A third of Americans say they're too broke to pay a month's bills

While evidence of a new frugality keeps adding up, Americans still aren't saving enough for emergencies. A survey commissioned by HSBC Bank USA found that 61 percent of us would only have enough savings to live on for three months or less if we lose our jobs. More than a third of U.S. households polled -- 38 percent -- don't have enough savings to last a month.

Of a group of households polled in July, only 11 percent had enough savings to pay living expenses for 12 months, which is the standard some experts call for in this recession. Households with higher incomes have more savings, but they're not immune to the downturn: 29 percent of households with annual incomes of $100,000 or more only have enough savings to last up to three months. Households with incomes under $50,000 per year had it much worse: 51 percent had only enough to last a month.