Only 19% of Americans Have Increased Their Emergency Savings in 2023

October 24, 2023

Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to set aside money for unexpected expenses.

Amid persistently high inflation and rising interest rates, 81% of adults said they did not contribute anything to their emergency savings this year, and while that might not be an issue if they feel they have a sufficient cushion of cash, the majority of adults, 60%, said they feel behind when it comes to emergency savings, according to a new survey from Bankrate.

More than one-third, 38%, of the survey’s respondents said they are “significantly behind” on saving for emergencies, while an additional 22% said they feel “slightly behind.”

Financial analysts at Bankrate attribute the difficulty in saving to inflation primarily, saying that “rising prices and high household expenses have been the predominant impediments to boosting emergency savings.” The survey found that 57% of households that did not increase their emergency savings, or have no savings at all, said inflation is keeping them from saving more.

In fact, higher prices and unexpected expenses have hit some consumers hard, and nearly one-third of the respondents said they have less in their emergency savings now than they did at the start of the year. When it comes to age, older generations are more likely than younger ones to have less emergency savings now than compared to the start of 2023. About 21% of Gen-Zers responded saying they have less emergency savings. That’s compared to 39% of Gen Xers who said they have less emergency savings now compared to the beginning of the year.


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