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  • How Much Do you Save in a Month?

    My monthly savings record is embarassing. Tell me, how much are you able to save out of your disposable income in a month? What is your secret?

  • #2
    I save at least 21% of my gross and 50% of my wife's gross.

    What's our secret? Living below our means.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    Comment


    • #3
      Currently I'm able to save over 50% of my gross, but that's only because I'm on a temporary duty assignment right now and do not have to pay any housing expenses. Normally, I save 30-35% of my income.

      No secrets really, just living frugally and saving aggressively... I also save FIRST, and "make do" with what I have left. That way I can't forget to save, or not have the money to save.

      Developing habits as a saver is a very reassuring way to live, IMO... Knowing that you can afford more, but choosing not to. That way, when an unexpected expense comes up, or you decide you do want to spend your money on something expensive, you have the freedom to do so without going into debt.
      "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kork13 View Post
        I also save FIRST, and "make do" with what I have left.
        Very good point. I count savings as a required payment that must be made each month before anything else gets spent, no different than our mortgage or utility bills. It isn't optional. The amount isn't optional. It is a fixed "expense" in our budget.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


        • #5
          I save about a third of my take home pay. Some of that is short term savings that I intend to spend on vacations, furniture, or other irregular stuff, but most of it is for long term savings.

          The two secrets, I think, are to keep fixed expenses as low as possible, and to set up automatic transfers to your savings with every paycheck.

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          • #6
            I save about 20% of my gross income. In addition, I also live below my means and pay myself first, as was mentioned above.

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            • #7
              The "Pay Yourself First" principle really goes a long way for us. We put 6% to 401k contributions and 15% to employee stock straight out of my paycheck. Then we have $100 auto-transfers for short-term EF savings and IRA contributions.

              We used to let a lot of that money "leak" out of our budget by spending simply because the $ in our checking account didn't have a purpose. We'd see that we had a few hundred bucks more than we thought we would & decide to go out to eat (even though we really didn't plan/want/need to). We did plenty of things with our money simply because it was there & we didn't have another plan for it. Setting a savings plan & making it automatic really helped us out a LOT.

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              • #8
                About 30% of gross to long-term savings.

                Secret? The biggies are paying ourselves first and not living up to our means - for sure. Next would be buying a modest home (for our income) and paying cash for cars (that we can afford - even if very used). On top of that, we just tend to live a frugal lifestyles. I suppose another biggie is limiting monthly commitments. Besides our home(mortgage/property taxes) we don't have any financial commitments that we couldn't drop tomorrow, if need be. (We don't take on debts or sign contracts, etc.)

                We also never lived up to both our incomes. When my spouse and I both worked we saved 50%, easy peasy. Certainly never counted on the second income to pay any bills. Which is why we have been able to pay cash for everything and put a large down payment on our home. We weren't saving much of anything when he quit working 7 years ago, but I saved most of every raise, since.

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                • #9
                  MonkeyMama reminded me of another factor. We have always lived on my income alone. When we first got together, my wife was working full time. After we had our daughter, she became a SAHM for 10 years and has since gone back to work either full or part-time for the past few years (currently part-time). We've typically saved nearly all of any income she earns. Right now, 50% of her gross goes to her 401k which leaves very little take-home after taxes.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You saving heavyweights depress me... we clock in at paltry 11% of gross into liquid savings. If things go as planned (which they never do) and we're debt free by next Christmas then we can up that savings rate to 21% of gross!!! So close!!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by elessar78 View Post
                      You saving heavyweights depress me... we clock in at paltry 11% of gross into liquid savings.
                      I don't know about everyone else, but the numbers I gave are total savings, not just liquid savings. That includes retirement plans, non-retirement accounts, EF, college savings, everything.
                      Steve

                      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                        I don't know about everyone else, but the numbers I gave are total savings, not just liquid savings. That includes retirement plans, non-retirement accounts, EF, college savings, everything.
                        oh, well then we're at 23% of gross if you count retirement savings.

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                        • #13
                          I save about 40% of net take home pay. I have steadily increased my savings rate by listing all my expenses by categories in a spreadsheet(mortgage, food, transport, utilities, others, etc) and then I keep track of each expenditures. I also list maximum I can spend in each category monthly, next to amount spent. I then reduce the maximum over time (every few months) so I can cut out and reduce unneccessary expenses. In addition to the spreadsheet, I use Mint.com to keep track of all my expenses since I use credit and debit cards for all my expenses.

                          Some months I go over budget because of unforeseen expenses but by doing this, I know exactly how much I have spent each month and compare to previous months. Also, it's kind of fun seeing income go up due to increasing interest income and expenses decrease from reduced interest expense, leading to higher savings rate.

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                          • #14
                            Hadn't figured that up in a while. Made a formula in Excel on our budget: 34%. Like DS, that is ALL of our investments and savings combined.

                            The "how" is like most everyone else; live on less than we earn, do a monthly budget, etc etc.

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                            • #15
                              Wow! There's some real savers on here!

                              40%-50% of net. Paycheck #1 each month just about pays all the bills, then paycheck #2 gets saved.

                              It's a range because I deposit into Vanguard whatever isn't spent each month, & I decided that since the saving rate is 40% or more all the time, that's good enough & we aren't going to live on a super-strict budget where we save an exact dollar amount every pay period.

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