“About 26% of Americans have no money saved to handle emergencies, according to a new poll that showed households making little progress over the past year in their ability to deal with financial trouble.
The Bankrate.com survey results released Monday also found that two-thirds of respondents said they have less than the recommended six months’ worth of readily available savings to cover living expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, utility bills and food costs, in case of a lost job or other difficulties.
Both figures were only slight improvements from Bankrate.com’s survey last year, which found that 27% of respondents had no emergency savings and that 71% didn’t have enough to last six months.
“Americans continue to show a stunning lack of progress in accumulating sufficient emergency savings,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for the financial information website.
About a third of respondents — 34% — said they were less comfortable with their savings than they were a year ago. Just 18% said they were more comfortable.
The struggle to build an emergency fund came even though the personal savings rate calculated by the Commerce Department has doubled from a record low of 2% in 2005 during the subprime housing market boom to 4% in April….”