How much money do you save every month? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: How much money do you save every month?
fixed dollar amount 0-50 7 100.00%
50-100 4 57.14%
100-200+ 12 100.00%
Percent of income 1-5% 3 42.86%
5-10% 3 42.86%
10-15% 5 71.43%
As much as possible. 17 100.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 22 Old 01-05-2014, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have always saved in a checking account but now I would like to start saving in a dedicated savings account. Any suggestions on what the money savings amount should be? As a percent of income or a fixed dollar amount?


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#2 of 22 Old 01-06-2014, 09:08 AM
 
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It depends.  Are you saving for something specific?  Do you have a retirement account?  Your goals will determine your strategy. 

 

My personal strategy is to keep $500 in savings.  This is my 'just in case money'.  It will cover any minor emergency. 

 

Next, I focus on building retirement savings via an account through work or an IRA.  This is the easiest savings method for a lot of people, because the money comes out of your paycheck and you never see it.  No temptation spend it and there are hefty penalties for early withdrawl.  We put 10% of our gross into a 401K. 

 

Savings accounts generate very little interest, so simply putting money in a savings account will net you very little.  That said, we are saving for a house, so we are using a savings account, because we want access to this money in the next year.  We are  saving like crazy and try to get this number to 40% of our take-home pay. 

 

I know it looks like we save a lot and we do, but we have a very specific goal right now.  Next year, we will stop saving for a house, but bump up our retirement contributions and hopefully start IRAs for me and dh. 

 

I guess the thing to do is just get started.  Set a small goal 5% maybe and see how that feels.  Then increase it slowly.   My dad always told me to spend half and save half.  That is pretty extreme and I have not been able to afford that much.  Over my lifetime, my goal has been 25% of my gross pay.  When I was younger, I rarely reached that goal, but I always set aside something, even if it was only $10 or $20. 


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#3 of 22 Old 01-08-2014, 12:26 AM
 
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Another "It depends."

 

What are you including in "savings"?  Retirement? College savings? Savings you know you will spend in the not too distant future (major housing costs, property taxes, etc...)? Rolling savings?  Savings for longer term purchases?  Money that has no designated need?


 

 

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#4 of 22 Old 01-10-2014, 06:13 PM
 
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I'm doing this "save x amount per week" goal.
It goes in a general savings account, but am considering pulling that money out and putting it in our safe.

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#5 of 22 Old 01-10-2014, 06:21 PM
 
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We are saving x dollars each week, depending on what # week it is (week 1, $1; week 2, $2; and so on until week 52, when you save $52). By the end of the year, we will have very close to $1,400 set aside.

We *had* to set a purpose for this money so that it wasn't just saved up for a year and then blown on something unnecessary, so this year's money being saved is for retirement. Not a heap, but it's more than what we've been doing!


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#6 of 22 Old 01-12-2014, 02:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VioletLove View Post

We are saving x dollars each week, depending on what # week it is (week 1, $1; week 2, $2; and so on until week 52, when you save $52). By the end of the year, we will have very close to $1,400 set aside.

We *had* to set a purpose for this money so that it wasn't just saved up for a year and then blown on something unnecessary, so this year's money being saved is for retirement. Not a heap, but it's more than what we've been doing!


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This is what we are doing! I'm thinking of dividing it between my 3 kids and putting it in a college account for them.

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#7 of 22 Old 01-12-2014, 08:20 AM
 
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I do two things. First, I direct $50 each week to a savings account. Then I have a calculated paycheck amount that I think we should be able to live on. Anything above that amount each week gets diverted into a secondary checking account. If gets used if we go over budget for the month and for irregular expenses, like filling the oil tank, or car repairs. I often have to empty this account by the end if the month because we cheat on our budget, but I never touch the savings account.
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#8 of 22 Old 01-13-2014, 09:03 AM
 
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newmamalizzy, the second checkings account sounds like a great idea! I have to find a way to limit our spending because right now we use the credit card and pay it off each month but that isn't very conducive to restricting expenditures.

 

DH and I each set money aside for retirement, other than that we don't save. DH's is a percentage of his paycheck because his company matches up to a certain amount, mine is a set amount every month because I'm self employed.


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#9 of 22 Old 01-13-2014, 11:56 AM
 
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It really depends.  We made an effort to pay off all of our debt (less our mortgage) and are now able to sink a lot into savings.  We have allotments into both of our IRAs, both of our children's 529s, both of our TSPs -- all to the annual maximum allowable amounts -- by using an allotment it comes off pre-tax and it's money we never see so we're not likely to spend it.

