How do your saving habits compare?

While most Americans save, it can be a challenge to put aside enough for our goals. Here’s how our savings habits break down.

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How much we save

Not as much as we used to:
In the 1960s the U.S. personal savings rate was 11%; in January 2017 it was 5.5%.

11%
1960

9.7%
1985

5.5%
2017

Experts recommend saving at least 10% of your income. If that sounds tough, start with 1% and build from there.

Who saves the most

In 2013, the Federal Reserve asked Americans about their savings habits. Younger Americans reported saving more.

People between 18 and 29 said they save 11% of income.

Those over 30 reported saving 8% of income.

Source: Federal Reserve, “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2013”

But older Americans are better prepared for emergencies. The Fed survey asked respondents if they had rainy day funds that could cover 3 months’ worth of expenses.

33%
18–29

33%
30–44

34%
45–59

56%
60+

Age

Source: Federal Reserve, “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2013”

If you don’t have enough for a rainy day, these tips can help you jump-start your emergency fund. (Link: https://bettermoneyhabits.bankofamerica.com/en/saving-budgeting/emergency-fund-tips)

Once you’ve started, keep saving until you reach 3–9 months’ worth of expenses. (Link: https://bettermoneyhabits.bankofamerica.com/en/saving-budgeting/determining-your-emergency-savings-amount)

Men and women save differently. A 2010 study that looked at personal savings habits by gender showed women focus more on short- and medium-term savings goals.

31% Short-term 43%
48% Medium-term 46%
21%
Long-term 12%
Source: Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, “Gender Differences in Personal Saving Behaviors,” 2010

Why we save

Even if Americans save in different ways, many of us have the same goals:

58%
Retirement

53%
Unexpected expenses

49%
Just to save

13%
Home purchase

21%
Children

Source: Federal Reserve, “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2013”

Ways we save

While there are a number of strategies to get started saving, the America Saves initiative says the most effective way to save money is automatically. Many Americans are already doing that.

39% Use direct payroll deposit

25% Use automatic transfers

Source: America Saves, 2016

The first move can be the hardest. These tips can help you get started saving. (Link: https://bettermoneyhabits.bankofamerica.com/en/saving-budgeting/how-to-start-saving-money)

Close Disclaimer
The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment options.

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