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Saving for a Rainy Day?
Although a majority of Americans maintain a household budget, just 38 percent have enough savings to pay for unexpected expenses according to a recent Bankrate.com report.
This lack of savings is problematic for the Americans’ financial well-being because even small expenses like an emergency room visit or car repair can undermine a budget.
“Without an adequate rainy-day fund, we are all living on a very slippery financial slope,” Gail Cunningham, a spokeswoman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, said in a statement on the report. “The unexpected, unplanned expense is going to rear its ugly head and usually at the most inopportune time.”
Unsurprisingly age, wealth and education are all correlated with savings funds. The survey showed that millennials are the least prepared age group – only 33 percent have enough in their savings accounts for emergencies compared to 44 percent of seniors.
Repercussions from the Great Recession may be to blame for inadequate savings, but both the improving economy and increasing number of household budgets indicate a promising future.
“People hopefully will not go back to the kind of shop-till-you-drop response to good economic news and put away that emergency fund,” Eleanor Blayney, CFP professional and consumer advocate for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, said in a statement.
Of the 82 percent of American households that keep a budget the most popular methods are:
• Pen and paper – 36 percent
• Computer program or smartphone app – 26 percent
• In their heads – 18 percent
The majority of these budgets are spent on food and rent/mortgage. Other popular expenses are utilities, transportation, medical bill and student loans.
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