1 in 3 Americans can't come up with $2,000—here's how much you should be saving
One-third of Americans would not be unable to come up with $2,000 to deal with an emergency like an urgent home repair, medical crisis or car accident.
That's according to a new study released this week from The New York Fed. The survey of consumer sentiment surrounding access to and demand for credit was conducted in February.
While 32.5 percent of survey respondents feel they might need $2,000 to cover an unexpected expense in the next month, almost exactly the same number, 32.8 percent, admit they could not come up with that sum in the next month if faced with an emergency. That percentage has held steady since October 2015.
One of the most common emergencies is a medical expense. Currently, one-third of Americans would not be able to handle a $100 medical bill without going into debt . That's according to a February poll conducted by health-care information firm Amino.
The financial vulnerability of Americans is a reminder that, despite historically low unemployment rates, many in the U.S. are still living paycheck to paycheck.
In February, the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, according to the Labor Department. In October 2010, the unemployment rate was more than twice that at 10 percent.
Wages, however, have been mostly stagnant since 2008 , while the costs of big-ticket items, including college, rent and healthcare, have continued to climb.
Experts advise that, in your 20s, you should aim to save 25 percent of your gross pay, including whatever goes into your 401(k), and that, in your 30s, you should have have the equivalent of your salary saved. As you get nearer to retirement, the amounts you are encouraged to have socked away increase.