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Texan households have a 50 percent change of falling into poverty

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TYLER (KYTX) - Nearly 50 percent of Texans are one major crisis away from slipping into poverty. The yearly scorecard released by the Corporation for Enterprise Development shows Texas is at the bottom of the list when it comes to individual financial security.

Not having enough money to pay the bills is a reality many east Texans struggle with.

"I came from below the poverty line."

Now that Jason Ruark is an adult, he doesn't have to worry about things like that.

"I have a savings account where I have almost exactly 8 months for my bills and my lifestyle of money saved aside for a crisis."

Ruark says he saves just in case  he ever needs something like dental work, car work or happens to lose his job, he won't be in a bind.

Certified Financial Planner Jeff Feliciano says planning like this is exactly what is necessary to stay ahead of financial crisis.

"It starts with eduction, understanding the fundamental of  money and planning," he said.

Research from the Corporation for Enterprise Development shows, Texans have a big problem. Fifty percent of households don't have enough to stay afloat in the event of an emergency such as losing a job. He says saving is the best way to stay out of debt.

"Bad things happen, emergencies happen, we have to develop a philosophy of paying ourselves first," he said.

Saving a dollar here and there won't work, but  you can start small, saving $50 or $100 a month, and moving up from there...he says you'll eventually get used to it.

"We find that most people,we pay our bills and adopt a philosophy of saving what's left, but the reality is there's never anything left."

Ruark agrees, but instead of coming up with a dollar amount, he suggests saving a percentage of your income.

Financial planners say, steer clear of putting items on credit. It may be seem like an okay plan to get by but keep in mind, you'll end up in the red.

 

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