Personal Finance

Nearly half of Americans have no savings: Survey

Americans are not saving enough
Americans are not saving enough
Are you saving enough for retirement?
Are you saving enough for retirement?
Beefing up your emergency fund
Beefing up your emergency fund

Short on savings? You're not alone.

Twenty-eight percent of Americans have nothing in their savings accounts and another 21 percent don't even have a savings account, according to a new survey from GOBankingRates.

The rate comparison website surveyed 5,000 people and found just 29 percent of them had $1,000 or more in savings account.

How to invest—yes, invest—your emergency fund

The data from conflicts with a recent survey by America Saves, a campaign from the Consumer Federation of America, that found people's interest, effort and effectiveness to personally save was on the rise in September.

America Saves surveys 1,000 people three times per year for its Personal Savings Index to gauge perceptions about savings.

"While no trends over the past two years are yet evident, it is encouraging that the latest Personal Savings Index numbers are so high," said Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America and a founder of America Saves, in a statement.

America Saves surveys continue to find that top earners have higher levels of savings interest, effort and effectiveness than the rest of the population. For example, 84 percent of people who earn more than $100,000 annually reported to be interested in saving compared with 72 percent of people with annual incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 and 68 percent of people who earn less than $25,000.

How millennials should save for retirement

On average, Americans saved 4.6 percent of their disposable income in August, according to the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis. That rate includes savings in retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k) plans.

Most financial advisors recommend that people have three to six months of essential expenses in an emergency fund to pay for unexpected costs. Sadly, it looks like most savers aren't following that advice whether they want to or not.