Texans More Likely To Have Savings Accounts, But We're Not Saving Much

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A new survey finds Texans are doing better than people in other states when it comes to setting up a savings account for a rainy day. But most Texans still aren't saving enough to deal with a major disruption in their lives — like an extended period of unemployment.

The survey from the Texas Credit Union League found nearly 80 percent of respondents have an emergency savings account.  That's a significantly higher rate than people surveyed in Iowa, Ohio, California, Nevada, and Georgia. 

However, only 10 percent of Texans have enough cash to tie them over for 6 to 12 months, should they lose their jobs. 

Courtney Moran is the Executive Director of the Credit Union League.

"It's certainly easy to have a little bit in savings. But, as far as doing the further steps, as far as a budget and spending plan and sticking to it and not getting frustrated and creating that emergency fund is what we're lacking."

Moran says fear keeps many people from honestly looking at their expenses to see where and how they can save more. She also blames a general lack of financial literacy.

"I really don't think that education has been there, first of all, for many parents, for many teachers. We expect many teachers to teach our children this, and they don't even know it themselves?"

The Texas Credit Union League says it's trying to fix the financial literacy gap by supporting House Bill 2662.  It would require many high school students earn a credit in financial literacy to graduate. 

The bill was left pending in committee after last week's hearing.

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David Pitman

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