By Kyle Olson
It’s bad enough not having a viable source of income, but a new report from CNN Money details that 43% of Americans go without cash for a week and 28% don’t have any emergency savings.
In an economy where the pennies must be pinched in order to survive, these numbers tell a dark tale of the American dream and how Americans are dealing with this near-recession environment.
Bankruptcy filings are becoming a commonplace solution to the nation's debt riddled citizens.
As bills become harder and harder to pay, people run out of options.
According to the CNN report, the amount of Americans who go without cash for a week may be in large part due to the increasingly popular debit card and credit card purchase option.
Many times, swiping the card instead of paying with cash causing Americans to fall further and further into debt and eventually file for bankruptcy.
Many consumers have turned to the ease of the Internet to purchase goods. Online retailers can obviously only take debit and credit card transactions because of the lack of brick and mortar retail shops.
A recent study has shown that people think twice when using cash versus swiping their debit card or credit card. Physically handing over cash is a mental barrier than many people have decided to forego.
Many retailers prefer you use cash because of the high fees involved when using a credit card machine to process the payments. A federal mandate was put in place to curb the high costs of operating a credit card machine but the fees remain.
Experts say that heading to an ATM before hitting the shops might give you some piece of mind when you’re at the counter ready to pay. Somehow those $100 heels don’t look so attractive when you have to fork over the bills.
Savings? What Savings?
The startling number that CNN Money reported about Americans and their lack of savings is a not-so-subtle reminder of the times we currently live in. With student loans, credit card debt, and foreclosures on the rise; it’s no wonder Americans don’t have the ability to save.
Emergency funds are an extremely important resource to have, according to the experts. The general rule of thumb is that you have enough for six months of expenses including mortgage payments and grocery money among the most important.
According to CNN, 49% of Americans don’t even have enough saved for three months of emergency survival.
As incomes become stagnant (or non existant), it becomes harder and harder for families to save. Experts suggest saving every extra pennies you can in case of emergency.
Although these numbers seem grim, overall savings is up from six years ago. According to the CNN report, 61% of Americans didn’t have enough savings to last three months in 2006.
Experts say the most important thing to think about is getting out of debt but others suggest that saving for an emergency situation is the most dire of needs.
Instead of cramming in that weekend road trip to the water park, consider making one in your own back yard. Experts warn that every penny spent is a potentially life-saving amount that could be put towards an emergency fund. No amount is too little to save.
Experts also warn that once it’s saved, act like it doesn’t exist. Dipping in to a savings account could mean disastrous results in the future.