News In Brief

THIS SHOULD SPEED THINGS UP

In Colombo, Sri Lanka, e-mail finally is being introduced to each office of the government's Ministry of Public Affairs. So that the nation's business can be handled more efficiently? Or because some long-delayed budget request has at last been approved? A little of both, perhaps. But according to ministry chief Richard Pathirana, the real reason is because an internal memo took two weeks to travel from offices on the second floor to the seventh floor.

Got savings? No, not really, many Americans tell pollster

Despite a decade of economic expansion, the majority of Americans have failed to set aside more than a few months' personal savings, according to results of a poll by Monster.com, a global career website. Of the 41,158 respondents to its online survey, 38 percent said they have no savings, while 32 percent have no more than three months' worth. "It's time for that 38 percent to start brown-bagging it at lunchtime," says Dona DeZube, Monster.com's finance expert. Savings provides a safety net, and gives workers freedom to leave their jobs to pursue better opportunities if they want to. One trick to saving: Have money automatically transferred from your checking account to an investment or savings account each month, DeZube says. When respondents were asked: "How long would your savings last?" the results were:

No savings 38%

1 to 3 months 32%

3 to 6 months 13%

More than 6 months 15%

- Business Wire

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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