How much of your salary do you save?

CHEMGRAD's picture
Rank: Monkey | 54

Just curious, how much of ones salary should someone save percentage wise? is it worth being frugal as possible? Places like London and new York have ridiculous rent rates, do you even have much to save after paying these?

Comments (92)

Aug 21, 2014

My experience - saved nothing before I got to around 29 - 30. Spent a fair amount of my income on lifestyle and toys (mainly expensive electronic music hardware back before you could do a lot of stuff on software).

    • 1
Aug 21, 2014

no models and bottles?
son i am disappoint

happy to give advice; no asking for referrals please

    • 1
Aug 21, 2014

more spliffs and pills

Aug 21, 2014

not even 401k? you beast!

Aug 21, 2014

Similar to @"SSits", little until I was in my later 20's. Even if you make decent money in this line of work you tend to live in expensive cities. I wanted to do some traveling and took a little bit of time off between things. I've always enjoyed food so I probably spent far more at restaurants than one should and I'd rather enjoy myself than work my ass off and live like a pauper. That's not to say I was living paycheck to paycheck and I wouldn't recommend regularly doing lines of blow off a stripper's belly and washing it down with vintage champagne.

Aug 21, 2014

good insights lads, It just seems I cant bring myself to move away from my student ways. Always looking for the bargin/ best deal. Suppose it helps knowing I have my wedding next year to pay for..

I just don't get how people can afford to go to business school without saving , here in the UK (as far as my limited knowledge goes) we don't have a lot of funding or finance options to just drop that sort of money.

Aug 21, 2014

This is like me. I'm just heading into FT IB now (outside the US) and want to do an MBA in the US - not a big fan of lots of debt, and I am pretty sure I'd have a relatively tough time borrowing money anyway as an international student, so I will be saving ~40% of my after tax income - so I can pay for my MBA (and possibly JD) in full if necessary, and after 3 years of work.

Before people chime in and say that's impossible or you'll live paycheck to paycheck etc - where I am, base salaries are ~1.5x US IB base salaries (but bonuses are lower). Lots of room to move.

    • 1
Aug 21, 2014

fair play to you mate, 40 % sounds a lot. Do you pay your own rent? my mate has a pretty decent IB gig and still chooses to live at home. He is saving a serious amount of money. Dude doesnt even party hard and gets cooked meals from his mum- literally doesn't touch hes salary. I don't know how he can stand remaining at home.

Aug 21, 2014

Captain Debt is here to tell you all of the wondrous things that debt can do for you! Seriously though, I finance anything and everything I possibly can. If I can buy a 1MM asset and finance it that returns around 15% a year with a 5% cost of capital and 20% down, and then turn around and buy a car for 100k at 6% I am pretty much breaking even after all debt payments are being made and I am driving around in a 100k car. That pretty much beats buying a 40k car and having a payment to make on it.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

    • 1
Aug 21, 2014

How do people out there not max out their 401k match? It's leaving free money on the table!

Competition is a sin.

-John D. Rockefeller

Aug 21, 2014

Not everyone makes enough money to do that, or should I say they don't think they make enough money to do that. Besides when you are 25 that BMW is far more important than that extra 1k for retirement.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Aug 21, 2014

I did the 401(k) thing but I just didn't save tons of other money until later in my 20's and my income had increased so I lived a similar lifestyle but made a lot more money. I also had no desire to go back to school so I wasn't saving up for that.

And I'm glad I didn't sock all of money away and put it into the markets because I've lived through two massive market corrections, the dotcom bust and whatever we're calling the 07/08 thing. I graduated from college in the mid-90's and moved out to SF, the absolute capital of the dotcom bubble. I did the so-called right thing and maxed out my 401(k), IRA's all that shit. I primarily invested from '97/'98 on because the first year or two I needed to put some cash in my pocket and pay down student loans, so I basically bought into the top of that market. I also had a small amount in non-retirement accounts. I did what all of the experts said to do and because I was in my young 20's went high risk, all equity, bought into the new paradigm BS, yada yada yada and my stock investments, and nearly everyone else's, were shot to pieces. I'm not bitter but I'm really glad that I went on those extra trips to Europe and Mexico and ate at nicer restaurants instead of saving and investing it. I have a friend who was in tech IB at the time so he was making great money during the boom, he lived like a pauper and invested everything into the market. He came out of the other side of the bust largely wasting his 20's and had 25% of the money he initially invested.

