Americans Unprepared for Financial Emergencies

June 20, 2011 ( - A study by found that only 24% of Americans have a six-month emergency savings cushion, and 24% have no emergency savings whatsoever.

Twenty-two percent of respondents have some savings, but not enough to cover three months’ expenses. Forty-six percent have at least three months’ expenses socked away. A press release said this matches the result from a 2007 Bankrate survey and is higher than the 39% figure from a 2006 Bankrate poll.  

Feelings of financial security among Americans, as measured by the Financial Security Index, dropped slightly, from 98.5 in May to 97.8 in June. However, 26% of Americans are more comfortable with their debt now compared with 12 months ago. Just 19% of Americans report feeling less comfortable with their debt, the lowest figure since Bankrate began its monthly Financial Security Index polls in December 2010.   

According to the press release, those most likely to have six months’ expenses in an emergency fund are higher-income households and people in their 50s and 60s, but even among these groups, at least half do not have six months’ expenses in an emergency fund. People younger than age 30 and the lowest-income households are the most likely to report having no emergency savings at all.  

More about the poll is here.