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(Chicago Trib)   Are you one of the 49% who don't have enough emergency savings to cover three months of expenses?   (chicagotribune.com) divider line 95
    More: Fail, Americans, Greg McBride, CFA, expenses, continental United States, saves, emergency savings, representative samples  
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1878 clicks; posted to Business » on 26 Jun 2012 at 8:30 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-26 08:34:17 AM
I don't think I have three days' worth.
 
2012-06-26 08:35:37 AM
Nope, I've got enough to cover a year's expenses. Being single and not having to take care of a family has its advantages.
 
2012-06-26 08:40:19 AM
How many people have used theirs up already? Or work such shiatty jobs that saving anything is a pipedream?
 
2012-06-26 08:42:28 AM
Living paycheck to paycheck pretty much ensures you rarely, if ever, have anything akin to savings.

It's how the bottom 50% lives.
 
2012-06-26 08:44:03 AM
i have enough for 10 years.
 
2012-06-26 08:44:29 AM
Nope.
 
2012-06-26 08:45:55 AM
I save a six month emergency fund every paycheck like every American should.
 
2012-06-26 08:45:57 AM
Nope. Easily accessible? No, that's only about a month's worth. Do I have that much? Sure. it'd take a couple of days to get out of the various financial institutions.
 
2012-06-26 08:49:20 AM

trotsky: How many people have used theirs up already? Or work such shiatty jobs that saving anything is a pipedream?


Lots of them. I know my savings is nowhere near what it should be. I'd move for better work, but I can't sell my house and realize any actual cash to finance a move, not that anyone could buy it even if it still had equity. I mean I knew housing prices were overinflated, but really, I didn't think values would plummet 50%
 
2012-06-26 08:50:00 AM
Depends....do I have it in a savings account I can tap? No, but I can always go into my retirement and pull out a decent amount if my world collapsed on me.
 
2012-06-26 08:51:14 AM
No. Next question.
 
2012-06-26 08:53:56 AM
I can cover more than that, but the answer is yes.

Hint for those of you who don't:
Cellphones, pay television, and gas-guzzling trucks (unless you haul things in it for your job) are luxuries. I could live solely on the money most people spend on those three things alone without going on welfare.
 
2012-06-26 08:55:19 AM
For the first time in my life I hit that...well today actually (Tuesday paydays WTF)

Bought a house and thought that I should save up more than a month in advance. It was a long tough struggle to build that up and i'll probably dip into it next month, but its also personal battle to get it up that high.
 
2012-06-26 08:55:29 AM

Balchinian: I can cover more than that, but the answer is yes.

Hint for those of you who don't:
Cellphones, pay television, and gas-guzzling trucks (unless you haul things in it for your job) are luxuries. I could live solely on the money most people spend on those three things alone without going on welfare.


Psh, if you want to call that living.
 
2012-06-26 09:00:12 AM
I'd probably juuuuust make it. I could tap things that I don't consider "savings" though.
 
2012-06-26 09:00:45 AM
Many of you seem not to ha,ve that thing called "wife."

.
 
2012-06-26 09:03:30 AM
Three months? I don't have enough for two weeks.
 
2012-06-26 09:12:34 AM

DistendedPendulusFrenulum: Many of you seem not to ha,ve that thing called "wife."


hah, she's the one pulling me back at the grocery store and saying "if it's not food for breakfast lunch or dinner (ie. on her list), we are not buying it."

I hear what you're saying though because I'll get the occasional, "you would not believe how much I saved at the clothing store."

We are in the midst of buying a house so our emergency fund is going from six-eight months to two-three months with a much larger mortgage. I've budgeted and I think it will take another year or more to get back up to six month fund - I anticipate our first baby costing us a fortune.

After saving up all that coin, I couldn't imagine being cash poor again. Buying all of our appliances on a 0% credit card and paying it off within the introductory APR.
 
2012-06-26 09:13:40 AM
Lol, I just switched jobs and was already living paycheck to paycheck. So now I'm living on credit for a few weeks.

Getting paid very little more than I was in a similar job 12 years ago. Oh well, its my like 3 industry change in 5 years.
 
2012-06-26 09:16:59 AM
I'm always 2 weeks from homelessness. I've never lived any other way as an adult and I'm in my 40s. On a couple of rare occasions in my life I managed to get a little ahead and just found that I didn't really feel like working anymore at that point.

I don't own a car or any of that other fancy stuff other people take for granted. I find the fear of sleeping on a park bench to be the best motivator to show up for work I know about. I can't imagine having a three-month supply of money lying around, hell if I make it to payday without a visit to Amscot, that's a damn victory in my world.

You successful people are strange. Why bother?
 