The same thing happened in 07/08 but I've largely not put anything into the public markets outside of tax deferred stuff since the 2000/2001.

    • 2
Aug 22, 2014

~1k a month.

Aug 22, 2014

I have had the wrong tax code for the last 12 months so I consider all that extra tax I have paid that I will get back in a rebate at the end of my intern next week as my savings, efficient.

Aug 22, 2014

Saving 30% of net salary.

Best Response
Aug 22, 2014

I am currently saving about 45% of salary on a pre and post-tax basis. I'd rather be saving 55%, but like an idiot I splurged on rent to be able to walk to work. :/

If you live in NYC, it is possible to live on $300/week after rent. If you don't work in IBD, it's possible to pay $1000/mo for half of a two bedroom in Hoboken.

I saved like crazy in NYC and I'm glad I did. I paid cash for a two year graduate degree and managed to graduate without giving up half of my savings. I went to a school with a lot of rich people, but folks would look at me like I had three heads when they asked how I was paying and I said cash savings from work. I wasn't earning ridiculous amounts of money- most people in the FO earned more than me- I just made up for it by saving better.

My crazy savings rate earned me the opportunity to buy a lot of stock in late 2008/early 2009. In 2010 I was able to lift some of the pressure on my frugalness and take up hang gliding.

There's some good advice and bad advice being thrown around in this thread. One piece of advice that I consider irresponsible is that it's OK to wait until you are 30 to start saving.

Look, we are all getting older, and waking up every morning at 30 doesn't feel like it does at 22. I'd rather wake up every morning knowing I don't have a housing payment and that I'll have enough to retire one day than wake up every morning knowing I bought a Porsche at age 25.

You don't have to stick all of your money into tech stocks. I put some of my investments into bonds and gold miners. And I'm a little more conservative in our current market. The point is that you are saving money.

    • 4
Aug 22, 2014

"There's some good advice and bad advice being thrown around in this thread. One piece of advice that I consider irresponsible is that it's OK to wait until you are 30 to start saving."

Just an fyi, I don't recommend that people don't save until they're 30, I just said I didn't do a heck of a lot of it and it was a personal decision based on my circumstances. I started out in REPE in the mid 90's and while I don't know if it still holds true, you didn't need an MBA to advance in real estate back then and I didn't want to go back to school so I knew (at least as much as you can when you're 24) I wasn't going to pay a six figure sum in b-school costs and be out two years of income in my later 20's. I also didn't save because I paid down undergrad student loan debt and credit cards that I financed my college years with. I also saw my income rising pretty quickly in REPE and even though I took a different path, had I stayed beyond 3-4 years I would have been promoted and been making a multiple(s) of what I was making within a few years, at least by my late 20's/early 30's. I also grew up as poor as a church mouse and had never been to Europe or many other places, so while I didn't stay at the Ritz in Paris, I wanted to do things with my income that I'd never been able to do before, pretty confident that I'd be able to replace any missed savings easily with future income. That's not to say that you should live paycheck to paycheck and not have the emergency fund or be putting money into a 401k though.

I really don't recommend that anyone starts buying Porsche's or similar things in their 20's unless they're one of those unique HF guys (or someone who sold a startup, etc) who's somehow making f-you money in their 20's (and I only know very, very few of them-they exist but they're the 1% of the HF guys) nor would I recommend getting into high fixed cost expenses (for example, big mortgages or a high rent even if you can afford based them on your current income-if you sign a lease for $5k/mo because you think you're a baller and you lose your job, you get transferred or you just feel like leaving a job in the second month of the lease you really don't want to be on the hook for $50k) or racking up bad debt like credit cards because you're going out to expensive bottle clubs multiple times per week.

But I think there's something to be said for having some fun in your 20's and when you start making more money, just don't escalate your expenses in direct proportion to your income. If/when you go from that $150k all in to $300k, keep those fixed expenses like rent at the same level for a few years. Unless you're extremely disciplined you're going to spend more in some parts of your life but if you can keep those larger costs down you can make up for the savings you missed when you were younger.

I don't have direct experience with this, but undergrad student loan debt is just so outrageous today that I have no idea how anyone who ends up taking a decent percentage of their undergrad costs could ever save a dollar or buy a house.

Aug 22, 2014

Historically I've been in the Warren Buffet "I only f*** with productive assets" camp. I recently bought some junior gold miners because I read a good research report (don't judge), but I clearly have no idea what i'm doing.

Pitch me pls.

