Americans Still Lack Savings, Despite Cuts

New survey shows a lack of emergency funds, even though Americans are budgeting.


Despite the fact that government data shows personal savings rates slowly creeping upwards, it turns out most people still aren't saving enough money to sustain them during periods of lower or no income.

According to a survey by HSBC Direct released today, almost four in 10 Americans don't have enough money saved to pay for one month of living expenses, and six in 10 have three months or less worth of expenses in the bank. That leaves them vulnerable in the event of job loss.

The survey also found that for the most part, Americans are trying to save more by cutting back on their budget. Some 55 percent cut back on leisure activities and 46 percent reduced their travel. Four in 10 have reduced their spending on electronics.

The weak economy also appears to be affecting physical health: Three in 10 people say they aren't sleeping as well and one in five say they've gained weight.

As soon as the economy recovers, respondents said they'll get back to spending on leisure activities, home improvements, and travel—so there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

What have you cut back on, and what do you look forward to spending on once your cash flow improves? Or do you think you'll make spending cuts permanent?