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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) -- Alicia Tolliver always thought she was smart with her money.

"You would think once you get your paycheck and pay your bills, if you have something extra you can spend it. Well, that got me in a lot of trouble," she says.

Tolliver lost her job during the recession and her savings quickly ran out.

She says, "It was hard because I didn't know what to do."

A new America Saves survey finds many people like her, 68 percent, say they make more money than they spend. But, they're not saving enough for a rainy day.

"They're not really well prepared for the long term," says Steve Brobeck.

The challenging economy has made it difficult for people to save enough for retirement. Only one out of three Americans believe they are set for their long term financial future.

Steve Brobeck, with the Consumer Federation of America, says people should try to save 10 percent of their pay.

Survey Reveals Persistent Financial Challenges Facing Most Americans

"First of all, build up an adequate emergency fund and then start saving for retirement," Brobeck says.

Alicia Tolliver turned her situation around. She got a job and was able to save enough money to start her own candle and bath products business.

She's now saving as much as she can to make sure she's prepared for the future.

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