(The Hill) — A majority of Americans say they are behind on their emergency savings, according to a new poll.
Thirty-eight percent say they are significantly behind on saving for emergencies and 22 percent say they are slightly behind, while only 18 percent say they are ahead on their savings, the survey from Bankrate found.
Thirty percent of respondents said they have about the same amount of emergency savings now compared to the beginning of the year. One in five households, 19 percent, say they have increased their emergency savings in 2023, and 32 percent say they have less than they started the year with. Twenty percent said they had no emergency savings at the beginning of the year and still have none, the survey found.
“Despite 60 percent of all Americans feeling behind on their emergency savings, just 19 percent have increased their emergency savings balances since the beginning of the year,” Bankrate chief financial analyst Greg McBride said in a statement. “Rising prices and high household expenses have been the predominant impediments to boosting emergency savings.”
The survey found that baby boomers and Generation X households were more likely than their millennial and Generation Z counterparts to have less emergency savings compared to the start of the year. While each generation said inflation was a main culprit stopping them from boosting their emergency savings, baby boomers and Gen X were more likely than millennials and Gen Z to say so.
Of the respondents who said they feel like they’re behind where they should be in terms of their emergency savings, 13 percent said they don’t think they will ever reach their goals. Twenty-two percent say they aren’t sure how long it will take.
The survey was conducted with 2,496 adults between Sept. 20 and 22. It did not list a margin of error.