If you’re in your 20s and you find yourself questioning how much you should have saved by the time you’re 30, you’ve come to the right place.
So, how much should you have saved by 30? Unfortunately, the answer to your question is, “It depends.” So let’s go through a few variables that may give you direction to answer the question for your unique situation.
Why You Need To Save
Saving is not just something that you should do, it’s something you need to do. Why? Because saving means that you don’t have to rely on high interest loans, credit cards, or payday loans when life happens. And life happens to all of us.
Not only does saving money reduce stress, it also allows you to have financial peace about the future.
Here are a few things you should start saving for in your 20s:
Saving an emergency fund provides relief for unexpected financial hardship. Dave Ramsey, a popular personal finance guru, created baby steps to help people eliminate debt. Creating an emergency fund is the first baby step.
Why? Well, things happen. Your car breaks down. Your house needs an unexpected repair. You have a dental emergency. If you do not have an emergency fund, you often have to pay for that emergency using a credit card, which adds to your financial burden by putting you back into debt or adding to existing debt.
Saving for retirement provides peace for your golden years. Why is saving for retirement important? Many people today still rely on Social Security benefits in their retirement. Unfortunately, Social Security benefits are not projected to be around forever.
The Social Security Administration estimates that, “…benefits will be payable in full on a timely basis until 2037, when the trust fund reserves are projected to become exhausted.” What this means is that you will most likely be working before Social Security runs out, making it more crucial to save for retirement in your 20s than many generations before you.
Saving for your children is a way to care for the next generation and your legacy. If you have or plan to have children, day care, private schooling, extracurriculars, are expenses many of us will need to pay for throughout their lives.
In addition, saving for your children’s education provides benefits and opportunities for our children that will teach them the value of financial freedom.
Saving for major life events allows you to enjoy major milestones such as a wedding or a vacation without an interest rate attached to it. Saving for these big life events allow you to feel less anxiety after the event is over instead of having to be stressed about how you will be paying that event off for the next 2 years.
How Much Should You Save Each Month?
We’ve covered why you should save and what you should save for. How much should you save each month?
The answer is again – it depends.
What does that mean? Unfortunately, saving each month is not prescriptive (save $500 per month), but it needs to be unique to your financial situation. A good rule of thumb is to save at least 20% of your paycheck. An easy way to do this is to set up Auto Saving or Auto Investing. Not only will it create an out of sight out of mind approach but it will develop a healthy habit of contributing to an account that builds interest.
How To Start Saving
Should you start saving by putting money in a box under your bed? Not recommended. Instead, you should find an institution that will provide the most consumer friendly saving platform.
For example, many banks charge you a fee for a checking account if your balance goes under a certain limit, do not provide rewards, and are technologically behind the times. Thankfully, all institutions are not like that.
You should consider starting to save through MoneyLion which offers zero-fee checking, access to 55,000 fee-free ATMs, cash back rewards and many more features. It’s impressive the number of features that MoneyLion provides in a checking account.
When it comes to saving and growing your funds, MoneyLion offers a fully managed investment account with no management or trading fees. This full-service account has no minimums either, and you can set up Auto Investing to help ensure you are making consistent deposits over time and benefiting from compound interest and market returns
Want to get started? Follow the steps below to create your savings plan.
Step 1: Create a Budget and Stick To It
How do you know how much you can save each month if you do not know where your money is going? It’s difficult, if not impossible, because without knowing where each dollar is going, you are not able to know how much you can save each month.
You should consider first writing out all of your income and expenses on a spreadsheet for a given month to see how much is coming in and how much is going out. You can categorize the transactions and see where all of your money is going.
Consider setting what you want to spend each month and stick to it. There are many free templates and applications that can assist, but a simple spreadsheet can be helpful as well.
Read our full article on How To Create A Budget.
Add To an Investment Account
Once you determine how much you can allocate to saving, it’s time to have your money begin working for you through investing.
MoneyLion’s investment account is easy to set up and use, does not require a minimum investment, and your account will be fully managed from day 1. It’s perfect for new and seasoned investors because it allows you to pick your comfort zone, adjust your portfolio, and auto-invest at the click of the button.
Cutting Costs Where You Can
Once you have a budget in place, you may be wondering where you can cut costs to save more. This is an important point to consider.
You can reduce your fixed costs by pursuing such things as cheaper housing or alternatives to cable. You can reduce your variable costs by reducing your grocery or entertainment expenses. Finally, you can reduce your debt expenses by utilizing a debt payoff method that put more to your debt each month to get out of debt faster to allow you to save more in the future.
Let’s Start Saving
You know that saving is important, that you should save for important things and how to start saving.
The most important thing is to start saving now, no matter the amount. You don’t run a marathon the day after you go on your first run. In the same way, you aren’t a saving jedi the day after you decide you’re going to start saving. You can start today as easily as creating a MoneyLion account and putting in little by little. You may be so surprised at how much you have saved at the end of the month that you will want to save much more.