A considerable percentage of Americans lack the savings needed to cushion against a surprise expense, even with enough income to save, according to a recent report by Bankrate.com. Approximately 60 percent of those surveyed do not have enough savings for a $1,000 emergency room bill, though 41 percent plan to tap their savings for such an expense.
“It’s not a matter of if, but when an unexpected expense will pop up,” said Jill Cornfield, Bankrate.com analyst, in a statement. “Our survey shows that just under half of adults surveyed said they or a family member had a major expense in the past 12 months.”
Half of high-income households do not have adequate savings, according to the report, despite having the financial wherewithal to support saving. Millennials have more savings stashed for an unforeseen bill than any other generation, at 47 percent of those surveyed.
The struggle to save is underscored by the “luxuries” Americans are willing to let go of—and the ones they aren’t. Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed would trim dining out from their budgets, but just 35 percent would cut their cell phone plan.
“If you have a car, a house or apartment, a pet, or a kid—if you’re a member of the human race—something that costs money is bound to go wrong,” said Cornfield. “It might be a minor car repair or a surprise medical expense. The best way to prepare is to have an emergency fund you can draw on.”
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