(NBC) - With jobs lost and money tight, most Americans find it tough, if not impossible, to sock away a few dollars every month.
"I try to do a monthly contribution to the savings account but it doesn't always work in this economy," said Anna Lucas.
"I'm not saving anymore. Whenever I try to save something always comes up and takes it away," said Nate Evans.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants reports 54 percent of us, or just over half, couldn't save any money last year. They say it's mostly because bills are piling up, especially credit cards and emergencies.
"I have a lot of student loans and debt and stuff to pay off so its kind of difficult but I do the best I can," said Zach Swartz.
"If you're not making steps toward savings now that is very dangerous," warned Jordan Amin of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Just under half the country squeezed out savings by cutting back on dining out, travel, clothes, home renovations, even medical expenses and college.
"People understand that it may be harder to get loans for college, for buying a home whatever the case may be and they're starting to take steps to correct that now," said Amin.
Accountants say the best way to save is with automatic deductions.
"If I have $25 less in my account this week I'll spend $25 less, and we learn to live without that."