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June 23, 2014 10:10 PM

Emergency Savings Fall Short

You've no doubt gotten advice to save for a rainy day--well, that rainy day has come for many in KELOLAND in the form of floods, tornadoes and hail. 

Residents will have to dip into their savings for what insurance doesn't cover.  The problem with that is many people don't have any emergency savings at all.

From cleaning up a flooded home and replacing items to the deductible on your insurance for hail damage to your car, knowing you have a safety net in the form of emergency savings can help ease the stress Mother Nature dishes out.

"At our house we would always want to have some sort of backup; not knowing to what degree, but there should be a baseline of something there that's available," Julie Linder said.

"We put money back, at least during tax time," Lori Fletcher said.

But 26 percent of Americans, that's more than one in four of us, don't have any emergency savings, according to Bankrate.com. 

"Savings, unfortunately, is one of those items that is viewed as an opportunity.  'If I have enough money left over at the end of the month,'" Breck Miller with the Center for Financial Resources said.

 Miller says instead, savings should be as much of a priority as the mortgage payment.   A majority of people have less than the recommended six months’ worth of expenses in savings. 

"Three to six months is great, but let's start with setting aside $500 or even $50 a week--make it that fixed expense you pay first so you're ready when emergencies hit," Miller said.

Millennials--those aged 18 to 30--are most likely to have five months' expenses saved up.  People between the ages of 30- 49 tend to have no emergency savings. 

"But now they're starting to think home ownership, which has a lot of cost.  They're also beginning to have children, which can incur a great amount of cost," Miller said.

A higher income doesn't mean more savings.  Even with households earning $75,000 a year or more, fewer than half report having that six-month savings cushion. 

Americans' net worth continues to rise because the stock market remains strong.  However, savings have remained a weak spot for the last four years.

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