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TheStreet Survey Finds Emergency Fund Savings A Top Financial Priority For 2013

NEW YORK, Jan. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent nationwide survey conducted by TheStreet (NASDAQ: TST) and GfK 1 found that one out of five Americans is inclined to make accumulating an emergency fund a savings priority for the coming year.  Whether it's Hurricane Sandy's aftermath or fiscal-cliff fears, TheStreet study suggests 2013 may be the year of saving for a rainy day. 

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130102/NY35868-INFO-a )

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130102/NY35868LOGO-b )

When asked what they will be most actively saving for in the coming year, the top response was an emergency fund for unexpected problems (19%).  Not surprisingly, this response was most common among Americans with income less than $20,000 (30%) and $30,000 (25%) per year.  Saving for home improvements was the second most common savings resolution (17%), followed by children or grandchildren's education (16%). 

Joseph Clark, a managing partner at Financial Enhancement Group, suggests the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy could be making people think about the unexpected.  "You don't borrow for an emergency fund," says Clark, "You have to save."TheStreet found that Americans will prioritize saving over spending, even if they receive an unexpected boost in income.   If they won $1 million in the lottery, six in ten Americans (61%) say they would save three-quarters or more of the winnings, with 18% saying they would save it all.  Only a small fraction (3%) would spend it all. 

If a majority of Americans would indeed save three-quarters or more of their lottery winnings, how would they save or invest the money? According to TheStreet study, 56% would choose to play it safe and invest their winnings in a savings account; 44% would contribute to an IRA or retirement savings plan; 41% would invest in real estate; 39% would contribute to a college fund; 37% would invest in stocks or bonds. 

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