Let’s be real — money can feel really, really complicated… but a lot of it is significantly simpler than you might think. While things like investments, interest rates and debt can quickly get complicated, money in terms of financial health is actually more achievable and understandable than a lot of us give it credit for.
However, understanding that money is actually kind of simple doesn’t get in the way of questions — and one of the biggest questions we consistently hear people ask is an important one: “How much should I have saved?” Luckily, the answer to this (while not completely cut and dry) is actually relatively simple, too.
Here’s what you need to know:
How much to keep in savings
When it comes to saving money, there are at least 2 major categories to pay attention to: emergency savings and retirement savings. While you can definitely have additional savings areas (and should) around things like fun and travel, prioritizing emergency savings and retirement savings is paramount.
The exact amount of money to keep in your savings accounts is completely personal to you, but there are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind:
Obviously, saving for retirement takes a long time — and, in fact, saving for retirement is a career-long endeavor for most people. This is where we recommend digging deep into your own finances and even working with a financial advisor to create a lasting plan that works. However, remember: once you have a number and a plan, you can work backwards and simplify it from there.
So bottom line is there’s no hard and fast number for how much you should have saved. But there are a few guidelines you can follow to set yourself up for success. Most of the time, the complication around savings comes from comparison — especially when you start to talk about and think about the amount of money that different people around the world have. This can be incredibly frustrating and disappointing sometimes – especially at a younger age — but it’s important to remember one thing over anything else: every life is different, which means that every financial situation is different, too.
When you can truly remember that your finances are individual and create situations and plans based on your needs (and those of your family’s), everything changes — in the best kind of way.