How much savings should I have?
This depends on what you want to do with your money or for your money to do for you.
If you don’t know how much is enough or think more is the answer, you might find that it’s a never-ending worry.
Figuring out your financial Goldie locks formula might help remove a lot of anxiety and sleepless nights wondering how much savings you should have.
Not too little, not too much, but just the right amount for your situation.
Enough to ride out any storms, enough so you can make good choices and enough that helps you do the things you love.
Read on to hear how you can figure out how much savings is enough for you.
Table of Contents
Figure out what you want your money to do for you.
Now, this might sound a little strange “I want my money to make me rich, of course”.
Ok, so how rich?
And what will you be doing with the money, and how will this make you happy?
Some core things that money can help with
- Feelings of safety
- Feeling like you have options
Now before anyone gets triggered, let’s go through these slowly.
Feelings of safety = if you felt like you had enough savings when things go wrong, you wouldn’t need to panic because you have funds to prevent, mitigate or recover from the problem.
- House or car repairs
- Medical bills
- Sudden or unexpected expenses.
Options = similar to the above if you have savings, you have more options
- Take that course
- Take a break from work or work part-time
- Take that holiday
- Buy that thing instead of the other one
Money can help with happiness too.
“BUT BUT I thought money couldn’t buy happiness”.
No, it can’t, but it can help with the things that do bring happiness. If you have enough savings, it can help towards the below.
- More free time with family and friends
- The ability to say yes and no to things that add or take away from your happiness.
- Do the things, visit the places, learn the skills you have always wanted to
- To support others that need your help.
- Take some risks, change jobs, start a business without worrying about where the next paycheck will come from.
If your money isn’t helping towards your happiness, your probably not using it correctly.
If you want your money to help you feel safer, give you more options, improve your happiness, and then read on to see how this might happen for you.
Consider immediate vs long term needs
Figuring out when and for what you might need savings will be a good starting point to understand how much savings you need.
What are your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly needs? Write these number down.
Do you track these numbers to understand what is going on?
If not, this might be part of the problem you don’t know how much you need.
If you lost your job, how much money would you need to survive a month or a few months?
A standard amount of money often recommended in an emergency fund is 3-6 months of living costs.
You might want to adjust this up or down give your circumstances
- If you have significant debts
- If you have a single source of income
- How easy you think it might be to find another job
- If you are expecting a global pandemic
- How easily you want to sleep at night
Having a spending plan will help identify what is needed, when and how much to help you understand how much savings you need.
There are plenty of free and paid-for apps out there now that will help with the process. Tracking what has happened but also helping you steer where your money goes in the future.
Are there things out there in the future that you want to see, do or be? How much money might these cost?
- The around the world trip
- The course you have always wanted to do
- Making a career pivot
- Working part-time
- Starting that side hustle
- Making work optional one day(!!)
Plotting these on a timeline can help you understand when you need the money and how much you need to start saving now to get there.
Remember, this will always be a balance between what you want right now and what you want most.
- Cake vs six pack abbs
- More free time or more stuff
- Yolo youth vs poverty in your old age
Balancing between the current you and the unknown older you may be tricky, but one way or another, you will end up inheriting the good, bad and ugly decisions made along the way.
Build a plan to achieve more of what's important to you
Mapping your likely immediate and long-terms needs might see you identify what’s important to you and needs saving for.
- Immediate 1-2 years
- Intermediate 2-5 years
- Long-term 10 years and up
With this rough time scale and list of things you need and might want (yes, you can save for things you just want also), you can start to understand how much saving you should have to achieve more of what’s important to you.
What are your goals across your life?
Are there things you would like to achieve across the many areas of your life?
- Physical – vibrant health and wellbeing
- Social – friends, family and love life
- Material – financial freedom
- Spiritual – purposeful living
- Mental – achieving authentic happiness.
- Emotional – feeling alive and fantastic.
Would having savings help towards these?
Writing down a few key things, you would like to achieve or experience or support might help give you the motivation and direction to look for ways to save more.
Figure out where the savings with come from
Ok, so yes, we all get that savings are essential, and the more you have, the more options you likely have.
But where will they come from?
You could do one or all of these to find ways to cut, out, cut back, change or create more savings
- Shop around for cheaper versions
- Cut out what you no longer need or want
- Cut back on the number of or frequency you buy things.
- Increase the money coming in, work more, find a way to get paid more or create a new source of income.
With the previously mentioned spending plan, you will see where your money is going and if there are ways to give your money better jobs to do.
All your money should be given jobs to do
- Keep the lights on, water running, food on the table
- Provide the right clothes for the right time of year
- To give you the time and means to meet up with friend and family
- And create options for you now and in the future.
It might also be the case that some of your monies job is to be wasted – let’s just hope it’s not too much of your money that’s sent to do that.
Paying yourself first is one of the best ways to create savings. It’s also a straightforward way to give your money, one of its most important jobs.
Giving you a safety net, creating options, keeping you comfortable and giving you independence now or in the future, i.e., early or later retirement/ making work optional if you prefer that wording.
FAQ: How much savings should I have?
How much does the average person have in savings?
- On average, women have just over £6k in their savings and men a little over double this
- But seriously, what has that got to do with you and what you might need?
How much should a single person have in savings?
- Enough to last without an income for at least 3-6 months
- Enough to start building options now and plan for the future
How much savings should I have at 35?
- Enough to last without an income for at least 3-6 months
- Enough to create options now and plan for the future
What should I do with 20k in savings?
You could do one or all of these depending on where the £20k sits within your overall finances.
- Save it
- Spend it
- Invest it
- Give it away
- It all depends what you want to achieve with this extra money
Is 100k in savings a lot?
How much money should I have saved by 25 UK?
- Enough to cover 3-6 months expenses
- Enough to build towards the things you really want in life
How much savings should I have at 40?
Summary: How much savings should I have?
Figure out what you want your money to do for you
If you have an idea of this, it will help you understand how much savings you need.
3-6 months of livings costs in savings is likely to help ride out any emergencies; what else would you like your money to do for you and when?
Figure out you’re immediate vs long-term needs
What do you need this week, month and year to have a comfortable life?
What might you need in the next 5-10 years, and how much might you need to make work optional one day?
With these estimates, it’s going to help you understand how much you need to save every month.
It’s going to be a balance between your current self and your future self, don’t let either one screw over the other one.
Figure out your goals, what actions you need to take, what money you will need and execute the plan.
Review the progress and adjust accordingly. It’s ok to zigzag to the right place.
Figure out where the savings will come from
Will they come from cutting back, cutting out, shopping around to get the best prices?
Automate your savings to pay yourself first, remove the weakest link in the savings process, you!
Create more sources of income with side hustles, some you like doing, have skills in, the world needs and people will pay you for.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on how much savings should I have? Let me know yours in the comments below.
- Is your life, job and financial admin in a mess?
- One or two months away from financial disaster if you quit?
- Not enough time or money to achieve what’s most important to you?
- No idea how to plan, save and invest to become financially secure?
What’s likely to be the outcome if you don’t make some serious financial plans and start saving?
Without making some clear plans you are at real risk of having nothing to fall back on when things change for the worse.
Financial life coaching and planning will give you the support, guidance, and accountability you need to succeed with money and life building your savings and wealth.
- Get you financially organised
- Build your savings cushion for when things go wrong
- Help you figure out how much money is enough
- Help you understand and build wealth to never run out of money
Start building your money confidence now because waiting will only make it more expensive and painful to achieve later.
Plan, build and enjoy your money.
Taking you from life and financial crisis to happiness.
Contact us here for a free chat about building your money confidence and what options you might have for creating wealth in every area of your life.