Savings goals begin with having enough for emergencies, then move on to having enough to see you through a job loss and, finally, to having enough for retirement. A new study finds that most Americans aren’t even getting past the first stage.
The author of the study, Bankrate, recently found that 63% of Americans can’t afford a $500 car repair or a $1,000 emergency room visit.
Just 37% of U.S. adults have enough savings to pay for these unexpected expenses.
In times of emergency, 23% say they would reduce their spending on other things to make ends meet, and 15% would use credit cards.
Fifteen percent would have to borrow from family or friends, Bankrate said.
This is a grim set of findings. Having enough saved for emergencies is not only the first big goal of saving, it is also the one that offers immediate relief to financial stress.
You can certainly sleep better at night knowing that you have enough cash to handle life’s emergencies.
Of course, the lack of emergency funds in Americans’ accounts only serves to highlight the larger problems people are having later in life, when they need funds for retirement.
Go to Your Credit Union
If you’re in the same boat as these 63% of Americans, you need to have a savings plan. You’d be surprised at how much you can save each day/week/month just by making a few simple changes.
Your credit union can really help you to put that plan together. CU professionals are experienced in these matters after all, and they will be happy to sit down with you and map out a strategy for achieving short, medium and longer-term savings goals.
Best of all, as not-for-profit bankers, CU pros will offer you advice that is free of any profit motive. They will help you do what is right for you.
So, go and see your credit union, (or join one if you’re not already a member). It’s the start of a new year, so there’s no better time than now to reduce your financial stress levels.