Survey: Most Americans can't cover a $1,000 unexpected expense

Just Save Money Already, Survey Says: Terrible Things Happen a Lot

A new survey says most Americans don't have enough money saved to cover a $1,000 unexpected expense.

"Be a rebel and save money on a regular basis," financial analyst Greg McBride said in a Bankrate video.
But the word "unexpected" is slightly misleading, considering that as many as four out of every 10 people included in the Bankrate survey reported their immediate family ran into a major, unplanned expense last year.

So, just budget for things being terrible is the general takeaway here.

But there were some positive trends, too, for millennials at least.

Compared to a 2014 survey, millennials said they'd be more likely to use savings to cover an emergency, as opposed to using credit cards, reducing spending or borrowing from friends or family.

Learn more about NYC's homeless crisis:
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Survey: Most Americans can't cover a $1,000 unexpected expense
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18: A homeless woman rests while panhandling along Eighth Avenue in Manhattan on May 18, 2015 in New York City. As many parts of once seedy New York City have been transformed into family and shopping friendly environments, 8th Avenue near the Port Authority bus station is one of the last hold-outs to old gritty Manhattan. Last week a man was shot by police after he attacked numerous people with a hammer along a stretch of the street. There is a high police presence along the street and fights and arrests for vagrancy are common. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: A homeless man sleeps under an American Flag blanket on a park bench on September 10, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. As of June 2013, there were an all-time record of 50,900 homeless people, including 12,100 homeless families with 21,300 homeless children homeless in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 6: Pedestrians walk by a homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk by a grate in the middle of the day, on May 6, 2015 in New York, N.Y. New York City has a large homeless population. (Photo by Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18: A homeless teen panhandles on a street near Eighth Avenue in Manhattan on May 18, 2015 in New York City. As many parts of once seedy New York City have been transformed into family and shopping friendly environments, 8th Avenue near the Port Authority bus station is one of the last hold-outs to old gritty Manhattan. Last week a man was shot by police after he attacked numerous people with a hammer along a stretch of the street. There is a high police presence along the street and fights and arrests for vagrancy are common. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 17: Housing activists march from Zuccotti Park to New York City's City Hall to demand more affordable housing options for the homeless and poor on September 17, 2015 in New York City. Today also marks the four year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street protests. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18: A homeless man pauses along Eighth Avenue in Manhattan on May 18, 2015 in New York City. As many parts of once seedy New York City have been transformed into family and shopping friendly environments, 8th Avenue near the Port Authority bus station is one of the last hold-outs to old gritty Manhattan. Last week a man was shot by police after he attacked numerous people with a hammer along a stretch of the street. There is a high police presence along the street and fights and arrests for vagrancy are common. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 07: A man panhandles for money and food on April 7, 2015 in New York City. A new report was released today from 'Homes for Every New Yorker' a coalition of activist groups that makes recommendations for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to fight homelessness in the city. The report , which was unveiled at City Hall, advocates that the mayor put aside 10 percent of all units in his affordable housing plan for shelter residents, raise the minimum wage and invest in programs to prevent tenants from falling into homelessness. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 04: A person in economic difficulty holds a homemade sign asking for money along a Manhattan street on December 4, 2013 in New York City. According to a recent study by the by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, New York City's homeless population increased by 13 percent at the beginning of this year. Despite an improving local economy, as of last January an estimated 64,060 homeless people were in shelters and on the street in New York. Only Los Angeles had a larger percentage increase than New York for large cities. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18: A homeless man pauses along Eighth Avenue in Manhattan on May 18, 2015 in New York City. As many parts of once seedy New York City have been transformed into family and shopping friendly environments, 8th Avenue near the Port Authority bus station is one of the last hold-outs to old gritty Manhattan. Last week a man was shot by police after he attacked numerous people with a hammer along a stretch of the street. There is a high police presence along the street and fights and arrests for vagrancy are common. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: A homeless man rests in a pew at a Times Square church, where some area homeless take refuge from the cold on December 12, 2013 in New York City. New York and much of New England has been experiencing freezing temperatures with snow expected this weekend. According to a recent study by the by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, New York City's homeless population increased by 13 percent at the beginning of this year. Despite an improving local economy, as of last January an estimated 64,060 homeless people were in shelters and on the street in New York. Only Los Angeles had a larger percentage increase than New York for large cities. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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