People donâ€™t often talk about how much money they have. Itâ€™s just not something thatâ€™s shared during dinner conversations or at lunch with co-workers.
So, itâ€™s really hard to know how well youâ€™re doing because thereâ€™s no benchmark. Also, everyone makes and spends different amounts, so itâ€™s hard to compare.
But many people want to know two things: The first is: â€œHow am I doing money-wise?â€ (Itâ€™s sort of like your GPA in college, a yardstick to measure yourself against)
The other question people have is, â€œwill I have enough for retirement?â€
With this in mind, hereâ€™s a breakdown of how much money you should aim to have at your age. Please note, there are a few assumptions here: it counts on the fact that you had continuous income throughout your working life, uniform wage growth, and it assumes your life expectancy. Ok, enough preamble, here we go:
You should aim to have 10 times your final salary in savings at 67.(Source)
Now letâ€™s back that bus up and show you what it means for different ages:
You want to have your yearly salary saved. So, if youâ€™re making $50,000, you should have $50,000 in the bank.
You should have 3 times your yearly salary saved up.
You should have 6 times your yearly salary saved up.
You should have 8 times your yearly salary saved up.
You should have 10 times your yearly salary saved up.
Donâ€™t get fired up if you donâ€™t have these amounts because according to a report from the Economic Policy Institute (source), most people have only saved $95,776. (The median has only saved $5,000). (Source)
But if you are motivated to save more money, here are a few ways to do it.
1.) Live big in a small house.
A smaller house means smaller payments, fewer taxes, etc. Plus, as you get older and the kids move out, you use less room anyway. Consider paying 25% or less of your after-tax pay on your mortgage, tax, and home insurance.
2.) Donâ€™t go car crazy.
New Audi = $45,000. Certified Pre-owned Honda = $20,000. That $25,000 difference invested at 7% over 30 years is $190,000 come retirement. Just saying.(Source)
3.) Donâ€™t put spending on autopilot.
Itâ€™s the little things each day that adds up. Restaurants, unused gym memberships, movie channels, etc. One way to control spending is to write out your expenses for one month. What can you do without? You can also use an app like mint.com to help. For example, set a monthly budget for amazon.com purchases, and Mint will let you know when youâ€™re going over.
It can be difficult to know how much money youâ€™re â€œsupposedâ€ to have. And sometimes, it can be a little depressing to find out. But whatever number youâ€™re reaching for, there are ways to help you get there. It may take serious discipline and some tweaks to your spending habits, but it can happen.
For more, check out Bankrate’s How Much Should I Have in Savings at Each Age.