13 Women Reveal How Much They Really Have in Their Savings Accounts at Age 25

Photo credit: Katie Buckleitner From Cosmopolitan If it feels too weird to ask your friends

Photo credit: Katie Buckleitner
Photo credit: Katie Buckleitner

From Cosmopolitan

If it feels too weird to ask your friends how much money they have in savings, I get it. Though I believe the world would be a better place if we all were up front about how much we make, spend, and save, we’re not there yet.

So it makes sense if you’re out here turning to Google to figure out whether your savings account balance is within a normal range for your age. But let me clarify something for you real quick: There’s really no magic number of exactly how much cash you should have saved by age 25. “Savings is a very personal thing and varies greatly depending on what you make, what you spend, and how much debt you carry,” says Maria Kapolas-Pollina, financial health digital product solutions lead at Chase.

A good rule of thumb is saving 10 percent of each paycheck, Kapolas-Pollina says. If you get a raise or bonus, you can always up that percentage. It’s also a good idea to open up a separate high-interest savings account so you can’t tap into savings for things like online shopping or takeout.

Another smart goal to work toward is saving three to six months’ worth of your salary or three to six months’ worth of expenses, says Kapolas-Pollina. That’s especially helpful during an economic downturn (like RTFN) when your job could be at risk.

Get started by making a list of everything you spend money on, prioritizing your monthly “needs” from car insurance to student loan payments to rent (aim to spend less than 30 percent of your income on housing each month, Kapolas-Pollina adds). Then jot down all the “nice to have” items. When you see it in writing, the areas where you can save more might be even clearer.

Here, 13 25-year-old women reveal exactly how much money they have in their savings accounts, how they invest, and what they wish they knew about managing their money. Of course, what works for these women may not work for you, depending on your career and life goals. Read on for their candid financial confessions and savvy saving tips.

$15,000

“I make 48,000 a year. Before getting my current job, I worked a couple of part-time gigs after college, which made it more difficult to build up a significant amount of savings.”

What’s a trick you use to save money?

“I make a budgeting spreadsheet at the start of each year, mapping out my expenses. I also try to give myself a day or two before buying something, asking myself, Do I really need this? And also, I try to only order out on weekends.”

What do you wish you could improve about your saving habits?

“I wish that I would’ve started saving earlier so that I had a better cushion before entering the full-time workforce.” —Dany*, Massachusetts

$34,000

“I make $49,000 a year. I just finished my master’s degree and, as a teacher, spent some time saving up before moving into an apartment last year.”

What’s a trick you use to save money?

“I try to take a portion of each paycheck and add it into an account that I don’t touch for any spending purposes. I usually put $150 of each paycheck in there so I’m not tempted to touch it. My employer lets you split paychecks, so that money goes into an account before I ever get it in my hands. It helps me know I’m at least saving something with each paycheck.”

What do you wish you could improve about your saving habits?

“I would like to be better about tracking my spending. I’ve tried to set up spreadsheets to track how much I spend each month, but it’s too much to write everything I spend money on into the spreadsheet.” —Lauren*, Pennsylvania

$3,000

“I make $70,000 a year. At this point, I have about 5 percent of my salary saved, but I would like to be closer to 20 percent. I’ve always been advised to keep about six months’ salary in a savings account.”

What’s a trick you use to save money?

“One trick I’ve learned is the 50/20/30 budget rule: That’s 50 percent needs, 20 percent savings, and 30 percent wants. Needs would be static monthly bills and payments, like rent and utilities, and wants would be leisure, travel, and dining out. Clearly, I’m not at the 20 percent savings state yet, but I want to get there by the end of the year.”

What do you wish you could improve about your saving habits?

“Moving forward, I’m hoping to reach $20,000 in savings. I’m only about 10 percent of the way there, but social distancing has helped me to minimize going out to eat and having drinks at bars. Minimizing online shopping has also helped me mitigate additional and/or unnecessary expenses, therefore helping me move that money into my savings account.” —Monica, Connecticut

$4,089.71

“My salary, $94,000, is made up of base pay and bonuses. I also have $8,586.66 in my 401(k) and $814.12 in my Roth IRA.”

What’s a trick you use to save money?