Aug 29, 2014
IlliniProgrammer:

You don't have to stick all of your money into tech stocks. I put some of my investments into bonds and gold miners. And I'm a little more conservative in our current market. The point is that you are saving money.

Word. 3/4 of my liquid wealth is in mining plays...the rest in bullion.

Aug 22, 2014

You cannot look at it as a percentage of salary, as each year will be different.
I kept my rent low and flatshared - until I bought my flat. My mortgage is about the same as my rent so living expense has not changed but my salary has increased so i can save more...

Same with everything - I've kept all my expenses similar to what they were in my second year as an analyst. Just replace clubbing with dining once you are in a stable relationship - expenses similar. As a second year I was saving next to nothing from my base, now I save more than 50% of my base. Bonus have always been this: bonus for deposit, investment, student loans repayment etc...

I live in London, and I've worked for a fair amount of time already.

Hopefully your career will involve you keeping your job and experiencing fast salary and bonus growth. So no need to be a Scrooge in your earlier years, but no need to go all models and bottles every night either...

    • 2
Aug 22, 2014
Disjoint:

You cannot look at it as a percentage of salary, as each year will be different.

I kept my rent low and flatshared - until I bought my flat. My mortgage is about the same as my rent so living expense has not changed but my salary has increased so i can save more...

Same with everything - I've kept all my expenses similar to what they were in my second year as an analyst. Just replace clubbing with dining once you are in a stable relationship - expenses similar. As a second year I was saving next to nothing from my base, now I save more than 50% of my base. Bonus have always been this: bonus for deposit, investment, student loans repayment etc...

I live in London, and I've worked for a fair amount of time already.

Hopefully your career will involve you keeping your job and experiencing fast salary and bonus growth. So no need to be a Scrooge in your earlier years, but no need to go all models and bottles every night either...

This. As the years progress just don't scale up your expensive habits. The lifestyle of a 2nd year analyst is still better than 99% other people.

Aug 22, 2014

I find this thread interesting, how ultra conservative many of you guys are. No one wants to take any risk when it comes to debt. I guess I am that crazy guy who paddles up the river against the current.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

    • 1
Aug 22, 2014

Actually you're my role model in that sense, I just don't have the means to double or triple down right now. I have a couple of crumbsnatchers who need to go to college in a decade or so, that sort of thing.

I save far, far too little at the moment. Modest 401k and Roth contributions, good life insurance and LT disability, not really planning to retire.

Aug 22, 2014

How long do you have before the crumbsnatchers go to college? Why not use cash flow real estate to pay for their college?

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Aug 22, 2014

Live on your salary and save your bonus

Aug 23, 2014
rjroberts1:

Live on your salary and save your bonus

This, it works out really well when your bonus starts being multiples of your salary.

Aug 22, 2014

End up saving about 35% of my salary. But I'm not a high roller unlike everyone else here.

Aug 22, 2014

Around 18% currently, 10% into IRA, and another 8 into a normal account. This is not including a employer 4% match.

Aug 22, 2014

Got the 401(k) and two Roth IRA's maxed out - saving about 35% of my salary.

Pay off all high interest debt (above ~8% interest), then max out your tax advantaged retirement accounts ASAP. A 22 year old who maxes his 401(k) with a 5% company match and maxes his Roth would have $3.8M by age 50 and $19M by age 65. Sure, it's great to take some risks with your money, but I'd rather take those risks after I've paid off bad debt and maxed my retirement accounts so that I have that comfortable multi-million dollar 401(k) to fall back on if said risks do not pan out.

Aug 22, 2014
Industry84:

Got the 401(k) and two Roth IRA's maxed out - saving about 35% of my salary.

Pay off all high interest debt (above ~8% interest), then max out your tax advantaged retirement accounts ASAP. A 22 year old who maxes his 401(k) with a 5% company match and maxes his Roth would have $3.8M by age 50 and $19M by age 65. Sure, it's great to take some risks with your money, but I'd rather take those risks after I've paid off bad debt and maxed my retirement accounts so that I have that comfortable multi-million dollar 401(k) to fall back on if said risks do not pan out.

By maxing out 401k are you saying simply getting the full ER match or maxing out via the $17,500 IRS limit? I am currently 23 and contribute up to the ER match and max out my Roth (about 10-15% total savings rate). I then save about another 10-15% in cash in an emergency fund. Maxing out via the $17,500 at 22 is crazy, but if you are pulling it all the power to you.

Aug 22, 2014
SGsprinks:
Industry84:

Got the 401(k) and two Roth IRA's maxed out - saving about 35% of my salary.

