Americans Regret Not Having a Rainy Day Fund

Americans Regret Not Having a Rainy Day Fund

Core Facts

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The recent Bankrate Financial Security survey showed that most Americans have regrets about the financial decisions they’ve made. At the top of the list is not saving enough for retirement, but a close second is not saving for emergencies. 

Almost half (47%) of Americans would not be able to handle a $400 emergency, according to the Federal Reserve Board. These folks said they would either have to borrow the money or sell something, and 62% would not be able to handle a $1000 visit to the emergency room. 

For many Americans, this is the aftermath of the Great Recession – 57% of those who had savings prior to 2008 used up some or all of their savings to weather that storm. Only 39% still have a “rainy day” fund adequate to cover three months of expenses. Although the economic climate has improved, there is no guarantee that another dip will not occur in the future, and that rainy day fund is essential to your financial security.  

5 Ways to Grow your Emergency Fund

  • Set the goal. Start with $500. Then aim for $1000 for a sudden health crisis. Finally, aim for at least three months of living expenses in case you can’t work or get laid off.
  • Decide where to keep the money. Open a separate savings account. The emergency fund should be easily accessible but not part of your normal checking account. 
  • Make savings a part of your regular budget. Treat it like a bill you have to pay each month. Otherwise it’s too easy to put it off and use the money for something else.
  • Use it only for emergencies. Don’t treat your savings account like an ATM. Unless it’s truly an emergency such as a health crisis, a major repair, or being laid off, that money should not be used.  
  • Put unexpected money into the fund. Tax refunds, birthday checks, or unexpected extra earnings should be put straight in your rainy day fund.




Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities. 

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. 

Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC


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Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Call 516-921-4200 Visit our website:

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Jake Mendlinger
Account Manager
516.829.8374 X 232

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