We like to think we’re pretty good with money — after all, despite peeping GOOP’s insanely pricey gift guide, it’s not like we’re willy nilly buying $150,000 record collections or anything! As it turns out, we might not be doing QUITE as great as we think — at least not as a national average.
According to a new report from CNN Money, a poll of 1,003 people revealed that six out of every 10 Americans don’t even have enough money in their savings account to be able to cover a $500 bill should one arise unexpectedly. That’s almost 60 percent, y’all! What’s more, 20 percent would be forced to borrow from themselves by putting the expense on a credit card, 20 percent would said they would instead need to cut their own spending down and 11 percent would — gulp — “borrow” it from someone else entirely.
While the number is down from last year (which saw closer to 7/10 broke AF Americans), it’s still troubling — especially considering that nearly half of those surveyed actually did face a major expenditure last year. As a retirement analyst for Bankrate, Jill Cornfield pointed out, at this low amount, any (common) and unexpected expense — say, a high vet bill or a broken appliance, for instance — could be enough to set you back. “If you aren’t set up to tap cash for something, it can derail you financially if you put it on [a] credit card. The original expense can bloom because of interest.” Yikes!
While she suggested cutting back on things like alcohol, coffee or vacations to avoid such a catastrophe, we prefer this 10-step money cleanse or more entertaining motivators, like these kickass podcasts.
One bright piece of news: Younger millennials do seem to be on a slightly sunnier path with regard to savings than most: 47 percent of those aged 18-29 said they had savings flush enough to be able to cover the expense. Nice work, guys!
Looks like there’s hope for us yet!
Are you a saver or a spender? Tell us over @BritandCo.
(h/t Elite Daily, photos via Getty)