Pay off all high interest debt (above ~8% interest), then max out your tax advantaged retirement accounts ASAP. A 22 year old who maxes his 401(k) with a 5% company match and maxes his Roth would have $3.8M by age 50 and $19M by age 65. Sure, it's great to take some risks with your money, but I'd rather take those risks after I've paid off bad debt and maxed my retirement accounts so that I have that comfortable multi-million dollar 401(k) to fall back on if said risks do not pan out.

By maxing out 401k are you saying simply getting the full ER match or maxing out via the $17,500 IRS limit? I am currently 23 and contribute up to the ER match and max out my Roth (about 10-15% total savings rate). I then save about another 10-15% in cash in an emergency fund. Maxing out via the $17,500 at 22 is crazy, but if you are pulling it all the power to you.

I was referring to maxing out via the $17,500 IRS limit, and the company match received would be in addition to that amount. I wasn't able to get the 401k maxed until age 27 and I was in the same boat as you at age 22 (contributed up to the company match for 401(k) and had Roth maxed).

Some may be able to max at 22 if they're in investment banking with a strong starting salary and live somewhat frugally, but I agree it's uncommon. My point was just that once high interest debt is paid off, you should get those accounts maxed as soon as humanly possible.

Aug 22, 2014

I think your rate of return assumptions are a little high. I assume an after-inflation return of about 6% from the stock market, which is roughly in line with historical returns. In reality, my return assumption may be a little optimistic. The US had an amazing run for the past 100 years and US businesses benefitted from the post-war reconstruction effort while Europe and Japan took 25 years to recover.

In any case case, $17.5K at 22 turns into $180K at 62 with 6% returns. I'm not exactly sure what the salary is for your match assumption, but the FV is something on that order. This is serious money, but you'll need another hundred years worth of saving $180K future value money to hit $19M at 62.

Aug 22, 2014
IlliniProgrammer:

I think your rate of return assumptions are a little high. I assume an after-inflation return of about 6% from the stock market, which is roughly in line with historical returns. In reality, my return assumption may be a little optimistic. The US had an amazing run for the past 100 years and US businesses benefitted from the post-war reconstruction effort while Europe and Japan took 25 years to recover.

In any case case, $17.5K at 22 turns into $180K at 62 with 6% returns. I'm not exactly sure what the salary is for your match assumption, but the FV is something on that order. This is serious money, but you'll need another hundred years worth of saving $180K future value money to hit $19M at 62.

I think he meant $17,500 per year. 17.5k per year starting at 22 with 6% return assumption gives you just over 3M at age 62.

Aug 22, 2014
SGsprinks:
IlliniProgrammer:

I think your rate of return assumptions are a little high. I assume an after-inflation return of about 6% from the stock market, which is roughly in line with historical returns. In reality, my return assumption may be a little optimistic. The US had an amazing run for the past 100 years and US businesses benefitted from the post-war reconstruction effort while Europe and Japan took 25 years to recover.

In any case case, $17.5K at 22 turns into $180K at 62 with 6% returns. I'm not exactly sure what the salary is for your match assumption, but the FV is something on that order. This is serious money, but you'll need another hundred years worth of saving $180K future value money to hit $19M at 62.

I think he meant $17,500 per year. 17.5k per year starting at 22 with 6% return assumption gives you just over 3M at age 62.

Sure. $3mm sounds more on the mark. I think he was assuming a 9% or 10% rate of return- but that's a nominal rate of return, not an inflation adjusted rate.

Historically, equity market returns have been about 9-10% and inflation has been about 3-4%.

Saying that you can have $19mm in 40 years isn't totally fair because you're using inflated dollars. It's kinda like GS offering to double your pay at Citi, but pay you in Goldman Dollars that you can only use at their store, where everything is double the price.

Aug 22, 2014

Not enough of my salary according to many on here, apparently. I typically sack away $200 per paycheck, so $5,600 annually that can max out my Roth. Also max out my traditional 401(k) match at 6% of salary.

Then there's my bonus which, last year, went towards killing the last remnants of student loan debt and this year went to rainy day savings and additional retirement accounts. I wish I had more cash sitting around though just to have that feeling of safety associated with sitting on a bunch of money, but in all honesty don't have too much in savings.

I'm also planning on graduate school in the next 3 years so I will soon need to stop putting all my extra cash into funds that I can't touch for the next 41 years, but am not sure what to do with money that has an investment lifetime of 3-ish years. It's too short for volatile equities, too long for cash. Any advice for the best mid-to-short-term cash holding vehicles?

