Bankrate Survey: Americans Positive About Finances Despite Slack Savings

Tuesday, 25 Jun 2013 07:43 AM

By Michelle Smith

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While most Americans don't appear to have much money in the bank, they are very positive about their personal finances, according to a Bankrate.com survey.

Bankrate's Financial Security Index hit a record high 102.7 in June. That marks the first time the index has been in positive territory for four straight months.

People seem increasingly optimistic that their finances are under control.

Editor's Note: Tiny Loophole Found in 70,320 Page IRS Tax Code Could Pay $87,500

In face, only 20 percent of the 1,004 people surveyed felt their overall financial situation was worse than it was a year ago, a record 30 percent felt comfortable with their debt and the proportion of people who felt less secure about their job fell to all-time lows of 13 percent.

The number of Americans who reported a decline in their net worth since last year also plummeted to all-time lows.

However, 50 percent of those surveyed have less than a three-month cushion to help dull the financial impact of job loss, an emergency or some other unexpected event, and 27 percent claim they have no savings at all.

Reporting similar results, online lender CashNetUSA said 22 percent of the 1,000 people it surveyed had less than $100 in savings to cover an emergency, while 46 percent had less than $800.

"It's disappointing," Greg McBride, Bankrate's senior financial analyst, told CNNMoney. "Nothing helps you sleep better at night than knowing you have money tucked away for unplanned expenses.”

All Americans aren't completely nonchalant about slack savings. Bankrate noted that those who feel uneasy about it outnumber those who feel comfortable by a ratio of nearly 2-to-1.

The lack of savings is attributed to several trends, including low interest rates. Many people simply see little reward in parking wads of cash at the bank.

Since the recession, some have focused more on debt reduction rather than on building savings. And other Americans have already run through their savings after a job loss, Richard Feight, a certified financial planner told Bankrate.

"Three months' worth of expenses is hard to think about when you've been trying to find work for so long," he said. "People who [are] unemployed or underemployed are just trying to get by."

Editor's Note: Tiny Loophole Found in 70,320 Page IRS Tax Code Could Pay $87,500

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