Prepared for a financial emergency?

Are you prepared for a financial emergency?

Even after the jolt of the Great Recession, a new study finds that most Americans are not, Associated Press reports.

A survey released Monday by financial data publisher Bankrate.com found that only 24 percent of consumers have the recommended cushion of at least six months’ expenses set aside, AP writes. The vast majority aren’t ready for contingencies; another 24 percent don’t have any emergency savings at all.

With 6.2 million people out of work for half a year or longer, the results underscore just how unprepared many are at a time when both job security and the economy pose concerns, AP writes.

How about you? Are you trying to build up a financial cushion? Or is it impossible given your situation?

If you are not building up your savings, are you at least paying down your debt?

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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41 comments Add your comment

Tea Party Meber

June 20th, 2011
10:47 am

Its imposible with teh govt. taxing us 2 death.

Hank

June 20th, 2011
10:58 am

@ Meber

Don’t wurry! Your Tea Party cheerleader(who ain’t runnin’) will fix that nasty gubermint.

steve

June 20th, 2011
11:02 am

How can we save anything with the government taking everything in the form of taxes ( for those of us who do have a job, which are fewer and fewer by the day)?

Summaz

June 20th, 2011
11:08 am

Our savings are going into our gas tanks.

commoncents

June 20th, 2011
11:11 am

I’m honestly surprised that 24% have that much. I wonder what the debt ratio is for those that have the appropriate level of savings vs those that do not?

TRUTH

June 20th, 2011
11:31 am

Heck, how can you save when gas flucuates between 3.50 and 4.00? Taxing the middle/working class to death. Healthcare costs out of control? NO JOBS. No pay increases, yet everything going up. Bank charges. It’s not 1975 anymore, when a family could live well on one income. We are barely surviving with both parents working while companies like GE are not paying taxes.

Tim

June 20th, 2011
11:48 am

We have 6 months expenses saved up and are working to build that up to one year. We are also putting an extra $500/month towards our mortgage principal. The key is to live below your means and don’t carry a bunch of debt. We both drive older, reliable vehicles that have been paid off for many year. No CC debt either.

41andDoingOkay

June 20th, 2011
12:02 pm

@Tim is right, but I know it is easier said than done. I paid my house off 5 years ago and have no vehicle or CC debt. College and retirement funds are chugging along. My husband will have a military pension. I have 6 years worth of monthly expenses in places that can be readily liquid. It isn’t that I work especially harder than everyone else (although I suspect more than most) – just busted my butt and have been blessed to be in the right place at the right time sometimes. Just hope nothing bad happens to eat it all up. knock wood

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

June 20th, 2011
12:19 pm

‘Most’ voted for Obama. Nuff said.

Truth Hurts

June 20th, 2011
12:21 pm

TRUTH
June 20th, 2011
11:31 am

Heck, how can you save when gas flucuates between 3.50 and 4.00?

Well maybe you should not be driving that 14 mpg Escalade or F350 double cab.

Truth Hurts

June 20th, 2011
12:22 pm

TRUTH
June 20th, 2011
11:31 am

NO JOBS.

No Skills. FIFY.

The Truth

June 20th, 2011
12:30 pm

Just a matter of time before the common folks realize that the top 1% of the top 1% of the population has become wealthier during this great recession (soon to be the Greater Depression). When that knowledge becomes widespread, there will be riots across the land. TEOTWAWKI

Yella Dog Democrat

June 20th, 2011
12:32 pm

Obama will take care of my needs.

I got mine!

June 20th, 2011
12:40 pm

To bad you ain’t got yours!

I got mine!

June 20th, 2011
12:43 pm

I guess now Al-Qaeda will be looking to kidnap me for my money!

P F

June 20th, 2011
12:49 pm

4 years ago we were paying down debt and putting money away. Last year at this time we were both out of work (her over a year), filed for bankruptcy, lost the house (went from $140k to $57k), all savings and retirement gone. We drive 2 cars that are both 12+ years old. One car has over 200k, but I still get 27/37mpg on it. Now, we have a kid going to college. Trying to figure that one out. 17% of my GROSS salary goes for medical insurance. Gas is still high. We are both working now, but at lesser salaries and living most of the time paycheck to paycheck. We make too much to qualify for any fed help. We don’t make enough to really get by. I know that I will never be able to retire now and will be working until I pass away. Such is life these days.