2012-06-26 09:23:21 AM
Does 401K count? I've borrowed from it in the past. With the interest on the "loan" going to myself, some quarters I was my own best investment...

/could live a year on it
 
2012-06-26 09:23:45 AM

Balchinian: I can cover more than that, but the answer is yes.

Hint for those of you who don't:
Cellphones, pay television, and gas-guzzling trucks (unless you haul things in it for your job) are luxuries. I could live solely on the money most people spend on those three things alone without going on welfare.


Could probably live without a device capable of posting to Fark too.
 
2012-06-26 09:25:38 AM

Starfly: DistendedPendulusFrenulum: Many of you seem not to ha,ve that thing called "wife."

hah, she's the one pulling me back at the grocery store and saying "if it's not food for breakfast lunch or dinner (ie. on her list), we are not buying it."

I hear what you're saying though because I'll get the occasional, "you would not believe how much I saved at the clothing store."

We are in the midst of buying a house so our emergency fund is going from six-eight months to two-three months with a much larger mortgage. I've budgeted and I think it will take another year or more to get back up to six month fund - I anticipate our first baby costing us a fortune.

After saving up all that coin, I couldn't imagine being cash poor again. Buying all of our appliances on a 0% credit card and paying it off within the introductory APR.


I'm in a similar situation, just with a fiance.
Just bought a house so my savings went into that. It took me a year to build up my savings. House repairs got a little more than I expected.

The 0% cards were a lifesaver. Got a Citi card right after we bought the house that was 0% for 22 months on purchases for 3 months. So we threw all our purchases on that and any income went into savings. After the three months we paid it off with any spare cash. Just paid it off last month.
I have a HD, Lowes, Firestone and a few other 0% for 6months cards. It helps a ton to spread out the cost over a few months rather than a hit of a few hundred.

Check out scratch and dent places for appliances. I got our fridge, stove, microwave all for less than a grand total. Bosch brand and 0% for 12 too.
 
2012-06-26 09:26:21 AM

DistendedPendulusFrenulum: Many of you seem not to ha,ve that thing called "wife."

.


Or "kids."

If I didn't have them, I'd sell what I have and be on my way to France to join the French Foreign Legion. New name, 3 years to French citizenship, 2 more years after that and you're out with 100000 euro in your pocket.
 
2012-06-26 09:27:06 AM

Balchinian: I can cover more than that, but the answer is yes.

Hint for those of you who don't:
Cellphones, pay television, and gas-guzzling trucks (unless you haul things in it for your job) are luxuries. I could live solely on the money most people spend on those three things alone without going on welfare.


I really wouldn't say a cellphone is a luxury considering most people use them instead of house phones. It just depends on what kind and what type of plan you have. An Iphone or most other smart phones with a data plan, yeah that is a luxury that you could do without unless it is also your only internet device.
 
2012-06-26 09:30:02 AM

Confabulat: I'm always 2 weeks from homelessness. I've never lived any other way as an adult and I'm in my 40s. On a couple of rare occasions in my life I managed to get a little ahead and just found that I didn't really feel like working anymore at that point.

I don't own a car or any of that other fancy stuff other people take for granted. I find the fear of sleeping on a park bench to be the best motivator to show up for work I know about. I can't imagine having a three-month supply of money lying around, hell if I make it to payday without a visit to Amscot, that's a damn victory in my world.

You successful people are strange. Why bother?


I'm far for what society deems successful, but I couldn't live like you. I'd be a nervous wreck with bleeding ulcers.

I need at least some illusion of a cushion for when shiat inevitably falls apart.
 
2012-06-26 09:36:09 AM
Listen to Dave Ramsey minus the Jesus stuff, follow his plan and you'll be fine. Creating a budget to get rid of debt can suck but it works.
 
2012-06-26 09:37:53 AM
How can I maintain an emergency cash reserve when I've been stockpiling ammunition, dried food, and pre-1964 quarters for the upcoming polar-shift/economic-collapse/sudden-climate-change/race-war/supervolc ano-eruption/solar flare that's just around the corner?

/because if there's one thing people will need in a starvation ridden, post apocalyptic wasteland, it's small change.
 
2012-06-26 09:39:12 AM

Confabulat: You successful people are strange. Why bother?


You shiftless bums are strange. Why not put a little effort forward?

The answer to both questions is: because that's the life we choose.

By the way, you're welcome. Us successful people are also the ones holding out that teat you're inevitably going to need for suckling when something happens that pushes you off that razor's edge.
 
2012-06-26 09:39:54 AM

Nezorf: Check out scratch and dent places for appliances. I got our fridge, stove, microwave all for less than a grand total. Bosch brand and 0% for 12 too.


