Saving money continues to be a losing battle for many Americans. Even though the Great Recession technically ended five years ago, just over one in four Americans have no emergency savings in their financial arsenal. Adding insult to injury, people in their prime earning years are in the worst condition.
A barrage of stagnant wages, higher living expenses, and an overall weak labor market are taking their toll on piggy banks across the nation. Twenty-six percent of Americans do not have any money placed aside for emergencies, according to a new survey from Bankrate. In fact, 76 percent have saved less than six months’ worth of expenses, and 50 percent have saved less than three months’ expenses. Over the past year, the number of Americans with at least three months’ expenses in savings declined from 45 percent to 40 percent.
The lack of savings is not contained to lower-income households. “Americans continue to show a stunning lack of progress in accumulating sufficient emergency savings,” explains Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate’s Chief Financial Analyst, in a press release. “Even among the highest income households — those with annual income of $75,000 or above — fewer than half (46 percent) currently have a six-month savings cushion.”