Analyst 1 in IB - Cov:

No. Take home after tax and 401k is $5.6k per month. Then after rent and saving, live on about $850


401K does not average to 5K a month lol considering the max

 

Living in NYC, save $500 per month and max 401k with bonus (less one big purchase). I travel a decent amount (particularly ski season), go out to dinner about once a week in addition to hitting bars, etc. Averaged just under $6.5k per month in expenses for 2023.

Could I be saving more? Probably. Is NYC dumb expensive? Yes. Do I want to live somewhere cheaper? Hell no.

Personally, I’m comfortable with my saving rate given most other professions you wouldn’t even get close to maxing out a 401k (at least in NYC). Yes, savings are important but that has to be balanced with living a happy life (especially in your early to mid-20s). Plus, if your goal is to stay within finance, you generally have decent visibility into future earning potential. So, if you keep lifestyle creep in check, you’ll be able to bank significantly more as you advance in your career (for a lucky few you might not even end up relying on your 401k).

 
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Threads like this are full of selection bias, and for anyone reading this, please do not feel bad when you are combing through. The kids who have saved the most are always going to be the most inclined to comment, and I think it meaningfully skews what people perceive as “average”. Most analysts do not live with their parents, and most also live in a HCOL city (NYC/LA/SF/CHI).

For example, I am an associate now, but in my analyst years in NYC, I did not save much aside from my bonus, and pretty much all my friends / roommates who worked in banking were in the same boat. Maybe I saved around $30k-$40k or something with 401k and bonus at the end of every year. Not a whole lot. Student loans, food, rent, and weekend entertainment drain your paychecks pretty quick and there is not much left over - maybe a few thousand at the end of the year if you are lucky. In my opinion, this is completely fine and one of the best things about finance is that pay scales considerably and anything saved in your analyst years will pale in comparison to earnings when you are more senior. You will never be able to get your early-mid 20’s back, so enjoy them.

There also seems to be a huge obsession on here with achieving a net worth of X at Y age, but the reality is, if you are relatively smart with your money and and also do not forego spending some cash every now and then, you will probably enjoy much better career longevity versus if you were to solely focus on saving.

 

Exactly why I commented my $500/month above. Seeing the comments about $2k+ is just completely unrealistic if you have any semblance of a life in a HCOL.

I have my entire life to live in a slower paced cheaper city, but in my 20s I’m gonna live it up in a city I love and still bank more than the average American.

 

I've been putting 15% into my 401k (~$19k) + company match. Then I'm saving about $500 per month on top of that (~$6k annually). My first bonus I spent entirely on paying off my student loans. My second bonus will predominately go towards a future down payment + some fun things (small trip, nice dinner, etc.). Hoping the after-tax + fun things amount is $25k+.

Fortunate to no longer have student loans, about $45k in retirement accounts, 6-months of emergency savings, and then ~$15k of liquidity. I'm hoping to leave the industry in a year or so and hope this provides a nice saving foundation. 

 

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