Most Americans Unprepared for Financial Emergencies: Over 60% have less than $1,000 in Savings

According to a new study, most Americans are incredibly unprepared to face even small-scale financial emergencies. In fact, according to a recent Google Consumer Survey approximately 62% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. The numbers are backed up by another recent survey conducted by Bankrate.com that found 62% of Americans have no emergency savings for emergencies like a $1,000 emergency room visit or even a $500 vehicle repair.

While these numbers may be shocking to some, they are actually not that surprising when you look at the numbers.

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The American public has been hurting for quite some time, and the supposed economic recovery never really quite worked out the way they said it would. According to new numbers from the Social Security Administration, over 51% of all workers in the United States now make less than $30,000 a year. To put those numbers into perspective, the federal government sets the poverty level at $28,410 for a family of five.

Americans are struggling, and despite the constant government propaganda campaign, trying to convince the public that the economy is in recovery mode, things have only gotten worse since the 2008 financial banking meltdown.

  • According to the Census Bureau, the number of children receiving food stamps remains higher than it was before the start of the Great Recession in 2007. Approximately one out of every five kids in the U.S. now receives federal food stamp benefits.
  • 65 Percent of U.S. children live in households that receives some form of aid from at least one or more of the following government aid programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Medicaid, and the National School Lunch Program.
  • By the end of President Obama’s term in office, The United States will have over $20 Trillion in National Debt.

I’ve written a number of articles telling people how to prepare for the coming collapse of the economy, but the reality of the situation is that most Americans are already teetering on the edge of a financial crisis.

Things you can do to Prepare for Economic Troubles:

Get out of Debt Immediately: While this might be easier said than done, you need to do everything you can to get out of debt. Whether that means taking on a second job, canceling all non-essentials (gym memberships, cable, cell phones, etc…) or just selling your old stuff at a garage sale, you need to work towards zeroing out your debt. The last thing you need is to be facing a foreclosure or repossession when the economy starts collapsing.

Learn to Prep on a Budget: Don’t be fooled by fancy marketing gimmicks that try to convince you that you need to spend all sorts of money to be prepared. While you may have to spend some money to get on top of things, prepping should actually save you money in the long run. Put together a budget that accounts for all of your essential needs and then add a realistic preparedness line item to the budget.

  • Watch for sales and only buy things that you know you will need and use in the future.
  • Stock up on long-term goods and consumables that will hold their value even during a collapse.
  • Make a rule that you will only buy things when they are on sale or when you have coupons and can then buy them in bulk. It takes some work and some planning, but buying in bulk not only helps you build your emergency stockpiles, but in the long run it’s going to save you a lot of money.

Establish an Emergency Fund: Part of that written budget should include a line item for putting away some sort of emergency fund. You may not be able to fully find it right now, but every dollar that you can throw at that fund will put you that much closer to your goal of being financially prepared to meet future crisis situations.

Learn to be Self-Sufficient: One of the biggest problems we face as a country is the lack of self-sufficiency that has spread like a disease throughout this country. We live in a throwaway society, where instead of learning how to fix something when it breaks, people instead run to the nearest store to buy another piece of garbage that they probably didn’t need to begin with. One of the best things you can do to ensure your future and your financial freedom is to learn how to be completely self-sufficient.

  • Start learning how to hunt and fish: Depending on where you live, these skills can help you start supplementing your food supply and cut down those expensive grocery bills.
  • Learn to Cook: Believe it or not, simply preparing fresh homemade meals instead of buying prepackaged junk can save you hundreds of dollars every month.
  • Plant a Survival Garden: Another self-reliant way to cut down on your monthly grocery bills is to start a small garden.

Have ideas or tips that you think can help? Please leave your ideas in the comments section…

10 Comments

  1. Lisa
    November 5, 2015 at 11:42 am

    I read your article on Depression era and war time cooking awhile back and I would tell people to invest in a couple of old pre-1960s cookbooks. I bought a couple of the ones you recommended and getting back to the basics has really helped me cut my monthly food budget by a lot.

  2. SD
    November 5, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Garage sales helped fund my emergency fund. Last month we had one every weekend and ended up being able to put $3,500 in our emergency fund by selling useless crap we had accumulated. I also bought a Thermos to take coffee from home in and stopped buying coffee on the road everyday. That alone has saved me a small fortune.

  3. charles
    November 5, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    A majority of states allow you to choose your energy supplier. Shop around for the best deal and save yourself some money.

    • MC
      November 9, 2015 at 3:03 am

      Be careful with that one. In PA, the “alternative suppliers” are notorious for adjusting rates based on usage– the more you use, the higher the rate. Last winter, natural gas prices changed daily. The lower the temperature, the higher the price. I knew a few people who tried to save money, only to get hit with a $500 gas bill for the month of January. For reference, I stuck with the utility company and paid about $250.

    • timEnter your name...
      April 26, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Be careful with switching power companies. They entice you with a low starting rate but overtime it will increase and youbwill be paying more than you were with your original company. I know because it happenend to me. Just monitor all.your electrical usage in your house. During the day open drapes curtains or whatever is in front of your windows and take advantage of the sunlite., its free. Just some thoughts.

  4. Up until three years ago I was barely making ends meet so I’m talking from experience. Stay away from the stores. Don’t shop randomly on line. Garage sales are great places to buy things that you don’t need, but they are a great price. Don’t buy stuff! Make up a weekly menu and only buy what you need. (OK, I add some extra for preps)We don’t have internet or cable or satellite. The adult has a cell phone, the children do not. We use the library. Do your kids really need that new video game? Are they experts at the ones they already have and can beat the game every time? If not then they don’t need a new one.

  5. Al
    November 6, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Excellent advice! Years ago I started using Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace” program, and now I am debt free. Also; take a look at your Insurance policies (all of them). Find the best deals and then take the maximum amount of deductable you can on each one. Example: car and house insurances went from $250 and $500 respectively to $1000 deductable on each, saving me a bundle. I used that “found money” for my emergency fund. I drive old cars until they die(NEVER buy new). In the end, it truely is all about behavior adjustment. Also; read “The Millionaire Next Door” for a real eye opener. Be careful! There is always somebody out there willing to “help” you manage your money. Make your plan, then work YOUR plan.

    • Al
      November 6, 2015 at 9:55 am

      I almost forgot, take up hobbies that don’t cost much, like Dutch Oven cooking, Herbal medicine, and Edible wild plants. They might come in handy.

      • Tony
        November 6, 2015 at 2:02 pm

        don’t forget GARDENING.

  6. Chipmunk
    November 8, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Invest in a pressure canner and/ or dehydrator, learn to use them. We get chicken once a year from Zaycon and can it, as well as canning soups and dehydrating veggies and fruits from the garden that we won’t use right away. We also like to get the cooked whole chicken for like $5 from Costco, have a couple of meals from it, then make chicken stock from the bones.

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