FINANCES : How much should I save?

Saving is a purely personal financial decision and no one should really be telling you how much to save out of your income because you are the driver of your own financial future. But there are a few things that can help you gauge if you are on the right track or not.

Saving is a purely personal financial decision and no one should really be telling you how much to save out of your income because you are the driver of your own financial future. But there are a few things that can help you gauge if you are on the right track or not.

Many experts set it at least ten percent of your income which is a good starting point, to save ten percent of your salary. It is an easy way to start, because it is a set amount of money each month. It shouldn’t be that difficult to save ten percent of your income, but you may want to increase this amount over time.

For example if you find that you can live relatively comfortably at 90% of income then you should try to raise the savings a little higher to 15% or 20% until you begin to feel the savings hurting a little bit.

A CNN Money Expert says that the only real way to tell if you’re actually headed toward a secure retirement is to do a more comprehensive analysis that takes into account such factors as how much you already have saved, how much you’re saving on a regular basis, how your money is invested and then forecasts a nest egg you’re likely to have and how much annual income you can reasonably draw from it in retirement.

For example, those in the 20s and 30s should stick to the 10% rule especially if they are single. The younger you are when you start, the longer your money will have time to grow.

This means you’ll need to set aside a lot less to reach the same goal than if you waited just a few more years to get started. If you get a pay rise instead of increasing your expenses consider increasing your savings. Learn to stash away any unexpected windfall like an annual bonus to your savings.

Learn to put savings into your monthly budget. In fact pay yourself first by making savings the first ‘expenditure’ or priority when you get your salary. If you have debts, you are safer putting more effort to reduce debt until when you are debt free then begin to build your savings or emergency fund so that now you don’t have to borrow to cover an emergency from others at an interest instead you borrow from your emergency fund, which should be three to six months of your monthly income.

A recent study by T. Rowe Price reveals most people need to set aside at least 15 percent of their pretax salary for their investments to replace 50 percent or more of their current salary in retirement. So, start saving early and you are already preparing for your retirement.

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