Most Americans don't have nearly enough money stashed away for emergencies and more than one in four don't have a single penny saved, according to research by Bankrate.com, CNNMoney reported.
The general rule of thumb is to have an emergency fund that will cover at least six months of expenses. Bankrate said that 25 percent of Americans have that amount saved. Twenty-eight percent don't have any cushion whatsoever, up from 24 percent last year, according to the report, which was based on a survey of 1,000 adults.
About 49 percent of Americans don't have enough money saved to cover three months of expenses, slightly worse than the 46 percent of Americans who reported having less than three months worth of savings last year.
"Incomes are largely stagnant, so it's difficult for people to make significant headway on savings when household expenses are creeping higher but incomes are not," said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com. "Prolonged unemployment has also depleted the savings of many people who at one time had a more appropriate cushion."
Though the overall savings situation has gotten slightly worse in the past year, Americans are saving more this year than they were six years ago. In 2006, Bankrate found that 61 percent of Americans didn't have enough emergency savings to last three months.