NEW YORK (BankingMyWay) — It’s been tough sledding for millions of Americans over the past few years.
A sour economy has left way too many people either unemployed or underemployed, and that has helped push U.S. household incomes down by about 4.8%, according to data from Sentier Research.
Not only are incomes down, but so is the amount of money Americans have in their bank accounts. A survey from credit card comparison company CreditDonkey.com reports that 40% of U.S. consumers don’t have more than $500 in their bank savings account.
CreditDonkey bills low bank savers as the “liquid asset poor.” Most consumers in this category are only one missed paycheck away from poverty if they lose their job or suffer a major illness.
But it’s not just consumers in the low-asset class category with meager bank savings.
The survey says the ranks of the low bank savers includes dual-income earners, with “nice homes, nice cars, nice toys, a 401(k) retirement savings plan, big mortgages and big credit card bills.”
The survey also notes that 54% of the Americans who have less than $500 in their bank account expect that their financial situation won’t change in the foreseeable future, and that they’re unable to establish an emergency cash fund. In addition:
The lack of a safety net leaves millions of Americans perilously close to financial ruin, the survey states.
“When the unexpected happens – as it always does – people without some savings set aside could find themselves in serious financial trouble, unwanted debt and sudden stress,” notes Charles Tran, founder of CreditDonkey.com.
The company notes that stashing away money in an emergency fund isn’t all that difficult – all it takes is some significant belt-tightening.
To build a good savings fund, consumers should:
Nobody is saying it’s easy, but building your savings is doable if you’re disciplined and creative about it. The upside is huge, and you’ll likely sleep better at night knowing you have your own insurance policy in case of an emergency – and way more than $500 in the bank in the bargain.
—For more ways to save, spend, invest and borrow, visit MainStreet.com.