A new survey from Bankrate.com shows many Americans lack the money to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense.

Rider University finance expert Maury Randall says here in New Jersey, the cost of everything is higher, "so it is going to be somewhat more difficult for them to save, perhaps, than for people in the past."

"Rents are high, housing costs are high, medical expenses can be higher here. Taxes are certainly higher here. It used to be that we had cheap gas, and now that is not as cheap as it used to be, by any means."

The Bankrate.com survey found 53 percent of American track what they spend from month to month against a budget. But the other 47 percent do not. The survey canvassed 1,005 respondents in early January.

Randall says saving and belt-tightening, even in a high cost place like New Jersey, often involves willpower when it comes to discretionary spending for little things.

"Many people probably could do better, if they actually tried to identify places where they could save more and cut back on their spending," he said.

The survey also found older Baby Boomers most likely to cover the unexpected with a credit card and Millennials most likely to borrow from family members.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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