47% Say They Wouldn't Be Able To Cover Emergency $400 Expense With Cash on Hand

American Finances - Closer Look - Illustration / ConceptHere's the good news - the majority of US households are feeling at least somewhat decent about their finances.

Here's the bad news - according to a recent Federal Reserve survey, 47% of American households said that they would be unable to cover an emergency $400 expense without having to either borrow the money or sell something.

In addition, a full 30% of those surveyed said that they went without some form of medical care over the past year because they simply couldn't afford it.


Dropping unemployment rates and a strong stock market can often hide the fact that many US households are still fighting for their lives on a day to day basis. While some households bask in the warm glow of a seemingly ever-increasing 401k or ROTH IRA, many households still have to make the toughest of decisions on a daily basis. Do I get that medical attention that I so desperately need at the expense of something else that is super important? Can I afford to put gas in my car this week?

Some households get themselves into these situations by over-spending, but many others simply can not afford to pay for every necessary expense that comes their way, despite their best intentions. For many Americans, well-paying jobs are just not available, and many Americans have to try to make due on low-paying service jobs that will often be part-time.


Could you cover an emergency $400 expense without having to borrow money or sell something?

Source: WSJ.com - Americans Feeling Better About Household Finances - Fed Survey

Filed under: General Knowledge

Related Articles