Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What the Dodd-Frank rollback means for consumers. Also in the news: Memorial Day travel tips to remember, a day in the life of a portfolio manager, and 4 in 10 Americans can’t fund a $400 emergency expense.

Dodd-Frank Rollback: What It Means for Consumers
Sorting through the confusion.

Memorial Day Travel Tips to Remember
Travel safely!

A Day in the Life: Portfolio Manager
Staying ahead of trends in the market.

4 in 10 Americans can’t fund a $400 emergency expense without borrowing, Fed survey finds
An alarming statistic.

How to build your ‘Oh, crap!’ fund

The emergency fund is a bust.

Millions of Americans don’t have one, and some of those who do resist tapping what they’ve saved. I’d like to propose an alternative for both sets of people: The “oh, crap!” fund, a savings account for not-quite-emergency expenses.

One of the reasons people don’t have emergency funds is misplaced optimism. People think that if they’re healthy, they’ll stay healthy. If they’re employed, ditto. The car will keep running, the roof will never need to be replaced and, since everybody’s a better-than-average driver, there won’t be any accidents. Behavioral scientists call that “recency bias,” which is the delusion that whatever happened in the recent past will continue into the indefinite future.

Everyone, though, has experienced “oh, crap!” moments: the no-parking sign they didn’t see, the crown the dentist says they need, the smartphone dropped in the toilet. In my latest for the Associated Press, how to build a fund that will take the sting out of emergency expenses.