Saving money is key.
If you have been around Money Bliss long enough, you realize the importance of saving money. If you are brand new here, welcome we are happy to have you.
Either way you are going to learn something important. In fact, what you are going to learn today will be transformational. (guaranteed)
Saving money is the long term key to financial success.
But, you may be thinking, I am living paycheck to paycheck. Well, that may the case now, however, if you stick around long enough that life that is your norm now won’t be your norm later.
We strive for you to find success with money. That place you aren’t constantly worried and stressing about paying bills.
You need to learn how to save money.
This goes beyond the question of “What percent should be savings?”
Your savings percentage today will dictate your decisions tomorrow.
That statement may seem overwhelming, but it definitely shouldn’t it. Shaving extra savings as a percentage of income is completely doable, and more than likely, you probably won’t even notice.
Money Bliss will help get you to the life you dream of…promise.
So first, let’s figure out how much of your income should you save every month?
How Much To Save Monthly
The traditional recommendations from financial experts have you saving 20% a year.
Even when you look at our Cents Plan Formula, you will see we recommend to save 20% each year. However, when you look closer, you notice we recommend to save greater than 20%.
Those words “save greater than” are key to long term success and financial independence.
The traditional recommendation of the 50-30-20 rule is wrong and very outdated. That breaks down into 50% on basic expenses, 30% discretionary (or fun spending), and 20% saving. Maybe it worked well when everyone had a pension in retirement, but social security isn’t enough for many people to survive.
You need to save money each month. But, how much to save monthly is dependent on many more factors.
How much to save monthly depends on your:
- Current personal finance situation
- Your lifestyle
- Your spending habits
- Desire to retire earlier
- What season of life you are in
- Your ability to save more money (ie: debt is out of the picture)
- Your income
By giving you a flat dollar amount to save, it wouldn’t be based on you.
This is about your money journey and how much to save monthly depends on you, your money goals, and your financial decisions. Everyone will have a different savings ratio based on their life choicesx.
Is saving $500 a month enough?
If you are young and swaddled in debt, then saving $500 a month is a milestone.
If you desire to stay living paycheck to paycheck cycle, then that isn’t enough to save each month.
However, don’t get down on yourself, if you haven’t ever saved $500 or can only save $500 a month. That is a great starting point if you are just starting out saving money monthly.
We will discuss shorting a better tool on how much of your income should you save every month.
What is Saving Percentage?
Saving percentage is a great way to know how much you are saving overall.
This is when you decide on how much to save monthly based on your income. It is the most personal way for you to decide how much you should save each month.
Written as an equation, this is how you determine your savings ratio based on your income.
Saving percentage = (your overall savings divided by your overall income) * 100
That equation will give you your savings percentage.
Example #1: you saved $7,000 in the last 12 months and your income was $85,000.
(7,000 / 85,000) * 100% = 8.23%
Example #2: you saved $22,000 in the last 12 months and your income was $155,000.
(22,000 / 155,000) * 100% = 14.19%
Should I Base My Savings On Gross or Net Income
Honestly, it doesn’t matter either way. You can choose to base your savings percentage number on gross income or net income. Just make sure to stay consistent and calculate it either way.
Whichever way you choose, you want the savings percentage to increase year over year.
If you use gross income, your saving percentage will be lower because taxes will take a big chunk out of your total percentage.
If you use net income, your savings ratio will be much higher because taxes aren’t included.
Personally, I calculate our savings percentage on gross income since there are ways to lower your tax bill. For instance, by moving to a lower cost of living area.
Why Saving Percentage is a Better Tool
When you look at the retirement rules of thumb (rule of 4 and multiply by 25), you may feel a little bit overwhelmed with the prospect of saving money. However, if you just keep increasing your savings percentage you will get there without all of the sterss.
Remember, slow and steady always wins the race.
So, instead of using retirement guidelines on how much to save monthly, there is another tool that will help you stay on track and not give up.
Use your saving percentage.
Each year you want to increase your saving percentage.
You can do the same thing for monthly when starting your savings percentage journey.
This is something manageable where you can see real results. Stay focused on the percentage. Keep your head down and keep saving away.
That is why your saving percentage is a better tool.