 

Another trick we use is similar to another poster.  We actually have an allotment (set amount) that goes into our primary checking account -- the amount we need to live off of and pay bills each month.  Our check is actually deposited into a savings account, so if we get an award/bonus, raise, or promotion, we never see that money in our checking account and are not tempted to spend it.  It accumulates quickly.  From that savings account we split off monthly allotments to a money market account,our stock portfolio, and each of our child's savings accounts.

 

I'd also suggest you read Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.  We were saving as much as we could... but had some debt (cars, boat, house) that we were paying on.  After reading his book we actually stopped ALL of our savings for a year to snowball and pay off all of our debt (minus the mortgage) and you'd be amazed how much paycheck is left at the end of the month to redirect to savings when you're not paying down your other debt.  Now that we're in a position to save again, we're actually maxing out all of the allowable amounts and accumulating savings without changing our day-to-day spending habits--and we've actually recouped the year that we stopped saving and have saved more than if we had continued on our prior savings plan.

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#10 of 22 Old 01-13-2014, 02:10 PM
 
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I have a savings account that used to be ING Direct, now it's Capital One 360. It's online only so I can't spend the money easily. I have to wait a couple days to transfer it to my checking account first. Makes it harder to spend. It earns slightly more interest than a savings account at my bank. I have $50 sent by direct deposit from every paycheck so I don't have to think about it. I like to keep at least $2000 in there for emergencies and such. I used to send more, but now that I have a baby I have to pay for childcare. I also contribute 6% to my 401(k) because that is what my company matches. We also have a joint savings account as an emergency fund and to save for joint expenses like travel, childcare, big purchases, etc. I put any cash I have beyond my budgeted spending in there. Now that I am paying for childcare, that may not happen unless I get a bonus or tax refund. I think it's a good idea to save whatever you can whether it is a set amount or a percentage. I always hear people say, "Pay yourself first." That's why I have money taken out by direct deposit. That way the money is saved before I have a chance to even think about spending it.



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#11 of 22 Old 01-13-2014, 03:53 PM
 
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We are on the Dave Ramsey plan. Currently we are saving 15% to retirement. Before that we saved for a 6 mon. Emergency fund. Anything over the 15% we are saving for a minivan. We have been following the program for over a year and a half and it has changed everything for us and improved our marriage. We are big Ramsey fans!!! joy.gif
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#12 of 22 Old 01-13-2014, 04:39 PM
 
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At this point I'm unemployed so we are saving -900 per month. But when I was working we saved about $300-$500 per month. Right before I got laid off, both my husband and I had good paying jobs. What we save really simply depends on how much is in my savings, how much we make, and what our expenses are. I do have two amounts I need to have in savings. One lower amount is what I absolutely need to have in savings. I'll scrimp and save and do anything I can to get our savings to that amount. Then I have an amount that I'm comfortable with in savings. I'll work hard, but be pretty reasonable about it to get our savings there. After that we simply figure out what we comforatably have as disposable income most months and put about 1/2 of that in savings.


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#13 of 22 Old 01-13-2014, 06:37 PM
 
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As others have said, it depends what you mean by "savings". 6 or 7% of my husband's paycheck goes straight into a retirement account (can't remember what percent we're at), but I don't consider that "savings". What actually goes into our savings account each month is somewhere in the neighborhood of $800. It may be more or less depending on the month. Some of that money is earmarked for short-term future expenses - car/renter's insurance, medical expenses, car repair/registration/inspection, etc. Some of it is more long-term savings, like saving for a house, a new car, or a vacation. We have already saved our 6-month emergency fund, so we are currently not contributing to that, though I plan to discuss upping that savings amount with my dh in the near future. Lately, the amount earmarked for car repairs always seems to be used up in that month, so it never makes it to savings. On the other hand, any extra cash we have left at the end of the month gets dumped in the new car fund, so we're usually over the $800 mark.

 

Every cent in our savings account has an assigned purpose. We don't have any savings "slush", as it were, and I think that's part of what makes it easy to save so much. The "slush" money, when it exists, stays in our checking account. Also, we recently opened an online only savings account. We are literally making 90 times as much interest with that account as we were with our brick-and-mortar savings account (.9% APR as opposed to .01% APR). It's awesome to actually have our savings earning money!

 

We are also Dave Ramsey fans. Well, I am a fan, and dh is a semi-grudging participant in the plan. He still struggles with having the emergency fund money just "sitting there", but we are both big fans of being debt-free!


