1. Savings By Age.
Table of Contents
If you read my blog post on why Americans suck at saving, in the article I include a link to how much the average person should have saved by age.
According to a USA Today Retirement Article, in your 20’s, aka millennials, should be saving 25% of their income. This means 25% of your gross, simple math if you make $60,000 you would be saving $15,000.
However this includes contributions to 401K’s, retirement plans and even debt repayments in addition to cash savings.
But for this article we are talking straight savings. Cash in a bank account that is liquid.
Granted, Susan Orman of CNBC Money says that 70% of the population has less than a $1,000 saved.
So if that is you, your first step would be to open an Ally.com savings account that is currently paying back 2.2%. And then as quick as possible save $1,000 for good measures.
Age 30: Annual gross salary saved.
Age 35: Have 2x your gross annual salary saved.
Age 40: Have 3x your gross annual salary saved.
Age 45: Have 4x your gross annual salary saved.
Age 50: Have 5x your gross annual salary saved.
Age 55: Have 6x your gross annual salary saved.
Age 60: Have 7x your gross annual salary saved.
Age 65: Have 8x your gross annual salary saved.
What that would look like if you made $50,000 a year and so did your significant other, aka a gross combined income of $100,000.
2. Savings Charts by Age
Ok so maybe you are behind the curve when it comes to age, another option is actually to use a savings chart. A simple search on Pinterest of “Savings Chart” will net you endless results.
From daily challenges – to monthly saving guides – there is something out there for everyone.
However, the elusive, magical savings number most covet is still one million dollars. And CNBC Money has an awesome graphic that shows how to save to a million based on your age using this chart below:
So for example, if you were 30 and wanted to retire by 50 you would want to make sure you are saving $24,000 per year which equates to $2,000 per month.
The article goes to point out that the average person can be a millionaire within 30 years by saving just $833 a month. On the other hand, considering the fact that 1 in 2 doesn’t even have a $1,000 in savings combined, saving $833 a month might be a stretch for some people.
In the article above, a few simple ways to cut some high spending variable areas to help you save more include losing cable, losing subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu, Prime), adjust gym bill, adjust cell phone plan and insurance plans.
Consider using cash for variable expenses to help reach that $833 magic number quicker.
3. How Much Savings is Enough for You by Age?
How much do you want saved and what age do you want it at?
$2,000,000, $1,000,000, $750,000 or maybe you just want $20,000?
The question remains, what is the best number for you and your family needs. While saving a million might sound cool, maybe you are looking to create a nice emergency fund then dump some money into an annual vacation fund.
To know how much you need saved, consider working backwards. What I mean is consider long term financial goals, travel, retirement age, kid’s college and so on. Do your best to come up with a number at you want saved at a specific age.
Then either use the chart above to help you start saving towards your goals.
Regardless of what you are saving for, another tip just to get the ball rolling is to first figure out your monthly fixed expenses. Multiply your expenses by 3 and save that amount. See how long it takes to save that amount.
Once you have it saved, then double it, therefore having 6 months saved in an emergency fund. Once you have 6 months worth of money in an emergency fund then you have some different options and you can start saving for the future, or the vacation.
Side Note: Personally, I would recommend doubling it one more time if you are debt free. If you are not debt free, payoff your debt first, then add more to savings, then finally work towards paying off your mortgage or investing.
4. Automatic Savings.
So how do you take the headache out of savings? Do it automatically.
Whether you just can’t get yourself to manually take $250 out of every paycheck and stash it away or maybe you just spend all your money before you can save, set-up automatic savings.
The simplest way to save is use direct deposit when available. Have a desired amount go right to savings and the rest come to your checking. This takes the emotions out of savings and you almost forget you are even doing it.
Another tip is to save your raises. For example, my raise this year went right to my Roth 403 B. I was already used to our budget so why not save a little more.
However, for every person who doesn’t have direct deposit or would like to maybe add a little more on top of what they already save consider using one of the following:
- M1 Invest
Qoins and Acorns are pretty much the same concept, what you choose just depends on which one you prefer more. The two round up every purchase you make to the nearest dollar, stockpiling the difference. At the end of the month the stockpile is applied to a targeted item – in this case saving or investing.
For example, let’s say you use Qoins and you buy a burger next week for $4.25. After everything is all set up .75 cents would be added to your accumulating fund that then would be applied to your savings at the end of the month.
If you like pie… charts, then M1 Invest is your go to. M1 is a robo investor that you can customize. The cool thing – it doesn’t charge transaction fees like most brokerages and is really user friendly for people like myself.
Side note: M1 Invest will be the next big investing platform like Stash and Robinhood, just my opinion.