I know what it is like to have to juggle creditors to make it through a week.I know what it is like to dread going to the mailbox, because there will always be new bills to pay but seldom a check with which to pay them. I have had a passably good career as a writer—five books, hundreds of articles published, a number of awards and fellowships, and a small (very small) but respectable reputation.I know what it is like to have to tell my daughter that I didn’t know if I would be able to pay for her wedding; it all depended on whether something good happened. You wouldn’t even know it to look at my tax return.And I know what it is like to have to borrow money from my adult daughters because my wife and I ran out of heating oil. I am nowhere near rich, but I have typically made a solid middle- or even, at times, upper-middle-class income, which is about all a writer can expect, even a writer who also teaches and lectures and writes television scripts, as I do.
It was, according to that Fed survey and other surveys, happening to middle-class professionals and even to those in the upper class.“It could be,” Johnson says, “that people don’t have the money” to save.Many of us, it turns out, are living in a more or less continual state of financial peril.Two reports published last year by the Pew Charitable Trusts found, respectively, that 55 percent of households didn’t have enough liquid savings to replace a month’s worth of lost income, and that of the 56 percent of people who said they’d worried about their finances in the previous year, 71 percent were concerned about having enough money to cover everyday expenses.A similar study conducted by Annamaria Lusardi of George Washington University, Peter Tufano of Oxford, and Daniel Schneider, then of Princeton, asked individuals whether they could “come up with” ,000 within 30 days for an unanticipated expense.Psychology Today shall in no event be liable to you or to anyone for any decision made or action taken by you in the reliance on information provided in Psychology Today.