“The easiest thing I do is [transfer however much I’ll put into my savings] the night before payday. It’s so easy to keep that money in checking and use it on something silly, but I’m more responsible about it if I transfer. I also alternate no-spending months. January, March, May, July, September, November are all months I don’t spend anything on unnecessary meals out, online purchases, etc.”

What do you wish you could improve about your saving habits?

“I wish I could find consistency so that I had a better idea of what I was saving every year. Although I am methodical, the actual dollar amount I currently put away is incredibly variable. It’s working but it’s hard to project or plan this way.” —Dannie, Michigan

$3,415.49

“Of that savings, around $1,300 is invested on Betterment.com. Seven hundred of that is in a short-term savings fund, and $600 of that is in a Roth IRA. My employer doesn’t do a 401(k) match, so I don’t contribute to a company 401(k) at all. My salary is $40,000”

What’s a trick you use to save money?

“I use a budgeting app called EveryDollar to keep track of my expenses. I have tried others, like Mint, but I don’t like apps that are tied to my accounts and record things automatically. Actively having to record everything I buy helps me be more aware of my spending. I also try to save at least 10 percent of every paycheck before doing anything else. I don’t subscribe to anything that I am not 100 percent sure I will at least break even on. For example, I’d cancel my MoviePass if I didn’t see at least two movies a month.”

What do you wish you could improve about your saving habits?

“I’d like to learn more about investing so I can play an active role in where my money is instead of just letting an app do it for me.” —Amanda, New York City

$7,000

“I worked for three years and saved $20,000 for a down payment on a house. My current. salary is $50,000. I sacrificed a lot of happy hours, parties, and travel, but it was worth it. I now live in a gorgeous two-bedroom home and know everything I gave up for those three years was not in vain.”

What’s a trick you use to save money?

“I downloaded Goodbudget on my iPhone and use it to track my money habits. I create a budget, put a dollar amount for different categories, log my expenses, and can easily see if I’ve stayed within my limit or gone over. Sunday afternoons have become my day to go through my finances and review where I’m at with savings.”

What do you wish you could improve about your saving habits?

“I wish I had started saving for retirement with my first job rather than waiting until my third. If I had started an IRA account earlier, I would have more set aside for retirement than I do now. Retirement saving isn’t usually something we think about in our 20s, but the earlier we start, the more money we will have for later. Now, I have an IRA and a 401(k) and I do the full amount to get the match with my 401(k). If you don’t use the match, it’s like saying no to free money.” —Elizabeth*, Texas

$2,116.34

“A year ago, I had over $16,000 in there, but after self-funding my own business and buying a van to travel the country, it’s been nearly wiped clean. Hopefully, I’ll be able to start adding to it again soon, because it’s kind of scary to be a broke entrepreneur. I make $32,000 a year.”

What’s a trick you use to save money?

“I believe in paying myself first, which means putting money in my savings account is just as mandatory as paying my phone bill or buying food. It’s a nonnegotiable part of my budget and part of my mindset.”

What do you wish you could improve about your saving habits?

“I wish I were making more money so that I could put more back into savings. Starting a retirement fund would also be a good idea, but I have no idea how to do so when self-employed.” —Callee, Georgia

$20,350

“My salary is $85,000 and I get a $6,000 bonus every year. I have another $26,000 in investments as well.”

What’s a trick you use to save money?

“I don’t auto-transfer money with my paychecks, but I do try to move money over to savings after my checking account gets above a certain threshold. I also use an app called Acorns, which hooks up to your debit card. It automatically rounds up your purchases to the next dollar and invests the difference for you. It’s an easy way to save without even realizing you’re doing it.”

What do you wish you could improve about your saving habits?

“Having a budget and trying to stick to it. This is something I haven’t mastered yet! I’d like to have a budget for each category and then have an amount left over to put into savings each month.” —Brit, California

$11,000

“I prefer to have a minimum of $7,000 to $10,000 in my savings account. I live with a chronic illness, and the threat of an emergency room or hospital visit wiping me out means I have to keep a larger amount available. I’m also stashing cash for the day when I age out of my parents’ insurance in a year. If I hadn’t begun building my nest egg in high school, this wouldn’t be possible. Right now, I make $14 an hour working 11- to 12-hour days”

What’s a trick you use to save money?