What Percent Should You Save Of Your Income?
This is something we detailed in the Money Bliss Budgeting method found here.
You need to start with how much you want to save this year.
If you are out of debt, then you need to start with a 20% savings percentage. That is the first thing you do is save money from each paycheck. Then, you figure out how to live on the remaining money.
If you are still struggling with debt, then you need an emergency fund in place until you are debt free except your mortgage. Any debt will always hold you back from your full potential and a higher savings percentage. There is too much drag holding you back.
The more you are able to save today will change your financial future tomorrow.
Each year, evaluate how much you can increase your saving percentage. Can you reach 30%, 40% or maybe even 50%?
Savings Percentage in Real Life Examples
Okay, now that we have laid out all of the above information, let’s tie them together into one.
So, is saving 10% enough? No.
Well, what about saving 30 percent of income? Maybe given your age.
Anna makes $4000 per month or $48,000 per year. She is 25 years old and plans to save a percenteage of her income for the next forty years.
|Anna||Income is $4000|
|How Much to|
|Total Saved||Balance at Age 65|
|10%||$4000 x 10%||$400||$192,000||$1,288,432|
|15%||$4000 x 15%||$600||$288,000||$1,932,648|
|20%||$4000 x 20%||$800||$384,000||$2,576,863|
|30%||$4000 x 30%||$1200||$576,000||$3,865,295|
Assuming no increase in income, Anna will give her a nice nest egg for retirement.
Meet Sue & Joe
Sue and Joe feel very behind the game on saving money. They realized lifestyle creep invaded their family life and now are cutting expenses and prioritizing saving money.
This couple with kids make a combined income of $150,000. They are both 34 and want to see how soon they will be millionaires.
|Sue & Joe||Income is $12,500|
|How Much to|
|Total Saved||Balance at Age 60|
|10%||$12,500 x 10%||$1,250||$390,000||$1,288,432|
|15%||$12,500 x 15%||$1,875||$585,000||$1,864,020|
|20%||$12,500 x 20%||$2,500||$780,000||$2,485,360|
|30%||$12,500 x 30%||$3,750||$1,170,000||$3,728,040|
Obviously, the more you save, the faster you will watch your account balance grow. If Sue and Joe chose to save 30% of their income, they would reach millionaire status in 13 years or at age 47.
If they saved only 10% of their income, they would be 58 years old when they reach their first million dollars.
Brian is sick and tired of the rat race of working. He doesn’t love his job in his degree field, but it pays well. He wants to save for 10 years and move on with life.
Brian makes $105,000 per year.
|Brian||Income is $8,750|
|How Much to|
|Total Saved||Balance after |
|20%||$8,750 x 20%||$1,750||$210,000||$315,217|
|30%||$8,750 x 30%||$2,625||$315,000||$472,826|
|40%||$8,750 x 40%||$3,500||$420,000||$630,435|
|50%||$8,750 x 50%||$4,375||$525,000||$788,044|
Brian realizes he has to save a higher savings percentage each month if he wants to leave his job and take a lower paying job that he enjoys.
He decides that he will save 40% of his salary over the next 10 years, then leaves his nest egg alone for another 15 years. His saving efforts should pay off and will net him around the $2 million dollar mark.
Savings Percentage Calculator
Are you ready to figure out your saving percentage?
Grab a calculator and figure out how much you are saving in the following ways:
- Emergency Fund
- Rainy Day Fund
- Retirement (401k, Roth IRA, or IRA)
- Health Savings Account
- Other savings accounts
Without downloading our free spreadsheet in our free resource library, you can figure this out very simply with a pen, paper, and calculator.
Add up all of your savings and divide that number by your income.
For instance, you are saving $1200 each month and your income is $5000.
$1200 / 5000 = .24 or 24% savings percentage rate
How Much Do You Save a Month?
Wow! That is a lot of useful information.
Personally, I wish someone would have discussed the concept of saving based on income percentages. It just simplifies how to save money on a consistent basis.
Your savings percentage is a great way to track your financial progress!
In conclusion, there is no right or wrong number to save each month.
Your personal litmus test is to increase your savings percentage month over month, year over year.
Don’t forget to download our spreadsheet to help you with quick calculations!