Unless you’re a Kardashian or a member of Trump’s cabinet, money is a daily annoyance. Maybe you’ve got the day-to-day bullshit expenses (Netflix, Apple Music, weed) down to a fine science, but what if you’re hit with an unexpected bill of, say, $500? According to a new Bankrate report published by CNN Money, many Americans wouldn’t have enough in savings to cover it. Also, what the hell is this “savings” thing they’re talking about?
Nearly six in 10 Americans couldn’t pay a $500 or $1,000 “unplanned expense,” the report found. Just 41 percent of adults have enough in these mysterious “savings accounts” to handle sudden expenses of this magnitude, while just over 20 percent say they’d throw it on a credit card and another 20 percent would make cuts to their respective budgets. A whopping 11 percent, much like myself, would have to ask friends or family for help.
Though Bankrate retirement analyst Jill Cornfield told CNN Money this shows the persistence of an “American problem,” there’s a pair of not-so-depressing stats tucked inside the latest report too. Last year’s report found that just 37 percent of Americans, as opposed to this year’s 41 percent, could handle a sudden expense of $500 or more. Furthermore, young people (a.k.a. millennials) are currently considered the “most financially prepared” to handle money-related surprises. Regardless of demographic, finance experts recommend setting up an “emergency fund” in anticipation of these expenses.
The report also suggests cutting back on daily essentials such as coffee and alcohol, but that’s just not going to happen. Sorry.