Many Consumers Can’t Cover Unexpected Expenses

Are you putting away enough for a rainy day?

A recent study shows that just 38% of Americans have enough money stashed away in their savings accounts to cover unexpected expenses such as a $1,000 emergency room visit or a $500 car repair.

Other survey respondents said they would raise the money by cutting back on spending somewhere else (26%), asking friends and/or family for a loan (16%) or using credit cards (12%). The study found that as one gets older, increases salary, and gets more education, they are more likely to have the means to use savings for unexpected expenses. Among those surveyed, just 33% of millennials have enough savings to take care of unexpected expenses.

Other report findings:

  • 82% of Americans stick to a household budget. Most consumers keep tabs on their expenses by writing it down or memorizing what they spent.
  • Roughly 32% of Americans say utility expenses make up the biggest budget item (this is besides food and housing costs). Other popular answers are transportation costs (including car loans and gasoline), medical costs, and student loans.
  • 44% of senior citizens have enough savings to cover unexpected expenses.
  • 62% of those with annual household income above $75,000 have enough savings to cover unexpected expenses.
  • 52% of college graduates have enough savings to cover unexpected expenses compared with 32% of those without a college degree.

For more on this topic, see 37% of Americans Say They’re Too Broke to Save.

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