A financial crisis would be bad news for many of us. According to a new survey, we don't have sufficient emergency savings.
Forty-nine percent of 1,000 Americans polled in a recent survey by personal finance site Bankrate.com do not have enough money saved to cover three months of expenses in the event of an emergency, up from 46 percent last year. Twenty-eight percent of those polled have no emergency savings at all, which is up from 24 percent last year.
Without emergency funds, we quickly turn to credit cards and other sources with high-interest rates. "Having sufficient emergency savings is critical to avoiding high-cost credit card debt when unexpected expenses arise," Greg McBride, a senior financial analyst at Bankrate, said in a statement.
Generally, it's recommended that an emergency savings account has enough money to pay for six months of living expenses. According to Bankrate, only one-quarter of Americans have this much put away.
A slew of studies have found that Americans are not saving enough.
Only 51 percent of American families have a savings account, according to the Federal Reserve's recently released Survey of Consumer Finances for 2010.
A recent study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that nearly a third of all American workers have less than $1,000 in savings. Another third have less than $25,000 in savings.
Additionally, according to a recent study by LIMRA, a financial services trade association, half of all Americans are not saving at all for retirement.