Older citizens are also doing better than younger ones.

Americans really stink at saving money and they’re not getting better. In fact, they are getting much worse.

Nearly half of all Americans don’t have three to five months’ worth of emergency savings and 28 percent don’t have any at all, according to financial publication Bankrate. On top of that, only 37 percent have enough to cover a $500 to $1,000 financial emergency.

Personal finance site GoBankingRates does have some good and bad news though. The amount of people with under $1,000 in savings is down from 69 percent last year to 57 percent. But, the number of those with no savings has risen from 34 to 39 percent.

It’s not just your average person struggling to save though. Where you live and how old you are could impact how you save.

Location, location, location

Some states are showing their residents  are doing a fine job of savings, while others are completely struggling. In this case, location may matter.

Washington, D.C. and Massachusetts lead the way when it comes to empty savings accounts, with both having nearly half of their residents (48 percent) without savings. Hawaii, Wyoming and New Mexico round out the top five with 47 percent each.

On the positive saving side, things get a bit more spread out in the top states for those with $10,000 or more in savings:

  • Kansas led the way with 38 percent of people putting away that much
  • Washington finished second with 35 percent
  • New Jersey and North Dakota both finished with 34 percent
  • Kentucky finished in the fifth spot with 32 percent

Millennial movers

Stereotypes would dictate that millennials are bad at saving, with almost 54 percent going out to eat three times a week.

Two-thirds (67 percent) of young millennials have less than $1,000 in savings and 61 percent of older generation members have that much. Those totals have dropped from last year, when they were 72 and 67 percent respectively.

That change represents a mindset shift for the generation. According to Reserve Bank, a majority of millennials would pay their bills or save it if they were given $15,000 randomly instead of spending it.

The youngest workforce generation is not the only one switching up their mindsets though. Generation X and baby boomers are also changing their habits.

No generation gap

Two in five, 41 percent, from Gen X feel they aren’t saving enough for their future.

Facing the problem of taking care of their parents and their own kids, Gen Xers are stuck as the “sandwich generation,” but are doing better now than before.

As for baby boomers, most do well but 33 percent say they have no savings at all. That happens because they are not preparing for the future properly

Some baby boomers blame the Great Recession on their failed attempts to save, as 65 percent feel they have not felt any benefits from the recovery that has happened so far.

But you don’t have to end up without any safety net.  Learning how to budget and manage your cash will leave you with more than a zero in your balance.

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Meet the Author

Ryan Lynch

Ryan Lynch


Lynch is a freelance writer for Debt.com.

Budgeting & Saving

Baby Boomers, Gen X, millennials, save money

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Article last modified on December 17, 2018 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Americans Still Don’t Know How to Save - AMP.