Americans are Leaving Money on the Table
Bankrate, Inc. released a new Bankrate.com poll that found fewer than four in 10 Americans has an emergency savings account, and people who have an emergency fund (equal to three months living expenses) are not earning all they could. Many Americans with savings accounts are leaving money on the table by not taking advantage of rising interest rates. Almost 7 percent earn no interest, and 30 percent are earning less than 3 percent.
The poll shows the importance of not only establishing an emergency fund, but making sure it's earning all it can. Historically, the average annual inflation is about 3 percent, and 37 percent of the poll's recipients earn 3 percent or less on their emergency funds, which has the same effect as losing principal: They are