MM

June 20th, 2011
12:55 pm

I live very frugal. Both vehicles are paid in full (with cash). My mortgage is only $750 month. My power bill is no more than $100/mo. No credit cards at all…..I live on a cash only basis. I don’t finance anything, except the mortgage.

I live 17 miles, one way, from work, and use the better mpg car during the week, and my 14 year old SUV for weekend errands. I run most, if not all, errands after work, on the way home. So weekends are spent at home, with plenty of yard work to do, and I like to hang out with my neighbors. We all help each other out.

I started a veggie garden 2 years ago, and this year it is a bit bigger. I buy produce at the local farmer’s markets (when I want something that doesn’t come from MY garden), like Suwanee, Norcross & L’ville. I like my money to stay in the community, and I like to help out the local farmers. I don’t want my money going to South America or Africa, or the big grocery stores.

I have one child in college. Her tuition is paid with 529 funds I started when she was born. I have a 401(k) that my employer contributes 50% of what I put into it.

I too, live within my means. I haven’t had a credit card in well over 20 years. I’ve purchased 2 homes in the last 15 years. I plan on staying put for 5 more years. Once my child is out of school and on her own, I’m selling EVERYTHING, and moving to an island somewhere…..

I think it’s sad that some people MUST HAVE the best of everything. The expensive cars, the expensive homes, etc. Thank goodness I don’t have tons of credit card debt.

JJ

June 20th, 2011
12:56 pm

Quite worrying about what everyone else has, and get your own. Live within your means. It is possible…….but then again, that wealth envy rears it’s ugly head……

What ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 20th, 2011
1:12 pm

260 in 3 cars
300 increase in my home and car policy
150 increase in my monthly grocery bill and I still have no food when I get home and put it away.
So mr government man, if you let me keep my pay instead of taking it from me and giving it to people who dont want to work, I could save. But I guess I will be working for others for the rest of my life. My savings is gone as is my retirement, stock and investments. Thanks Obama Administration for following Europe and the 3rd world countries. We ARE almost there down there with them.

Going Under

June 20th, 2011
1:31 pm

It is so refreshing that the world is full of self righteous “clark Howards” who use a razor 1 year and eat rice and beans. The real fact is many are struggling with low wages and can not put away much of anything. They already drive 20 year old cars or ride MARTA. They are renting as low as they can and they are one crisis away from disaster. I was hoping this great recession would teach middle class people to have compassion for the working poor, but alas, we still hear the upper middle class brag about their thrifty living, five years savings, 401s and vegetable gardens. We have learned nothing……

Yella Dog Democrat

June 20th, 2011
1:40 pm

In Obama we trust !

He won’t let his peoples down.

Things were getting better until the Republicans took over the congress. We will have to vote them out next year.

Tea Party Meber

June 20th, 2011
1:51 pm

@mm

We dont want 2 here UR live story. Mostly becuz it aint true. UR makking it up to trick us in 2 thinging Obama is so perfect. We I aint bitin.

MM

June 20th, 2011
1:53 pm

@going Under – There are some of us out there, who don’t give a rat’s butt about what other people are doing………especially the ones who spent more than they made……

Some of us out there, have saved our money, and not spent it foolishly in order to impress strangers. Some of us went to a mortgage broker before buying our home, to see WHAT we could afford with our income. Some of us choose to drive older, paid for, vehicles, and not some fancy Cadillac SUV we can’t afford.

Some of us have worked since we were 14 years old. Some of us have been saving money for YEARS, and are doing the right thing, and making smart choices. My father always told me to “pay myself first” and that’s what I have done. 15-20% of my take home pay goes into some sort of savings/stock market/retirement account.

Some chose to whine and cry about what others have, and what they don’t have……..

Some like to point the finger at others for their own failures.

Tea Party Meber

June 20th, 2011
2:02 pm

I no who the big failure is. Osama….I mean Obama.

Going Under

June 20th, 2011
2:12 pm

@MM
…and some are self righteous. What does it say in the good book? “Lord, I am glad I am not like that sinner. I tithe of all, I keep the law…”

Some work just as hard as you, but they can’t sock away the excess, because there is none. Sure, if you can afford a 250,000 lifestyle and live a 100,000 one, you are blessed. If you make 25,000 and have a family, there is no downsizing you can do.

