5 reasons Americans are not saving money

Americans are having trouble saving.

Two recent studies carried out by independent pollsters say that more than 60% of adults have no emergency savings or less than $1,000 in their savings account. And among those who had savings prior to 2008, 57% said they’d used some or all of it in the Great Recession, according to a U.S. Federal Reserve survey of over 4,000 adults released last year. Those surveys don’t include automatic savings vehicles like a 401(k) or an IRA, but financial experts say consumers should try (if they can afford it) to make automatic payments into a savings account too.

Personal savings rates as a percentage of disposable income dropped from 11% in December 2012 to 4.6% in August 2015, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and have hovered at 5% since then. “It’s possible that the gains in net worth are going to high-income households, which could be consistent with the lack of savings for middle-income households,” says Mark Perry, a professor of finance and business economics at the University of Michigan-Flint. One way to keep your savings rates stable: Set-up automatic deposits and save part of your tax refund, says Signe-Mary McKernan, an economist at the Urban Institute, a think tank.

Here are 5 reasons why so many American savings accounts are bare:

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