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Americans Unwilling to Ask Family for Money Help


Roughly a quarter of Americans have less than $100 in savings, although less people said they would turn to family members for assistance in the event of a financial emergency.

Roughly a quarter of Americans have less than $100 in savings, although less people said they would turn to family members for assistance in the event of a financial emergency, according to a new survey.

The CashNetUSA survey revealed that 30% of Americans are willing to seek help from family if they have a financial emergency, which is down significantly from 41% in 2012. Particularly, Generation Y individuals (born between 1980 and 2000) were much less likely to turn to family members compared — down 17% from last year.

Slightly more than a third (35%) admitted that they struggle to make ends meet each month. Women and those with children were slightly more likely to struggle. There were very few differences among geographic divisions (South, Northeast, North Central and West), although residents in the Northeast were the least likely to have trouble making ends meet.

Although financial advisors recommend a family has six months of living expenses set aside in case of an emergency, the survey found that Americans haven’t made much progress in creating rainy day funds. Just over half (54%) of adults have more than $800 in savings. While 59% of adults between the ages of 50 and 59 reported having at least $800, this was a sharp decline from 69% the previous year. However, among adults ages 40 to 49, 56% reported having more than $800 in savings, which is an increase from 47% in the previous year.

“The scarcity of rainy day savings remains a concern for too many Americans, and it hasn’t improved since last year,” Megan Staton, CashNetUSA’s director of marketing, said in a statement. “Americans are unprepared to handle financial emergencies and less willing to turn to family for help, especially young adults.”

The percent of people with less than $100 in savings remained stable at just 22%. A 7% increase among residents in Western states was offset by a 7% decrease for residents of the North Central region.

Residents of Western states were also less likely to ask for help from a family member. A quarter (24%) would “definitely not” seek financial assistance compared to 14% a year ago. Women and those between the ages of 30 and 39 were the most likely to seek financial help from family.

Surprisingly, 7.6% of total respondents admitted that they have no idea how much money is in their check or savings accounts, which was up from 6.6% a year ago. People were equally as unlikely to know regardless of gender, whether or not they had children, and their geographic location.

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