41andDoingOkay

June 20th, 2011
2:24 pm

“If you make 25,000 and have a family, there is no downsizing you can do.”

Perhaps the BEST thing you can do is teach those kids of yours not to have a family they cannot afford – you know, learn from the mistakes you made. I am in the top 2% and I had one child…..if you cannot afford condoms, then you cannot afford to have sex. Why the heck do people with no money (and limited job prospects due to poor education choices) have 3 or 4 kids and then whine about not being able to afford them?

Jessie Jackson

June 20th, 2011
2:30 pm

I see…. the code words have begun “kids you can’t aford’, “Cadillac SUV you can’t afford”. Say what you really mean. Say it clear…… don’t speak in code.

Tea Party Meber

June 20th, 2011
2:48 pm

I dont understand what U mean by code words. U got sumtin 2 say then say it.

Ray

June 20th, 2011
2:56 pm

I buy things I don’t need, with money I don’t have, to impress people I don’t know.

And I think the code word Jessie is looking for is STUPID.

Tea Party Meber

June 20th, 2011
3:19 pm

Hear is cod 4 u. U R morans if U cant see Obama Bin Laden is tryin 2 take away R ways of live. Vote out that commie in 2012

carlos Valdez

June 20th, 2011
3:21 pm

This is why America will be brown in 50 years. White people would sacrifice having children for the sake of having $$$. Hispanics and blacks (Mormons and Catholics too) don’t think like that. Children are a blessing and as the old saying goes, if you wait until you can afford them, you will never have them.

Tea Party Meber

June 20th, 2011
3:31 pm

Not if we vote out Karl Marx Obama

Ray

June 20th, 2011
3:52 pm

Yes, and all those blacks and hispanics that ARE having kids they CAN’T afford, are a burden on those of us who don’t have kids we can’t afford.

So, no, I don’t need to take a lesson from them. They, on the other had, can learn a thing or two from me.

Lesson 1) – Don’t come here illegally, and expect to pop out a kid in order to stay here; and

Lesson 2) if you don’t have a job, or your potential baby daddy is in jail, or you are on government assistance of any kinds – DON”T HAVE KIDS.

There. It’s as simple as that.

REAL

June 20th, 2011
3:54 pm

MOST PEOPLE LIVE WAY WAY BEYOND THEIR MEANS (MULITPLE TVS/CELL PHONES/IPADS/VACATIONS) this country seriously has issues; Save people not everyone is a pro athlete or movie star so live your 50K live like a 50K person (1/3 of your money should go to savings!)

REAL

June 20th, 2011
3:57 pm

PS Carlos: we have a world pop problem b/c of idiots like you who espouse religion for their purposes!

Just Sayin'

June 20th, 2011
4:11 pm

What about people who had kids 16 years ago, could very well afford them, took care of them, bought a house, saved, but lost their job to India, exhausted all funds paying for basic necessities while looking for another job (mortgage, insurance, food, medical expenses, etc.), but no one will hire you because most companies now days would rather hire someone that’s already working?? Since the people on this blog seem to know just about everything… just thought I’d ask.

Just Sayin'

June 20th, 2011
4:13 pm

And when did “being prepared for a financial emergency” turn into an “us vs. them” (white vs. black/hispanic/martian/Easter Islanders/ everyone else) debate?

The Dogfighter Returns

June 20th, 2011
6:33 pm

Financial emergency? :) you can’t be serious

That’s why credit cards, insurance, and bankruptcy, were introduced.

Liz

June 20th, 2011
7:43 pm

Plain and simple we’re in trouble!!!

Dover

June 20th, 2011
8:22 pm

I think many folks don’t save for the future because they want to believe that the government white knight will come to their rescue when they retire. Well there is social security, but that’s it. Who wants to to live on what is basically a subsistence payment, even less if you opt to begin SS @ age 62.

kevinandrew99

June 21st, 2011
7:14 am

After dealing with several lenders in Austin, I finally called “123 Refinance”.I am an agent, and have several relationships in the mortgage business including major banks. I wish I would have been introduced to 123 sooner. They got solution to lower your interest