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  • #46
    Three kids, t-ball, church camp, worn-out Explorer, IRS, braces, shoes, Christmas, Valentine's Day, snacks....did I mention the kids?

    Maybe a couple hundred bucks a month.

    Jeff

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    • #47
      My savings rate is different every month because of various expenses. For example, I took a $7K vacation in December, so my savings rate in that month was negative. When I average out all expenses over a year, my average savings rate comes out to 38% of gross income, which includes 401K and after-tax savings.

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      • #48
        Our monthly average savings is around 20% of our net income
        Last edited by watsoninc; 01-16-2010, 05:22 AM.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by safari View Post
          My savings rate is different every month because of various expenses.
          I think that is true of everyone. The number I gave was our annual average.
          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.

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          • #50
            1/3 of gross (this includes retirement savings). It is all done through automatic deductions and tranfers. Once I started thinking of my income as the remainder after this, it became really easy to maintain.

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            • #51
              We have so many different income streams and our income varies so much that I always find this hard to calculate. I think the main thing is we're always saving at least 15 percent of gross to retirement, and we usually save another 15-20 percent toward short-term big expenses like annual insurance premiums. Our college savings for our son are more erratic. We save a tiny amount monthly and tend to boost those accounts with windfalls. We keep a lot more in cash than many people because our income is so irregular, and because I have health issues that mean I occasionally have to take medical leave and stop working for a few months at a time.

              To anyone who is feeling intimidated by the high savings rates of many people on this site:
              Don't compare yourself to somebody who is saving 30, 40, 50 percent of their gross. Most of those people worked up to that point slowly over years of making lifestyle and career choices, paying down debt, etc. Also, I think there are some savers on here who earn modest salaries and save incredible amounts, but also a lot of those folks who talk about saving 50 percent of their income earn waaaay more than I do. I admire those people for not giving in to the pressure to be high spenders just cause they're high earners. That is hard to resist. Those people get major props. But if you earn $30,000 per year, you are going to have a lot harder time saving 30 percent of your income than someone who lives a mile away from you but earns $300,000 per year.

              If you are saving nothing or very little, start tracking your income and expenses carefully, start looking for ways to reduce your spending, and start saving. If you can start out only saving 1 percent of your income, that's better than nothing. Build on that steadily and in a few years you are going to be on here telling everybody you save 20, 30, 40 percent of your income, and all the newbies are going to be asking you how you do it.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by TBH View Post
                Don't compare yourself to somebody who is saving 30, 40, 50 percent of their gross. Most of those people worked up to that point slowly over years of making lifestyle and career choices, paying down debt, etc.

                a lot of those folks who talk about saving 50 percent of their income earn waaaay more than I do. I admire those people for not giving in to the pressure to be high spenders just cause they're high earners.
                Both are excellent points, and both happen to describe my wife and I.

                When we were first married in 1992 and started saving in an organized fashion, we were saving 6% of our take-home pay. As my income rose, we gradually increased that, first switching to 6% of gross, then bumping that up periodically: 7%, 10%, 11%, etc. until we reached the current level of 21% of my gross. When my wife went back to work nearly 3 years ago, we immediately signed her up for the 401k contributing 50% of her gross, since we live just fine on my income. 50% was the max allowed or else we would have done 100%. So it has definitely been a process that has evolved over the years.

                As for earning larger incomes, that's us, too. We earn over 100K but we don't live like most families with 6-figure incomes. I'm a physician but periodically, someone I've been friendly with for quite some time is surprised to discover that. Why? Because we don't lead the lifestyle that most associate with physicians and attorneys and other high-income earners. My partner drives a brand new BMW. I drive a 1998 Toyota Camry. Many of my colleagues have McMansions. My wife and I live in a modest colonial built in 1964. When my doctor friends take their families to Disney World, they stay at the Grand Floridian or Yacht Club. When we go, we drive down and stay in a rented condo off property spending about the same amount for a week as those folks are spending for 2 nights.

                We have no debt except for a modest mortgage (92K). We have some luxuries and splurges but overall, we are pretty frugal given our income. We've always made a conscious effort not to increase our spending and elevate our lifestyle to match our income, which is how we've gradually increased that saving percentage for 6% of take home to more than 21% of gross.
                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.

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                • #53
                  An actual number for savings might be easier to swallow than percentages.
                  LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by TBH View Post

                    To anyone who is feeling intimidated by the high savings rates of many people on this site:
                    Don't compare yourself to somebody who is saving 30, 40, 50 percent of their gross. Most of those people worked up to that point slowly over years of making lifestyle and career choices, paying down debt, etc. Also, I think there are some savers on here who earn modest salaries and save incredible amounts, but also a lot of those folks who talk about saving 50 percent of their income earn waaaay more than I do. I admire those people for not giving in to the pressure to be high spenders just cause they're high earners. That is hard to resist. Those people get major props. But if you earn $30,000 per year, you are going to have a lot harder time saving 30 percent of your income than someone who lives a mile away from you but earns $300,000 per year.

                    .

                    I'd agree here, I save a lot now. I make way more than what I need to live a modest lifestyle. But I also spent the entirety of my 20's flat broke, in debt and not a penny to my name, barely getting by. I made it through that, and will never be in that position again.

                    I am frugal within reason, but more important - the lesson learned from that time in my life is how important it is for me to be aggressive with savings. It is a bill to me, and non-negoitiable.

                    I have learned how to balance savings with not depriving myself of anything that is important to me, and doing everything in moderation. However, what I won't compromise is having a minimum savings of 30%. For me, if I am not saving at least that bare minimum than I'm not really trying.

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                    • #55
                      Currently still at about 58%. I'm content with my budget, don't skimp on things I really like, but I don't think I'll be able to maintain this level for long either. We'll see....

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Broken Arrow View Post
                        Currently still at about 58%.
                        I'm jealous. I wish I could do this but my wife and daughter would never go for it. I know I could do something in that range if I was single but not with others to answer to.
                        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


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by TBH View Post
                          To anyone who is feeling intimidated by the high savings rates of many people on this site:
                          Don't compare yourself to somebody who is saving 30, 40, 50 percent of their gross. Most of those people worked up to that point slowly over years of making lifestyle and career choices, paying down debt, etc.
                          Also, there may be compelling or unique circumstances that may affect your savings rate. For example, we give 10% of our income away to our church, so we would be saving more if this wasn't our priority.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by watsoninc View Post
                            Also, there may be compelling or unique circumstances that may affect your savings rate. For example, we give 10% of our income away to our church, so we would be saving more if this wasn't our priority.
                            10% of gross or net?

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                            • #59
                              My wife and I disagree on this one. We give 10% of my net and 10% of her gross. We are both switching jobs later this year, so hopefully we will get a cohesive system together.

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                              • #60
                                30% not including 401ks and roth IRAs

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