New research published today by Bankrate has found almost half of Americans do not have emergency savings to cover three months' worth of expenses. This is three percent higher than last year's figures.
According to a press release, 49 percent of Americans do not have enough emergency savings to cover three months' worth of living costs.
This is a slight rise from last year's survey, which found 46 percent of Americans did not have enough money saved to cover three months' worth of expenses. In 2006, this amount was reported to be 61 percent, so it indicates some improvement over the past several years.
"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 for Bankrate.com, said in a statement. "Having sufficient emergency savings is critical to avoiding high-cost credit card debt when unexpected expenses arise."
In addition, the Bankrate research found 28 percent of individuals in the U.S. have no savings put aside at all; this is up by four percent from last year.
Bankrate found one-fourth of Americans do have the recommended six months' worth of savings put aside for emergency, which is one percent higher than last year's figures.
"Incomes are largely stagnant, so it's difficult for people to make significant headway on savings when household expenses are creeping higher but incomes are not," said McBride, reported CNN. "Prolonged unemployment has also depleted the savings of many people who at one time had a more appropriate cushion."
The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International for Bankrate, and included about 1,000 adults in its research. The time frame, according to Bankrate, was June 7-10, 2012.
Source: Bankrate.com, Financial Security Index survey, June 25, 2012