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Consumer Watch: Many Americans have zero savings

Some Americans self report having no money in savings, and that they would be unable to deal with a one thousand dollar emergency (FILE).

How would you deal with an unexpected thousand-dollar expense? A look at Bankrate data shows 39-percent of Americans would pay out of their savings, but a larger combined total could not pay for this emergency with cash. Some 20-percent of Americans report saving nothing.

One of the most common reasons Americans report not saving money, according to that recent Bankrate survey, is too many expenses. If debt is a factor for you too, you can overcome this, by increasing your income and lowering unneeded expenses. This could mean getting a second part-time job, and using all that money to pay down any outstanding debts.

The process will go faster if you limit entertainment spending, eating out, and even get rid of expensive cable and internet subscriptions in favor of something more affordable.

Developing a budget will also show you by the numbers where you are spending your money, and you may find that you actually can afford to save some percentage of your income.

The key to get your savings going is to save 10 to 15 percent of whatever you are earning every time you get paid. It may be difficult at first, but it does help to move that money to savings right away before you can spend it on anything else. Once you are accustomed to living on a few dollars less a month, the process won’t seem so overwhelming.

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