Source: Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2018. Graphic by Yaryna Serkez

Who Has Enough Cash to Get Through the Coronavirus Crisis?

The following is excerpted from a New York Times article by our executive director Alissa Quart and Yaryna Serkez.

Do you have enough money saved to weather this pandemic? If you are an American, your answer may well be no.

Even before Covid-19, many Americans were living check to check, because of the costs of housing and child care, student debt payments, medical bills and the rest. Despite the cheery insistence of people like President Trump and personal finance gurus, the economic growth of the last decade had not brought wealth or security to most Americans. Fewer than half of American adults — just 47 percent — say that they have enough emergency funds to cover three months of expenses, according to a survey conducted this month by the Pew Research Center.

Alissa Quart is the executive director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and the author of “Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America.”

Co-published with The New York Times.

Save An Endangered Species: Journalists

Alissa Quart is the executive director of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. She is the author of four nonfiction books, including Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America (2018), as well as two books of poetry. Her latest project is the podcast series Going for Broke with Ray Suarez. Her next book, Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves from the American Dream, is forthcoming in 2022.

Skip to content