(Closed) 2/3 of US unable to cover $1k emergency

posted 3 years ago in Finances
  • poll: Would you feel positive about your financial situation if you weren't able to cover $1,000 emergency
    Nope! : (234 votes)
    73 %
    Yup! : (57 votes)
    18 %
    Kinda sorta - isn't that what credit cards are for? : (30 votes)
    9 %
  • Post # 46
    Member
    136 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2016

    NuggetJones:  Exactly what you said. I’ve been in a position where I had to put gas in my car using the coins I could find in my center console, and now that I’m not, I hold on tight to my savings and stash whatever little bit away. I would like to never ever live paycheck to paycheck again. 

    I’ll be right around 1000 left in savings after the wedding’s paid for, which makes me nervous, but I’ll spend the next few months building back up before I make any more major purchases. 

    Post # 47
    Member
    1022 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    I also accidentally voted “yes” and meant to vote “no.” Sorry for skewed results! We have a minimum cash cushion that we like to keep (it’s way more than $1000). We’re lucky we in a position to be able to save as much as we do, and it’s nice not having to stress about the what-ifs. We had a big one this year when our mortgage company let us know that they didn’t take enough money for escrow last year and we owed them $6500. It was good to be able to pay it and not think twice about it.

    Post # 48
    Member
    116 posts
    Blushing bee

    I was very fortunate that my first job out of school had a sizeable starting bonus that allowed me to pay off all my credit card charges for moving and start an emergency fund. I take home 3.2k/month and aim to save 800-1,000 a month after all bills, discretionary spending, and retirement savings. It stresses me out when I can only save <600 per month, but I’ve been fortunate that we haven’t had any unexpected expenses that force me into my true emergency savings. 

    I honestly do stress out too much about money because I’m only 1 year out of school and am still not really used to having/spending even the money it takes to live…I have a lot of trouble splurging on something for myself because it used to be a BIG DEAL to spend more than $100 on something when I was in school. But I’m lucky that the way I want to live is very much within our means, and even though I’m able to save 25-30% of my takehome every month, I don’t feel like I’m skimping or trying that hard. I can’t imagine not having several thousand dollars in emergency savings. 

    Post # 49
    Member
    534 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    We have 5k right now in an emergency fund, separate from our general, house, and retirement savings, so we can come up with a grand no problem.

    I’m not one of those holier-than-thou people who are (apparently) immune to materialism and lifestyle creep, though – more like the opposite. I am one of those people who just happens to be married to a very responsible and humble man, and we make every single financial choice together. Nothing is by the seat of our pants.

    It’s awesome, and we are in a great plce financially, but I still combat feelings of material desire and susequent inadequacy. I am trying to examine my materialistic tendencies critically … but it’s hard to do so when what I identify as a personal character flaw is commonly accepted as a quasi-lifestyle.

    Post # 50
    Member
    1200 posts
    Bumble bee

    I’ve always been a stickler about savings. I had over $1000 in savings within 6 months of graduating college and starting out with pretty much nothing ($400 to cover a month and a half before my first paycheck). I think it’s about prioritizing savings, saving incrementally, and tucking away any sudden windfalls rather than spending them. I’ve been insistent with Fiance that our first priority needs to be saving up 3-6 months worth of living expenses/our combined monthly salaries before we focus on a down payment or aggressive investments or anything like that. I had about 6 months worth for myself before wedding costs came along 🙂 Anybody can save $1000 if they try.

    Post # 51
    Member
    313 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    If we don’t save $1k a month I’m an angry person. It is a goal my Darling Husband and I have set. With another kid on the way and two daycare payments I’ll have to reset my expectations. With that being said $1k emergency would be a dream compared to some emergencies I’ve had come up. I’m grateful for our jobs and our passion for financial security. This article shocks me. 

    Post # 52
    Member
    183 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: November 2017

    I can definitely see how this could happen, 100k doesnt go very far near Seattle/NY/Palo Alto. The average housing prices in my area are $687k so I could see someone draining their savings to buy a house, and then not have enough to cover an emergency. 

    I personally don’t feel comfortable without at least a 10k cushion, but I am living in an apartment while we save up for a house, so I know I may not have that cushion if I want a house any time soon. 

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by  MrsMGE2017.
    Post # 53
    Member
    2697 posts
    Sugar bee

    I’ve been there.  When I lived alone is NYC I had an apartment in a great brownstone, was able towalk to work and all museums and theatres yet had little if any money for the basic like food an electricity.  That was between husbands.

    Fortunately I am at a place now, due to some fortunate happenings where money will no longer be a problem.

    Post # 54
    Member
    606 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2016

    Jewelieee:  That Atlantic article actually makes me irrationally angry. I feel for the lower class and some middle class people who truly live paycheck to paycheck. The writer of that article, who says he is “one of them” is making six figures, his wife chooses not work, they live in the Hamptons in a million dollar home, and he drained his 401(k) to pay for his daughter’s wedding. Those are choices. Instead of keeping up with the Jones’ he should learn how to save. 

    Post # 55
    Member
    169 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    We couldnt afford $1000 and I dont feel secure. We try to save but basically live paycheck to paycheck and once something goes wrong our savings are depleted. :/ We can’t borrow money since my parents are below poverty level (and retired) and my husbands family is deceased. I feel so poor after reading everyone’s comments!

    Post # 56
    Member
    3223 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2016

    blackinthesuburbs:  here have been many, MANY people on this forum who probably couldn’t say that. Like a couple of years ago there was a woman whose plan was to sell her blood to get money to fund her wedding.

     

    Even people living in poverty have dreams. And many more people on here go into debt for their weddings, which they probably wouldn’t do if they had a spare grand sitting around, for any reason…

    Post # 57
    Member
    1184 posts
    Bumble bee

    I think there’s a lot of people who would feel secure without a float. Many millenials on low income jobs simply can’t save lots of money.  Many of my friends fall into that category. They have low income jobs and live paycheck to paycheck (but aren’t in debt).They don’t have lavish lifestyles but certainlyl can’t save. But they rely on the idea that if they needed it because they have a good credit rating they could go to the bank and take out a small loan.

    Post # 58
    Member
    1125 posts
    Bumble bee

    MrsMGE2017:  

    I would argue that they shouldn’t buy a house until they also have some for an emergency fund, just in case something happens to the house. If someone doesnt make enough money to buy a 700k house and still save money (even just a few hundred a month), then they just can’t afford to buy a house. I live in an expensive area, and I know we’ll just be renting for however long we live here for because we make about 56k a year and even houses at/under 1500 sq ft in the area are selling for 500k+  

    Post # 60
    Member
    543 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 2014 - Maui

    I keep a few months pay in my savings account, and I’ve got at least $1000+ in my piggy bank that I throw all my loose change into. So, I’d probably be ok even if a big bill came up. I grew up dirt poor though. Mom had no credit card or bank account at all. She struggled to pay rent and even put food on the table. I think that’s what made me so budget conscious. I’m still in that “we’re poor we can’t afford it” mindset. 

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