More Americans are acknowledging the need to have a rainy day fund, but say they lack adequate savings to weather a financial emergency, according to a study released on Thursday.
Two-thirds of Americans are saving to cover expenses in a financial emergency, setting aside an average of $46,000, according to the 2015 “Rainy Day Study” released by Chicago-based BMO Harris Premier Services.
While that may seem like good news, the study also found that 69 percent of Americans believe their rainy day fund would run out within a year, while 29 percent say their emergency savings would last one month or less.
Just 33 percent of the study’s respondents thought they had enough savings to cover a financial emergency.
The survey linked Americans’ paucity of emergency savings with a lack of financial planning, with 57 percent of respondents claiming to have no written financial plan.
The survey, conducted online by Pollara, polled more than 3,100 Americans in January.
It found that:
- Half of respondents reported saving in a systematic manner such as with contributions from their regular paychecks.
- On average, men reported having more rainy day savings than women, collecting $58,061 while women had only $33,558.
- Twenty-one percent of respondents said they would need to use retirement savings in a financial emergency.
- Sixty percent said they were uncertain that their rainy day fund could cover medical expenses, while 56 percent were uncertain it could cover medical needs for immediate family. Fifty-three percent worried about it covering major car repairs while 50% worried over unexpected home repairs.
- Seventy-six percent of the respondents have dipped into their rainy day fund, most commonly for unexpected repairs to cars or homes.
- While one-quarter of the respondents paid back the money they took out of their rainy day fund within two months, and an additional 30 percent within three to six months, one-fifth never paid it back.