Do You Have Emergency Savings? Almost Half Of Americans Don’t

Is there a box of cash stuffed behind the freezer-burned chicken in your freezer to cover your butt in case of an emergency, or even better, money set aside in your savings in case you need it? Almost half of all Americans — 49% — don’t have enough emergency savings to cover three months of expenses, says new research.

The research from, via the Chicago Tribune, shows that number is up from 46% last year. It’s a lot better than in 2006, when 61% of us said we had less than three months savings. So perhaps the recession has taught us something.

“While we’ve seen some improvement since then, the bottom line is that much more progress is needed,”said Greg McBride, CFA, senior financial analyst at “Having sufficient emergency savings is critical to avoiding high-cost credit card debt when unexpected expenses arise.”

The good news in the survey run by Princeton Survey Research Associates International is that 24% of the 1,000 adults surveyed reported a better overall financial situation compared to a year ago.

And it seems we’re not feeling so bad about our savings — 32% said they are  “less comfortable with their savings,” compared to 47% who said they had a better nest egg than they did a year ago.

28% of Americans have no emergency savings [Chicago Tribune]