees could be facing a barrage of monthly expenses – including student debt along with rent and utilities – that eats up nearly as much of their now slightly bigger (after taxes are taken out) check.

No matter what the temporary financial stress, the underlying problem is often a lack of financial education. It doesn’t matter how much your workers earn; if they can’t manage their money well enough to get ahead of the ball, they’ll still feel financial stress.

Setting themselves up for lifelong financial stress

For some employees, this creates a daily problem of financial stress, but the bigger issue is that it’s setting them up for a lifetime of anxiety. Employees who can’t or don’t save will face difficult choices today for sure, but also even more complicated decisions as they near retirement – a second survey by GoBankingRates showed more than half of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement. These workers may have to delay retirement, drastically alter their retirement plans or seek assistance from family, consequently hurting their relatives’ savings goals.

Financial stress forces your workers to think very short-term: making it until the next paycheck or covering the next set of monthly bills. But the less action they take to fix these problems now, the more they end up hurting their future selves.

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