Feature

Nearly half of Americans are dangling on the edge of financial ruin

Over 40 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, says a new report

Even as the job market continues to improve, many financial experts recommend that most Americans keep at least three to six months of expenses stashed away in an emergency savings account. Yet that message — despite years of shaky economic times — still hasn't gotten through.

Over 40 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, says a new report from Springleaf Financial, a consumer finance company. The findings, released Nov. 13, apply to people across all education and salary levels.

The study discovered that 24 percent of consumers have less than $250 in their bank accounts on any given payday — leaving them without reserves to handle unexpected costs.

"We know full well that with rising costs and unexpected expenses, consumers may have a tough time making ends meet," Dave Hogan, executive vice president of marketing and analytics at Springleaf, said in a statement.

'Rather go to the dentist'

Among those surveyed who make more than $200,000 per year, 20 percent said they save rarely, inconsistently, or not at all. One in four consumers with a graduate degree actually couldn't miss a single month of paychecks without having to borrow or sell assets.

The study put some of the blame for Americans' failure to save on a lack of financial skills. One in five says they learned about money "the hard way" — and one in five says they would rather go to the dentist than spend half an hour learning money management skills.

The survey was conducted online among 2,010 consumers in October 2014.

In a separate survey done this year by Ameriprise Financial, just a quarter of people said they were trimming their housing expenses or college savings — the big lifestyle decisions that could result in serious savings. By comparison, more than half said they were cutting down on everyday expenses like eating out, entertainment, and clothing.

More from The Fiscal Times...

Recommended

House Jan. 6 Committee to issue final report on Dec. 21
House Jan. 6 committee
'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the House...

House Jan. 6 Committee to issue final report on Dec. 21

Former Theranos COO Sunny Balwani sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison
Sunny Balwani.
sentencing

Former Theranos COO Sunny Balwani sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison

More classified documents reportedly found in Trump storage locker
Trump meets the press
Oopsie

More classified documents reportedly found in Trump storage locker

Emhoff says the U.S. faces 'epidemic of hate' amid recent surge of antisemitism
doug emhoff hosting roundtable photo
'Words matter'

Emhoff says the U.S. faces 'epidemic of hate' amid recent surge of antisemitism

Most Popular

Russian military bloggers are reportedly irate over Ukraine drone strikes
Drone strike inside Russia
Fear Factor

Russian military bloggers are reportedly irate over Ukraine drone strikes

The 1st 3 weeks of Trump's presidential campaign have been brutal
Donald Trump
Maybe it's a sign?

The 1st 3 weeks of Trump's presidential campaign have been brutal

Jan. 6 Congressional Gold Medal recipients snub GOP officials
Gladys Sicknick, Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy
...

Jan. 6 Congressional Gold Medal recipients snub GOP officials