Kristin's intro: How long would your savings last if you lost your job? If you're like many Americans, not long enough. In their monthly consumer poll, Bankrate.com asked people how much they have in emergency savings -- that is, money readily available in a checking account, savings account, or money market. Here to discuss the results is Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com.
Greg, where do we stand in terms of emergency savings?
Greg: Well Kristin, the news is not particularly good. Take a look at these results. 28% of Americans have no emergency savings -- none at all -- and nearly half, 49%, don't have enough to cover 3 months' expenses. With 5.4 million Americans out of work longer than 6 months, just 1-in-4 American households have saved enough to weather a period of joblessness that long.
Kristin: Bankrate.com has polled this question in years past. How do this year's results stack up? Any better or worse?
Greg: We saw a slight deterioration compared to last year, with more people having no emergency savings at all and fewer people having at least a modest savings cushion. Dating back to 2006, we have seen some improvement. At the time, just 39% had at least 3 months' savings tucked away. That is now up to 42%.
Kristin: And how are Americans feeling about their overall level of financial security in June?
Greg: Consumers are still slightly positive regarding their financial security compared to last year, with the Financial Security Index holding steady since last month. This chart shows that feelings about debt have improved, with just 18% saying they are less comfortable with their debt than one year ago, which is a new low.
Kristin's close: Well, at least there's some positive news regarding consumer's finances. Thanks so much for the results, Greg. For more information on how to beef up your savings, and to see where you stand against other Americans, visit our website at Bankrate.com. I'm Kristin Arnold.