A $500 Emergency Will Probably Make You Go Broke

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In pretty depressing news, a new survey from Bankrate states that 62 percent of Americans don’t have a spare $500 saved for emergency expenses. That means, if 100 people were to get in a fender bender, go to the emergency room, or need to replace a laptop tomorrow, only 38 percent could actually afford it.

So how would that 62 percent pay off their unexpected disasters? About a quarter responded that they’d borrow from family and friends (which means pissing off a lot of people who will probably never get that cash back), while 28 percent said they’d cut back spending elsewhere to make up for the involuntary splurge.

This is pretty scary news considering that most experts recommend having a rainy day fund that will cover three months worth of rent and expenses. Unless you live in a shoebox with five roommates somewhere in North Dakota, chances are $500 won’t even cover one month for you.

The good news? About 82 percent of survey respondents said they do keep a budget. If everyone could factor in emergency funds into their budgets, a lot of people would be much better off.

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