How Long Could You Last Financially Without Work? [AUDIO]
April is Financial Literacy Month and when it comes to personal finances, a majority of Americans feel secure in their awareness. Yet 48 percent of respondents to a RetailMeNot.com survey admit they do not have enough money put away in their savings to last them more than a month if they lost their job.
According to the study, 1 in 5 people said they have no savings. Of those who put money away, 25 percent do not know how much is in their savings accounts. In addition, the study found that only 22 percent are confident that they will be able to retire in the time and style they hoped for, and 24 percent have enough put away to last between 24 and 52 weeks without income.
"People need to start taking saving more seriously," said Trae Bodge, senior editor for RetailMeNot.com. "I think a lot of us are still recovering from the recession where were may not have been in a position to save at all, and hopefully we have some more wiggle room in our budgets. We're finding that a lot of people are shopping and enjoying that again, but I think it's really important to prioritize saving and ideally, to have at least have six months put away for that rainy day."
Thinking forward to retirement is also important, according to Bodge, who recommends that people start saving as much as they can while taking advantage of any matching funds an employer may offer. Smart shopping is also a good way to save.
"If you save some money while shopping by using coupons, any money that you save that way can be funneled right into your savings account," Bodge said. "It won't feel like you're giving away anything. Do that for six months and you'll be delighted with what you were able to sock away."
When it comes to children, it's important to start early by teaching them the value of coins and dollars. As they get older, teach them about saving and spending by opening a bank account for them and showing them how passbooks, checks and debit and credit cards work.
"Allowance is also a great way to teach kids about money when they're old enough," Bodge said. "It's important to allow them to save the money, but also to spend it. Taking your kids shopping is a good way to teach them about the impact of spending because they don't really understand that that really expensive item is really expensive unless it's coming out of their own bank account."
For more information and financial tips, visit RetailMeNot.com.