Most Nevadans Lack an Emergency Savings Fund - 8 News NOW

Most Nevadans Lack an Emergency Savings Fund

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Tiger Todd with the Hero School. Tiger Todd with the Hero School.

LAS VEGAS -- More than half of all Nevadans are living paycheck-to-paycheck and have no savings for an emergency.

Nevada scored among the worst states, according to the national non-profit Corporation for Enterprise Development who released the 2012 scorecard for states. Nevada residents got an "F" when it comes to financial assets.

"I don't save 10 percent," admits Anthony Chapple who is looking for a job. For him, and thousands of other Nevadans, being able to save money is a luxury.

"I have no savings due to the economy. I have had to spend my 401k to live while I try to find a job," said Sandy Pilant who lost her job in 2009, after 31 years, as an auditor for MGM Grand. She managed a casino's money but not her own.

"Women don't save very well," she said.

She's not alone. The 2012 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard gives Nevada a failing grade because 56 percent of consumers have subprime credit scores. The state has one of the highest foreclosure rates. One in five jobs is low wage and more than half of all employees don't have a retirement plan. Plus, the average debt for graduating college seniors is more than $25,000.

"You can't be who you were and save. If you weren't a saver, you have to change into the kind of person who saves," said Tiger Todd who teaches financial stability through his Hero School. Some of his clients are: Catholic Charities, the Las Vegas Housing Authority, and Shade Tree Shelter.

He suggests creating a savings goal and then have 10 percent of every paycheck automatically deducted into a savings account. He also suggests people ask for help.

He suggests that people visit their local bank and ask the banker what to do to save a certain amount of money by the end of the year. He says it is better to have help figuring out a savings plan then trying to go it alone.

"Being 60-years-old, I absolutely need to save money because I'd like to live a little longer than a year or more," Pilant said.

If you need help learning how to save money, the Hero School is offering free classes in financial basics as well as finding employment. The class is Feb. 11, Saturday at the East Las Vegas Community Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here is more information on other Hero School classes. 

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