Average hourly earnings fell 0.2% in January and were down 1.8% from a year ago, according to a separate BLS report that adjusts wages for inflation.

Here’s How To Stay On Track

Howard Dvorkin, CPA and chairman of Debt.com. said that there’s a great deal of economic risk at the moment and people are borrowing from the future or someone else to cover expenses, an economic slowdown could be worse. Moreover, experts usually suggest starting with a basic budget. “With utilities, rent, and food all at record-time highs, anywhere you can plug a funding leak will support you improve your cash flow,” Dvorkin said, especially when it comes to high-interest debt.

Credit card rates, in particular, are now near 20%, on average a record. Those annual percentage rates will keep rising, too, as the Federal Reserve continues increasing its benchmark rate. If you currently have credit card debt, tap a lower-interest personal loan or 0% balance transfer card and refrain from putting additional purchases on credit unless you can pay the balance in full at the end of the month and even set some money aside.