Saving grows tougher for Georgians, survey finds

Friday, April 5, 2013 4:58 PM
Last updated Saturday, April 6, 2013 7:12 AM
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ATLANTA -- Even Georgians in the habit of saving money have a hard time socking away enough for emergencies, according to a survey of credit union customers released this week.

Federal statistics show that two out of three Americans have no emergency savings. But the new survey shows that even among people who do have the mechanism for saving, one-third have nothing set aside for car repairs, a tooth ache or a rush flight to an out-of-town funeral.

Beyond that, 28 percent of those surveyed say they could not cover even one month without a pay check at a time when those out of work are taking longer to find new jobs.

The survey was conducted by the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates among its member account holders. It also notes that 56 percent of those with a financial cushion have succeeded in leaving their money alone for at least the last 12 months.

“Having a few thousand dollars set aside for unexpected emergencies should be high on everyone’s financial priorities,” said Daniel Caldwell, president of 1st Choice Credit Union in Atlanta. “Unfortunately, we can tell by overall deposits that a significant number of our members are not currently saving for a rainy day. Difficult financial times have prohibited them from focusing on savings.”

Financial Planners recommend setting aside enough to cover essential expenses for at least three months. Six months is better.

People shouldn’t save for their long-term goals until they have an adequate reserve account, according to Steve Marbert, president of Richard Young Associates in Augusta.

“The emergency fund is your No. 1 priority in your financial situation. Retirement is No. 2. After that are things like college for your kids,” said Marbert, a certified financial planner. “... If you don’t have an emergency fund established, you’re going to fail at everything else.”

Getting there is a matter of cutting back on spending, such as renting a movie instead of going out or taking a brown-bag lunch instead of going to restaurants, according to Robin Jones, a CFP and district manager of First Command Financial Planning in Augusta.

“We have found that when people can visualize and really purpose that account, it’s easier to save,” she said.

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concercitizen 04/05/13 - 09:29 pm
It is very easy to tell

It is very easy to tell everyone to cut back on their spending, and live below their means. But three and a half more years of Obama and we will all be at the soup kitchen. The financial gurus like Dave Ramsey, Clark Howard are not telling you the real truth. Dave Ramsey got rich off telling other people he filed bankruptcy, and started over. The real truth he is preaching a message that the weak minded have shelled out real money to go to a weekend seminar and then shelled out hundreds more to purchase what he calls his Financial Peace University, supposedly a 13 week course that instructs one on how to get out of debt. And Clark Howard made his millions by starting and then selling a travel agency. He tries to make one think he is frugal, but when you've got millions and do not have to worry about how the next mortgage payment will be made, it is easy to tell the masses how they should live. Living below my means would mean finding a cardboard box and a vacant bridge to live under. And thanks to Obamacare it is going to get worse for all of us.

soapy_725 04/06/13 - 10:31 am
Con artist, snake oil salesmen, self help gurus,

carnival hackers, political pontificators and TV evangelist are all in the same gutter. Most are lawyers or ex lawyers. In love with their own images and MONEY.

Who wants to save when the tax system penalizes you for same. Who wants to invest when the tax laws penalize you for investing.

Who can save when the GA income tax is six percent. The sales tax eight percent. The federal taxes combined are 44%.

But it will get better as we move toward the European Socialist Model. Sweden at 60% income tax and 25% value added or use tax. No wonder they have cradle to grave services for all. All work and contribute. All of the money goes to the government and then the government distributes money when and where it is needed.

Also, for the European Model. These countries do not fund a standing army that deploys all over the world.

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