Survey: About one in three have just a month (or less) of savings for housing costs
Here's a sobering statistic: Nearly a third of Americans surveyed in September said they would at most be able to pay their rent or mortgage for a single month if they lost their job.
The survey of 1,021 adults was conducted for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Financial Planning Association, Foundation for Financial Planning and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which together are trying to promote better financial planning. (Free financial-planning events have been scheduled across the country, including in Baltimore.)
I've often heard six months suggested for emergency savings -- to have enough money socked away to cover expenses for that long.
Considering the way a stretch of unemployment can last these days, more would be even better. (About 58,000 Marylanders have been out of work so long -- more than 18 months -- that they could be eligible for newly extended unemployment benefits.)
A survey released in June by Bankrate.com had fairly similar findings in terms of savings: Twenty-four percent said they had no emergency savings and an additional 22 percent said their savings added up to less than three months of expenses.
"Those most likely to have six months' expenses in an emergency fund are higher-income households and people in their 50s and 60s, but even among these groups, at least half do not have six months' expenses in an emergency fund," Bankrate.com said at the time. "People younger than age 30 and the lowest-income households are the most likely to report having no emergency savings at all."
Yikes. Where do you stand?
I hope if you don't already have generous emergency savings, you're in a position to put more away. Or to take on a roommate to cut your costs.