Many Americans can’t afford to cover emergency expense with savings, survey shows

WASHINGTON DC — If you had an emergency, would you be able to pay for it?

More families are saving less money and couldn’t afford a major emergency right now using their savings, according to a recent nationwide poll by Bankrate.

This new survey highlights how inflation is impacting so many families nationwide. Researchers say the concerns aren’t just limited to paying for an emergency. They say many families also worry about managing monthly expenses.

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“They’ve had to really move away from discretionary items or the things they would like to have to the things that they need to have,” said Mark Hamrick, Senior Economic Analyst at Bankrate.

In its latest survey, Bankrate polled more than one thousand people about their emergency savings.

It found that 57% of people are unable to afford an emergency expense of $1000 or more from their savings.


“These kinds of expenses can be much more than $1,000 so this is just a starting point, to take a look at this issue,” said Hamrick.

The survey shows people are saving less overall because of inflation, higher interest rates and changes to their jobs or income. It also found more people are dependent on credit cards

“You do not want to have to pay those potentially, very high rates of interest if you’re failing to pay the credit card debt off within the billing cycle or within a month,” said Hamrick.

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But Hamrick said you can turn things around. This includes starting a budget and opening a savings account just for emergencies.

“There are all kinds of ways to save money with our everyday expenditures,” he said. “It might be that we’ve gotten too many subscriptions to streaming video need to take a look at that.”

If you are starting to save for the first time, researchers suggest automatically transferring money to your savings account each month.