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#14 of 22 Old 01-14-2014, 02:09 AM
 
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None right now.  We're living off savings.  We'll see what the new year will bring.  I guess there should have been a "We're not trying to save" category for those not making money right now or trying to pay off debts first. :)


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#15 of 22 Old 01-15-2014, 10:04 AM
 
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We're aiming for a at least a hundred each month.  Part is going into a general savings account, another is going into stocks.


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#16 of 22 Old 01-15-2014, 12:17 PM
 
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I'm trying something new this year.  There are 52 weeks in the year and each week I save the amount of that week.  For example....

week one = $1 saved

week 2 = $2 saved

week 3 = $3 saved.

According to the chart I have if I can accomplish this by the end of the year I will have saved $1378.00

 

Since I am doing the actual transfer to my savings account at the end of each month (when the pay check comes in) I have not yet done this and am still considering another plan a friend told me about which looks like this...

week 1 - $1

week 2 = $2

week 3  $4

week 4 = $8

This can be done each month like this OR can continue through the year like this...

week 5 = $16

week 6 = $ 32

week 7 = $64

week 8 = 128

and continues to double each week.  This method is more difficult and is hardest in December just in time for the holidays.  I personally can do that this year.

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#17 of 22 Old 01-15-2014, 08:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reverendmother View Post
 

I'm trying something new this year.  There are 52 weeks in the year and each week I save the amount of that week.  For example....

week one = $1 saved

week 2 = $2 saved

week 3 = $3 saved.

According to the chart I have if I can accomplish this by the end of the year I will have saved $1378.00

 

Since I am doing the actual transfer to my savings account at the end of each month (when the pay check comes in) I have not yet done this and am still considering another plan a friend told me about which looks like this...

week 1 - $1

week 2 = $2

week 3  $4

week 4 = $8

This can be done each month like this OR can continue through the year like this...

week 5 = $16

week 6 = $ 32

week 7 = $64

week 8 = 128

and continues to double each week.  This method is more difficult and is hardest in December just in time for the holidays.  I personally can do that this year.


Your friend has a very ambitious plan.  Are you sure she worked out the math correctly?  By that rate in the last week of December you'll need to save $2,251,799,813,685,248.  There isn't that much money in this world.  How about just work it up to a comfortable level, say $100 a week and stay with it? :)


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#18 of 22 Old 01-16-2014, 09:42 AM
 
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I've done it many different ways over the years depending on our situation. Normally I try to first of all stay one month ahead... so hold all checks received in Jan then on Feb. 1st I have one whole month's income to pay bills and divide out, then Feb checks get saved to pay bills/expenses for March on the 1st. This took a lot of saving and scrimping to get ahead at first to do it but is a big stress reliever especially in jobs without set income. I keep a set amount also that we need to make each week to cover our bills & expenses and anything over that goes to savings. We do have retirement money that comes straight out of the check pretax also so that doesn't count in any other calculations. I try to keep some kind of EF available in our lock box as well plus little stray amounts of money around also like emergency gas money for a full tank hidden in each vehicle, all change collected in jugs instead of spent & stray ones tossed in as well, things like this. It's amazing how much money can be stashed away when you do little things that really do add up. We are currently going to be out of money and living barebones while DH takes classes for a promotion/job transfer so I'll have to start back over after this but I'm  glad that my squirrel skills have provided for me to not freak out toooo bad right now with no income for a month or more. 


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#19 of 22 Old 01-17-2014, 07:38 AM
 
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We reached the maximum we wanted for our savings account about a year ago, a total of $20,000 in two different accounts (one is a no-penalty CD we renew each year). All extra money now goes towards student loans (or our yearly vacation). We also contribute 7% of DH's salary into retirement.


 

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#20 of 22 Old 01-17-2014, 08:16 AM
 
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We put about $500 a month into our 401Ks.  Also, we are paying about an extra $2,000 on my student loans every month.

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#21 of 22 Old 01-17-2014, 10:53 AM
 
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I only know of people who have saved in the first list

week 1 = $1

week2= $2

 

and one friend who each month did the following

week 1 = $1

week 2 = $ 2

week 3 = $4

week 4 = $8

 

And no, for some people saving $100 a month just doesn't work. 

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#22 of 22 Old 01-20-2014, 05:57 PM
 
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I"ve seen a similar challenge that began with $1 and just added an extra dollar each week.  Last week, you're only putting into $52.


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