Most Americans aren't financially ready for a $1,000 emergency

Most Americans Aren't Financially Ready for a $1,000 Emergency

Scary news, Americans: Most of us aren't financially prepared for a thousand-dollar emergency.

Emergencies like having to go to the hospital or having to replace your transmission -- you know, situations that many people assume will never happen (hopefully they never do).

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Except that -- according to a recent Bankrate survey -- 4 out of 10 people had that exact sort of problem in 2015 alone. As if dealing with those situations wasn't stressful enough, the survey says we really can't afford them.

Just 37 percent of people say they would -- or could -- pay off that kind of expense with their savings. As for the rest, nearly a quarter said they'd reduce spending on other things -- which might be tough if you want that chipped tooth fixed right away.

15 percent said they'd rely on credit cards, and 11 percent haven't even started paying the bill. Then there are roughly 10 percent who said they'd borrow the cash from family or friends.

But -- as Lorelei Gilmore learned before us -- that can be risky. Time to get that savings account in order.

RELATED: Click through to learn about easy money-saving tips

6 ways to save
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Most Americans aren't financially ready for a $1,000 emergency


Gym or yoga studio memberships can become insanely costly. Giving up the expense, though, doesn’t mean you have to give up your workout routine. Check out for workouts that you can do at home via YouTube.

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Many people spend a ton of money on personal care. Although getting manicures, pedicures, massages and haircuts can be a relaxing way to feel pampered, these things are sucking up money that could be spent on travel. Besides, when you are backpacking through South America or sleeping in European hostels, you won’t have access to all of your usual comforts. Why not stop now?

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How about embracing cooking as a new hobby? You will simultaneously be eating healthier, saving money on take-out and maybe even exercising your creative side. Following food blogs is a great, inexpensive way to find recipes and inspiration. One of my favorites,, factors cost into the equation too.

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Services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO and others end up tacking extra costs onto your monthly bills. Even Kindle, while it may be convenient for when you are traveling, can make buying books and apps all too easy. Consider using your local library to check out books as well as DVDs. Most offer an extensive collection that will help you save over the course of the year.

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If it seems impossible for you to give up some things, or if you’re still in need of extra cash, look for a job where you can make some money without a huge commitment. Babysitting and nanny services connect caretakers with clients and aren’t just for people looking for full-timework. Catering companies are another great option since they always need servers and usually schedule staff on a week-to-week basis.

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No, this Mint won’t print more money for you to spend on a trip to Bali, but it will help you keep track of your spending. The app allows you to create a budget and set specific savings goals, making it easier to hold yourself accountable for saving that extra cash.

(Photo: Getty)


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