Twenty-eight percent of Americans have no money saved for emergencies, up from 24 percent a year ago, according to the Financial Security Index released by Bankrate today.
What's especially troubling about the annual survey results is that the situation isn't getting better with an improving economy, according to an article in USA Today. Since 2011, the percentage of respondents who have said they have no emergency savings has fluctuated between 24 percent and 28 percent.
Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, told USA Today that flat wage growth, high household expenses and student loan debt have made it difficult for people to save.
Of respondents who do have savings, 67 percent have less than six months' worth of expenses, which is the recommended amount. The percentage of people with at least three months' of expenses declined from 45 percent in 2013 to 42 percent in 2014.
People who earn more than $75,000 a year vastly increase the odds of hitting the minimum recommendation of a six-month cushion; some 45 percent of that group say they've reached or surpassed that mark. Conversely, 52 percent of people earning less than $30,000 say they have no savings, compared with only 9 percent of high earners.