How are doing on your savings plan? According to a recent survey by MagnifyMoney, Americans are still accumulating more debt than savings. While the median savings account balance is $4,830, 29% of American households have less than $1,000 in savings.
The amount saved varies greatly by age group:
- Millennials have about $2,430 in savings.
- Generation X has about $15,780.
- Baby boomers have the most saved at $24,280.
In addition to low savings, Americans are expected to increase their debt burden by $5,000 to $25,000 in 2018.
For Americans who reported having savings accounts, the majority said their savings were in a retirement account rather than a regular savings account that could be easily accessed in an emergency. Unexpected emergencies are often the cause of the increase in debt. To combat this tendency, you should have an emergency fund of at least $1,000 in a regular savings account.
Having trouble saving? Here are some practical tips:
- Walk around your home and honestly look at your possessions. If you are like me, there are many items that you don’t use anymore. Take a picture of each item and post it “for sale” on Craig’s List, NextDoor, Facebook or some other social media. When you are looking for items to sell, don’t forget the closets and storage rooms!
- If you buy a daily coffee at your favorite coffee shop, commit to doing it only two days a week instead of seven. Put the money you save into your savings account.
- When you plan your evening meal, plan for leftovers you can take for your lunch the next day. With most meals purchased at a restaurant cost $10-$12 or more, your daily savings can add up quickly.
Having adequate savings can be a stress-reliever as you know you won’t be in major trouble due to a job loss, sickness, or other emergency. Start bulking up your savings now so you’ll be prepared should the need arise. Need more ideas on how to save? Check out this blog or reach out. I’d love to talk with you more!
Judith Ackland has more than 26 years of experience in accountancy and financial planning, including seventeen years as a CFO of a diverse business. She started Crystal Financial in 2010 to help a wide array of individuals, families, and business owners better understand their finances and how good financial management could help them achieve their goals. Judith has an MA in Professional Accountancy from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as well as a Certified Public Accountant Certificate and a Certified Financial Planner designation.