Monday, March 23, 2009

Squeeze Poll: How many paychecks could you miss?

We wrote this morning about half of Americans reporting they could pay their bills for only a month if they lost their jobs. More than a quarter said they could last just two weeks.

Financial planners recommend keeping three to six months' pay stashed away - perhaps a couple months more in this tight job market.

Our question of the day for you: How long could you pay bills if you lost your job tomorrow?

Answer the poll over to your right. Come back here and tell us: Are you among the 56 percent of Americans who have been spooked by the recession into saving more?


Anonymous said...

My wife and I already had about 3 months worth of savings going into this mess. When I recieved my annual bonus (although it was MUCH smaller than usual) and our tax return, it went directly into the bank, rather than towards a new vehicle as planned. We new have about 6 months worth of savings.

Anonymous said...

For me, it isn't a question of having been spooked into saving more, but the current economic situation has made me take a closer look at monthly expenditures, and which ones I could cut back on or eliminate entirely. Truth be known, I should have done it a long time ago.

One example is eating lunch. I'd been spending an average $6 a day on lunch. That's $120 a month. I've stopped that and now bring lunch from home.

Another example is phone service. I ditched my land line and use only my mobile now. That's a savings of $50 a month.

So with just those two things, I'm saving $170 a month. Since I'm a single income household, that's important money.

So again, it's not a question of being spooked, but simply taking a hard look at priorities versus needs. Trimming excess fat from the budget. No more impulse buying. Asking the question of "Do I really need this, or do I simply want this?"

Bottom line: Need is increasingly winning out over want. It's just common sense for the times.

Anonymous said...

Right now...0. I've been working just 2 months since a 10 month unempolyed period and even though I am making double what unemployment paid, there are a lot of neglected items to catch up on..such as car repairs, doctor's appointments, house repairs, animal shots, misc. items such as paper towels, napkins, tissues, shampoo (those travel ones came in handy) and other common items which we were basically rationing. After maxing out all the cc's which at the start had no balance and draining savings accounts it takes a while to get back to some sense or "normal". So far we only have a half of a weeks worth of savings. Like the macro economy our micro economy is very fragile.