Good call, we have a SEARS outlet that usually has discounts (returns, exchanges go there) on dented appliances, got my dishwasher there when we bought our first home three years ago. Also looking at buying coupons on Ebay for 10% off purchases at your LOWES etc.
 
2012-06-26 09:44:50 AM
If the wife and I both lost our jobs tomorrow... I would estimate 11 months. If you factor in unemployment benefits... we could probably go unemployed for 18 months before tapping into retirement accounts.

I couldn't sleep at night living on the razor's edge the way some people do.
 
2012-06-26 09:52:30 AM
If my wife and I both lost our jobs, our biggest issue would be emergency healthcare for our daughter. Barring that, we could easily modify our lifestyle so that our biggest annual expense would be municipal taxes at around $10k / year. Figure another $10k for the rest (utilities, food, maintenance)...I think we could get by for a couple years without too much of an issue. Babby's college fund would cease growing but the world needs ditch diggers too.
 
2012-06-26 10:10:34 AM
The stock market probably cost me that much the last three days.
 
2012-06-26 10:16:21 AM

Balchinian: I can cover more than that, but the answer is yes.

Hint for those of you who don't:
Cellphones, pay television, and gas-guzzling trucks (unless you haul things in it for your job) are luxuries. I could live solely on the money most people spend on those three things alone without going on welfare.


Guess how I can tell how old you are? I would agree with you on the other items, but a good chunk of people these days have foregone a land line for a cell.
 
2012-06-26 10:16:47 AM

Starfly: Nezorf: Check out scratch and dent places for appliances. I got our fridge, stove, microwave all for less than a grand total. Bosch brand and 0% for 12 too.

Good call, we have a SEARS outlet that usually has discounts (returns, exchanges go there) on dented appliances, got my dishwasher there when we bought our first home three years ago. Also looking at buying coupons on Ebay for 10% off purchases at your LOWES etc.


Watch out for those coupons. Some are bunk, or already used. The best bet for me was look on Craigslist for people selling gift cards for reduced prices. I've bought a $500 card for $400 off some guy (or 150 for 80). But be sure to meet at a store to verify the amount and then immediately buy another gift card with the gift card.

Some jackasses around here have been selling Best Buy gift cards and then draining the funds. They meet you in the parking lot, go inside/online and verify the info, but then have their buddy buy something online immediately after you hand over the cash. That's why i suggest buying another gift card immediately to change the codes.
 
2012-06-26 10:21:06 AM

Confabulat: I'm always 2 weeks from homelessness. I've never lived any other way as an adult and I'm in my 40s. On a couple of rare occasions in my life I managed to get a little ahead and just found that I didn't really feel like working anymore at that point.

I don't own a car or any of that other fancy stuff other people take for granted. I find the fear of sleeping on a park bench to be the best motivator to show up for work I know about. I can't imagine having a three-month supply of money lying around, hell if I make it to payday without a visit to Amscot, that's a damn victory in my world.

You successful people are strange. Why bother?


I'm curious as to where in the pay scale you are? I'm about to be 36 and I make pretty good money but I have the same story. everytime I start to get ahead I lose it! It's really quite ridiculous.
 
2012-06-26 10:34:58 AM
I have enough cash to cover 20 years of expenses, but the problem is that my pay rate has dropped dramatically. I'm at the point where I'm pulling over $2K per month from savings just to maintain.

At times I simply surrender and accept that I will never find a remotely worthwhile job.
 
2012-06-26 10:36:01 AM

Zeno-25: Guess how I can tell how old you are? I would agree with you on the other items, but a good chunk of people these days have foregone a land line for a cell.


I'm guessing he's saying most people don't really need a smart phone. Calls, texts and you're good. But NEEDING a smart phone to take stupid pictures of you and your drunk friends and posting them to facebook or to constantly twittering about what you're having for lunch isn't necessary. Say your phone plus data package is $100...you could save so much more just by sticking with the basics and paying $40 a month or less for service. That's $60 a month you'll save, $720 a year...$1440 over the life of a typical 2 year contract. Imagine that amount saved or put towards your lowest debt total...pay that off then take the sum of what you were paying and add it to your next lowest debt. BAM! Before you know it you'll have breathing room.
 
2012-06-26 10:56:16 AM

DirkValentine: Confabulat: I'm always 2 weeks from homelessness. I've never lived any other way as an adult and I'm in my 40s. On a couple of rare occasions in my life I managed to get a little ahead and just found that I didn't really feel like working anymore at that point.

I don't own a car or any of that other fancy stuff other people take for granted. I find the fear of sleeping on a park bench to be the best motivator to show up for work I know about. I can't imagine having a three-month supply of money lying around, hell if I make it to payday without a visit to Amscot, that's a damn victory in my world.

You successful people are strange. Why bother?

