Entry #7: Most People Only 11 Days From Financial Ruin

Last modified on July 26th, 2008

I read this interesting article today that basically said that most people in the United States were only 11 days away from financial ruin. That is, if they were to lose their jobs tomorrow, they only have enough money to last for about 11 days:

More than a third of adults could survive financially for only 11 days if they were to lose their job or be too ill to work, according to a survey.

The finding gives a worrying insight into the lives of millions who are living on a financial tightrope.

Researchers looked at how much people spend every month and how much they have in savings.

It found a massive gap between the two, which means most would be crippled by a sudden change in their circumstances.

I’m actually not surprised about that statistic, and in fact, my financial situation isn’t that much better. In terms of liquid assets, I really don’t have a pile of money in the bank at any one time. I could liquidate some of my RRSPs and what-not, but that’s obviously not a route I’d want to take. Given that I left school with approximately $40,000 worth of debt, and that I spend a good deal of my salary each month on servicing that debt, I really don’t have a ton left over to build up a big safety buffer.

That being said, I’m curious how much of a buffer most people have. Do most people here live paycheck to paycheck, or are you all more financially responsible than I am?

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