“I choose not to have a car, which eliminates car payment, gas, insurance, maintenance, and the $200/month cost of parking at my work. Aside from my major expenses like rent, food, and insurance, I try to only use cash. I decide how much I have to spend between pay periods, withdraw it in cash, and force myself to stretch it until my next check comes in. Turns out it’s much harder to spend money when you literally don’t have it on you.”

What do you wish you could improve about your saving habits?

“I wish that I were able to reduce my purchases on food, makeup, and other small indulgences. While I try to be frugal, I find that impulse control is hardest when the dollar amounts are relatively small.” —Claire, Los Angeles

$51,000

“The large base of my savings came from inheritance from a grandparent. I make $51,000 a year and contribute 1.75 percent of my paycheck directly to my 401(k) and also have $5,500 in a traditional IRA. I also make $3,000 in side hustles.”

What’s a trick you use to save money?

“I direct-deposit 15 percent of my paycheck immediately into savings. It’s easy, automatic, and keeps me from feeling like I have more to spend than I actually do. I also shop sales [and secondhand clothing] from eBay or Poshmark.

“I save and contribute to charities first and budget [for myself] with my remaining money. Saving and giving is a nonnegotiable for me, so I make sure that happens automatically on the day I get paid. This keeps my spending from leaking into my savings. I also use Mint to budget.”

What do you wish you could improve about your saving habits?

“I’m definitely a small splurger. I like pretty things and good food. I envy those who put their heads down and save all their extra money. I’d like to do that a bit and be able to travel more.” —Holly*, Los Angeles

$15,000

“I had $18,000 but just came back from a 35-day trip to Europe. I make $52,000 a year, and commuted all four years of college, so living at home while working allowed me to set aside that much.”

What’s a trick you use to save money?

“Ever since I’ve worked, I split my paycheck four ways: 25 percent is for my car payment, 25 percent for my loan payment, 25 percent goes into my savings account, and I keep 25 percent on my card for use. Once my car and loans were eventually paid off, I only gave myself $500 max until the next paycheck and then put the rest into savings.”

What do you wish you could improve about your saving habits?

“My current job doesn’t offer benefits, so I have no 401(k) or Roth IRA or even know the difference between them! I have a savings account and plan to move some of that over to one of those soon.” —Marissa, Los Angeles

$218.06

“My investment accounts have more than $16,000, but I don’t plan on touching that anytime soon. I don’t see the point of having money sit in a place where it won’t grow. I make $75,000 a year.”

What’s a trick you use to save money?

“Every paycheck I receive, I have 10 percent automatically taken out and put into work-sponsored retirement accounts. If I don’t see the money in my account, I’m less likely to spend it. I also have biweekly deductions taken out of my checking account to be deposited into this app called Wealthfront. I’m also utilizing the ‘round up’ feature through the Acorns app.”

What do you wish you could improve about your saving habits?

“Sometimes I think about really cutting back on my food and dining expenses, especially after receiving emails from my credit cards that bucket your purchases into categories. It’s like, Whoa, how did I spend that much at restaurants last month? But at the end of the day, I’m more focused on increasing my income than saving more. That way, the automatic 10 percent becomes more and more significant and all my savings become increasingly significant.” —Sabrina, Chicago

$0

“I have absolutely nothing in my savings account. I live in the Bay Area and work three jobs, making $15,000 a year, and still can’t keep up. At one point, I had money in my savings account, but then I broke my back and had to use the money for medical bills. Even dipping into my savings, I wasn’t able to completely pay off the bills, which put me into debt. Since then, I haven’t had enough income to save.”

What’s a trick you use to save money?

“I find volunteer opportunities to access the things I want to do. For example, I volunteer at music festivals, usher at a music venue, and volunteer with a program supporting youth climbing for access to a rock-climbing gym. I believe in giving my time in exchange for fun things that I normally would not be able to afford.”

What do you wish you could improve about your saving habits?

I wish I could put money aside directly into a savings account each month that I don’t touch. However, my bills and the cost of living in the Bay Area are so high that it makes it impossible to do so.” —Asehli, California

*Names have been changed.

You Might Also Like

Source Article