29% of Americans admit they keep no emergency savings and only 22% are prepared with at least six months in reserve, according to a survey by Bankrate. However, a few simple steps could help you avoid severe financial risk.
According to CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger, a reserve should total six to 12 months of one’s living expenses for those with jobs.
For retirees, Schlesinger said the equivalent of 12 to 24 months of living expenses in reserve is ideal to avoid dipping into savings.
A reserve should be liquid cash because “it has to be safe,” Schlesinger says.
While some Americans struggle living paycheck to paycheck, Schlesinger recommends starting early and small.
“There was a great survey out recently about retirement savings. And it’s had the same result, which is a lot of people are unprepared. It also asked: ‘Do you think, even though you have no money saved today, that you could save $25 a week?’ And a majority of people said ‘Yes, I could,’ ” Schlesinger said.
The least painful way to do this is by automating your savings.
Acorns for one, rounds up the price of purchases, takes the spare change, and invests it in exchange traded funds (ETF). Another app called Level Money allows you to set how much you want to save each month and shows how much “spendable” money you have left.
Spending habits also change with age.
“When you’re young, you’ve got student debt and you’ve graduated, you really have to address paying down that debt, saving for your emergency reserves, and then starting to invest long term,” Schlesinger said. “As you get older and you’ve gone through all these responsibilities – raised your kids, put money away for their college – then you really start to accelerate.”
Establishing your habits early will make it easier to save as you grow older.
Article Source: Courtesy of CBS News