How much do you save each month? (401k/Personal Investment account)

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I’m trying to figure out a way to hit the ground running in terms of saving when I begin full time (planning on ER) and was interested to know how much everyone saves each month. It’d be especially helpful if you also listed how much you put towards your 401k (if there’s any employer match include that too), and how much you put into your own savings/investment accounts. I’d really appreciate it so I could try to be sure I’m saving enough as I start my career!

Feel free to use this outline below:

  • Job Title and Year/ Industry (ER/IB/AM/PE/HF etc)
  • 401k contribution per month (indicate if this includes employer match)
  • Personal investment portfolio contribution (per month or per year)

Comments (38)

 
May 18, 2020 - 12:06pm

Max out 401(k)
8% match
Put another 70% of base into savings and vanguard taxable account
Other 30% goes towards rent, vacations, meals, family, etc

Money can purchase freedom, if you have the guts to buy it
 
May 18, 2020 - 8:15pm

Same with 401k. I do about 80% and 20% respectively for the other things.

Reason why I'm so conservative, is because I drunkenly yolo-ed away all $45,000 of savings I had from my four college internships (two SAs) and high school jobs on super risky options during spring break my senior year of college.

Came out of that with $500. I learned a hard lesson that week.

 
May 18, 2020 - 12:07pm
  • 1st year IB analyst
  • $500 backdoor roth contribution per month
  • 3% 401k match thru employer
  • also invest $100-200 extra I have per month in a taxable brokerage account

Side note: I only do index investing in my portfolio and allocate accordingly: SP 500 25%, Midcap 25%, Smallcap 25%, Healthcare 10%, International 10%, Corp bonds 5%

I'm saving up for a new car, so it would be a lot more, but I think that's a good starting point for just starting out

 
May 18, 2020 - 12:23pm

The very first thing you should do is set aside 6 months of expenses in a high yield savings account as your emergency stash

This is what I've been doing:
* Max out 401k (8% employer match)
* Max out Roth IRA
* $1k per month into aftertax brokerage account
* $1k per month into high yield savings account (I like having liquidity)

 
May 18, 2020 - 6:52pm

thexfactor336:

This is what I've been doing:
* Max out 401k (8% employer match)
* Max out Roth IRA
* $1k per month into aftertax brokerage account
* $1k per month into high yield savings account (I like having liquidity)

WTF am I doing with my life, I should have gone CF, holy crap. I'd be overly content just with 2/4 of those.

 
  • VP in IB - Ind
May 19, 2020 - 2:33am

VP in IB
Was saving $4.5-5K/month in base + all of bonus pre COVID. 401K maxed out. With no eating out, drinking, vacation / trips - savings went to more like $7K-8K/month just on base. It’s kind of absurd.

SO makes enough $ so can share what I would say fairly low cost apt in Manhattan + trips, etc. Don’t have kids or other expensive things. MBA loan, which was fully financed paid off a while back.

Think right now I’m 70% stock / 401K (mostly vanilla index) and 30% cash. Didn’t go in at dip and also held back some before that knowing we are in 11 year bull run

Array
 
May 20, 2020 - 6:39pm

Ally was paying 2.3% last summer. Now it's 1.2% I believe. Rates have dropped significantly, but it's still better than 0.00001%

Money can purchase freedom, if you have the guts to buy it
 
Most Helpful
May 20, 2020 - 7:13pm

Manager in AM (I manage products and problems, not people)

Just enough to max the 401k match, which I think is 5%. The company can put in up to an extra 5% at their discretion at year end, but fat chance of that happening this year. The stock's down 50% YTD. The reason for this is the investments suck, and they're actually in the middle of being sued for it. (funny for an AM firm)

My primary personal card, which I put almost everything except rent on kicks me 2% back into an IRA each year. Given that I'd guess that I put about $30k on it, that's another $600. I sweep it into my Roth each December. (I'm not eligible for direct contributions)

My main goal recently has been to get my emergency fund up to $100k, not counting the $10-15k I keep in checking for liquidity. Under normal situations that would be closer to 24 months than 12, and if I buckle down, I'm sure that I could stretch it a good deal past 24. AM is scary right now, and despite being in the hottest part of it, I want to be safe.

I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
 
May 20, 2020 - 9:58pm

anabananaboat:

Which card is this?

Fidelity Retirement Rewards Visa. (used to be an AmEx) I really hate stumping for a card that is offered by a company that is in some ways our competitor, but I like it, and it doesn't have an annual fee. You don't get lounge access, but the lounges for my infrequent flights are crappy anyway.

I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
 
  • Investment Manager in HF - Macro
May 20, 2020 - 8:46pm

More senior in my career now, so the numbers are very different (but still max out my 401k and get a very good employer match).

When I started my career:

1) max out employer match and try to max out contributions. I think my first year I got close and was at $12k for the year and then ~$6k company match

2) $1k a month to a personal investment account. Used vanguard and just used some diversified funds.

In a high COL area it’ll be tough if you don’t have roommates. I had a roommate so spent $1,500 a month on rent, and didn’t spend a whole lot on entertainment until the weekends (and light travel, usually cheaper).

Array
 
May 21, 2020 - 11:37pm

I put 7% into my 401k (my employer matches up to 6% so a total of 13% savings there). I don't hit the contribution limit, but I am building up savings to make real estate purchase in the next 1-2 years.

~15% of post-tax base salary into savings/investment account

~13% of post-tax base salary into student loan payment (technically not savings, but will be once the student loan is paid off)

Aim to save ~65% of my post-tax bonus/stock award

Reading some of your replies, I feel like I'm def not saving enough. I do live in NYC so COL is high for me especially since I no longer live with room mates

 
May 22, 2020 - 9:32am

First year analyst in ER going to second year next month.

Roth 401k: $1k per month get $3k match + historically ~4.5% contribution in profit share (not expecting that much this year)

Throw another 3-5ish hundred bucks a month into savings account and will be banking 100% of whatever bonus I hopefully get this year.

Saved a lot more when I was in IB with higher pay and lower living expenses but I digress

 
May 22, 2020 - 11:28am

First year consultant.

In Europe, no 401k.

1200 in a set of ETFs every month.

Approximately 4k in emergency savings because I spent most of it on travel last summer.

Array
 
May 22, 2020 - 1:29pm

you all sound like FIRE advocates. do your peers save at this rate? Is your savings rate propelled by the # of hours youre working every week i.e. no time to spend money?

i'm genuinely amazed that you all save this much in tier 1/2 cities. i've never been a models and bottles guy and i've always had a roommate or partner splitting rent. I never came close to saving this amount pre-bonus

 
  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
May 22, 2020 - 1:41pm
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