More than half of Americans couldn’t cover three months of expenses with an emergency fund

More than half of Americans couldn’t cover three months of expenses with an emergency fund

New study conducted for Bankrate via telephone by SSRS on its Omnibus survey platform

Even with the coronavirus recession declared officially over, a new nationwide Bankrate poll suggests that its aftermath will weigh on Americans’ wallets for a while.

More than half of Americans (or 51 percent) have less than three months’ worth of expenses covered in an emergency fund, according to Bankrate’s July 2021 Emergency Savings Survey. That total includes 1 in 4 Americans (or 25 percent) who indicate having no emergency fund at all — up from 21 percent in 2020.

Illustrating the pandemic’s devastating toll, just 1 in 6 (or 17 percent) report having more cash stashed away in their sleep-well-at-night fund today than before the pandemic, while two times as many (34 percent) say they have less money in their savings account today.

“Americans’ emergency savings may not be in better shape after all,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst. “Just 1 in 6 households report having more emergency savings now than prior to the pandemic, and it is predominantly higher income households and those with fully funded emergency savings.”