I'm curious as to where in the pay scale you are? I'm about to be 36 and I make pretty good money but I have the same story. everytime I start to get ahead I lose it! It's really quite ridiculous.


I'm in the same boat, being 35. I make good money, just shy of 6 figures, but still pretty much live paycheck to paycheck. Most of this is due to the fact that I spend like a drunken sailor on shore leave. I do have retirement savings but I really don't count that. I tend to at the most have 1 months worth of cash saved, with about lot 3 months worth of credit that I leave available.

/Yes, I am terrible with money
 
2012-06-26 11:14:46 AM
I think all of you complaining that you can't make ends meet while making good money should let me manage your finances for you. My wife and I just got out of graduate school. I make hardly anything at my job but get good benefits. She is working on mental health licensure which is really expensive and we still have 1 month's worth of money put back. We both own our cars (purchased for fuel efficiency vs. low cost), have cellphones (not smartphones, data plans are stupid), and have pay television. We rent a house and have no kids which helps tremendously. Our biggest expense is our expensive dog which we got as a graduation present to ourselves. If you're making over $40k a year and living paycheck to paycheck, you're doing it wrong. Let me take over and for a mere 5% fee get you back on the right track.
 
2012-06-26 11:15:30 AM
I've got about half a year's worth.
 
2012-06-26 11:24:14 AM
Easily accessible? I have about 2 years worth. Got more in another account that'd take a few days to get to. Of course, if we move next yer like we're planning, there'll be some significant account drainage.

/learned his lesson a while ago
//much better prepared now
 
2012-06-26 11:24:51 AM

Balchinian: Cellphones, pay television, and gas-guzzling trucks (unless you haul things in it for your job) are luxuries. I could live solely on the money most people spend on those three things alone without going on welfare.


It's not gas-guzzling trucks that make no financial sense, it's car payments of any sort. If you can get a 1985 Ford F150 beater truck that runs for 2 grand and drive it for two years without major repairs (granted, you'd have to be lucky) - you'll come out so far ahead you could keep doing it the rest of your life and still save money. Gas consumption is not the major cost component of a vehicle for the vast majority of Americans. The car payment is.

Leasing wrecks more finances than gas-guzzling does.
 
2012-06-26 11:25:08 AM
I've got an old refrigerator box and a pallet of Ramen noodles.

polytical.org
 
2012-06-26 11:33:04 AM

WhiskeySticks: Zeno-25: Guess how I can tell how old you are? I would agree with you on the other items, but a good chunk of people these days have foregone a land line for a cell.

I'm guessing he's saying most people don't really need a smart phone. Calls, texts and you're good. But NEEDING a smart phone to take stupid pictures of you and your drunk friends and posting them to facebook or to constantly twittering about what you're having for lunch isn't necessary. Say your phone plus data package is $100...you could save so much more just by sticking with the basics and paying $40 a month or less for service. That's $60 a month you'll save, $720 a year...$1440 over the life of a typical 2 year contract. Imagine that amount saved or put towards your lowest debt total...pay that off then take the sum of what you were paying and add it to your next lowest debt. BAM! Before you know it you'll have breathing room.


Currently have full data, text, internet and plenty of minutes for $50 a month. But my work pays for my phone now a-days anyway so meh.

Cutting back on internet/data I would only save maybe $20 a month. There are plenty of other places to cut back on. Fancy food, coffee, booze, driving, purchases, clothing, booze, hobbies, etc
 
2012-06-26 11:43:35 AM

ModernPrimitive01: I think all of you complaining that you can't make ends meet while making good money should let me manage your finances for you. My wife and I just got out of graduate school. I make hardly anything at my job but get good benefits. She is working on mental health licensure which is really expensive and we still have 1 month's worth of money put back. We both own our cars (purchased for fuel efficiency vs. low cost), have cellphones (not smartphones, data plans are stupid), and have pay television. We rent a house and have no kids which helps tremendously. Our biggest expense is our expensive dog which we got as a graduation present to ourselves. If you're making over $40k a year and living paycheck to paycheck, you're doing it wrong. Let me take over and for a mere 5% fee get you back on the right track.


Yeah, I want to take advice from a guy whose dog costs more than his rent.
 
2012-06-26 11:58:45 AM
I did but got hit with a emergency that took away half of it. Im slowly building it back up, however the roomate is hampering my efforts with her stupidity.
 
2012-06-26 12:02:31 PM
WhiskeySticks

"Listen to Dave Ramsey minus the Jesus stuff, follow his plan and you'll be fine. Creating a budget to get rid of debt can suck but it works."


THIS
 
2012-06-26 12:09:31 PM
I'm bound by law to have no more than $2000 in assets.
 
2012-06-26 12:15:07 PM
clearly the answer is tax cuts for the rich and less regulation.
 
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