60% Of Americans Can’t Cover An Unexpected Bill

January 26, 2015 1 Comment

Well, it’s almost a good thing that prices are falling, because I don’t know what people would do if they were suddenly struck with a medical bill, car accident or unforeseen property damages. Then again, falling prices probably wouldn’t help most people anyway (considering the bulk of it is in Food and Energy). According to a Bankrate study, fewer than 40% of Americans have enough money to pay an unexpected bill.

This didn’t come as a surprise to me. Before this, we’ve learned that about 50% of Americans have less than $500 in savings, and sometime after that we’ve learned that 3 out of 4 Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. This is just another addition to the recent trends we’ve seen in this ‘robust economic recovery.’

And of course, there is the ever-shrinking Personal Savings Rate:

Wage growth is still relatively sluggish, and the economy isn’t exactly the greatest right about now, but everyone should have at least something for a rainy day.

Me personally, whatever I don’t spend from my disposable income ends up as savings. However, I still leave some of my disposable income to build up in my checking account. It just never goes above/below a certain level. I do this because you just never know when you’re going to be confronted with a situation where a bill just comes out of nowhere.

Just two weeks ago, I had to pay about $2,500 just to settle an old debt that I had from an old college I attended. Needless to say, I didn’t have to pay this debt, but if I wanted the institution to release the hold they had on my transcript, I had no choice. People need their college transcripts for a number of different reasons, whether its transferring to another school, for an employer or entering a graduate program (which I plan on doing in the future). Sooner or later, I’d have to pay that institution back and I’d figured that now was a better time than any. Needless to say, that was a very expensive, unexpected thing I did.

However, the fact that only 38% of respondents said that they have enough money in their bank accounts to pay for unforeseen events, it shows that some people would need to take on debt or cut back elsewhere.

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