Aug 22, 2014

I wrote that. I have no idea who Sam-Barrett is or why I was logged in as him. I did this on mobile, maybe a site glitch? @wallstreetoasis.com

Aug 22, 2014
Sam-Barrett:

Not enough of my salary according to many on here, apparently. I typically sack away $200 per paycheck, so $5,600 annually that can max out my Roth. Also max out my traditional 401(k) match at 6% of salary.

Then there's my bonus which, last year, went towards killing the last remnants of student loan debt and this year went to rainy day savings and additional retirement accounts. I wish I had more cash sitting around though just to have that feeling of safety associated with sitting on a bunch of money, but in all honesty don't have too much in savings.

I'm also planning on graduate school in the next 3 years so I will soon need to stop putting all my extra cash into funds that I can't touch for the next 41 years, but am not sure what to do with money that has an investment lifetime of 3-ish years. It's too short for volatile equities, too long for cash. Any advice for the best mid-to-short-term cash holding vehicles?

Actually IRA withdrawals can be done penalty free if used for tuition, at least in the US. Furthermore, if the degree does not qualify you for a new industry and maintains and improves job skills in your current position, you may be eligible to deduct the full tuition amount as a business expense deduction. Either way, it makes sense to shift some of your income while paying 25 or 28% taxes into a year where you are paying 10% or 15% taxes.

Keep making pre-tax 401K contributions. You can convert to an IRA and withdraw the money to pay tuition- read IRS Publication 970.

    • 1
Aug 22, 2014

I've been saving 40-50% since graduating and starting work. Unfortunately, all that saving is going to get obliterated when i make the down payment for my house.

It feels awkward moving from having a comfortable chunk of cash, to being severely in debt.

Aug 22, 2014

First year analyst, currently saving 34% of my paychecks and 100% of my bonus. Combined, I am saving anywhere from 50-60% of my total comp.

However, I am paying 20% (net) in rent for a very nice apartment with rooftop access and huge loft-style living room. I could easily pay half the rent for a very decent place and put the difference into my savings. Arguably, I would go out more often as won't be inviting people over every weekend.

Aug 22, 2014

10-20% of net salary (pre bonus)

Aug 22, 2014

no 401k for a hu$tla

Aug 22, 2014

Since we're on the topic - how did everyone manage student debt?

With a total pre-tax income of ~$80K+ it's pretty easy to eliminate undergrad debt within a year, but the interest on it typically won't kill you. I've got that debt sitting at about 4% interest, so I'm thinking why not keep clocking away at it slowly rather than paying it all ASAP, and instead use my income to buy some short/medium-term investments.

Thoughts?

Aug 22, 2014
consultantlife101:

Since we're on the topic - how did everyone manage student debt?

With a total pre-tax income of ~$80K+ it's pretty easy to eliminate undergrad debt within a year, but the interest on it typically won't kill you. I've got that debt sitting at about 4% interest, so I'm thinking why not keep clocking away at it slowly rather than paying it all ASAP, and instead use my income to buy some short/medium-term investments.

Thoughts?

You should definitely get the employer match on your 401K.

Beyond that, though, I'd prefer to pay down the student debt. 4% isn't 0.5% or 1% which is what people are getting on treasuries right now. Since you make $80K, your AGI may be too high to get a tax deduction on it, too- so it's really more like a 6% pre-tax interest rate if you think about it.

Student debt is life's third guarantee after death and taxes. You can't discharge it in BK court. There are people having their social security benefits garnished because of student debt they racked up 30 years prior.

I'm not trying to scare you, but after I got a couple months' savings in the bank, I'd sleep better at night paying down my student debt. 6% is not a horrible pre-tax rate of return. But I am extremely conservative and hate debt that has recourse against me. (If I ever get a mortgage, IL is a non-recourse state, but I'd pay a 50 basis point premium for a non-recourse mortgage. I want the option to mail in the keys and walk away from the property.)

Aug 22, 2014

That's actually not true, something like 40% of students who go to bk court get some or all of their student debt discharged

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Aug 23, 2014

just began working but so far, saving between 35-40% post-tax on the usual IB base. Contributing to 401k and looking for an entry point into the market.

Aug 23, 2014

Stock market returns vary from 9-11% depending on which period you look at. With the S&P 500, you're starting in ~1950 for instance which lets you miss 1929-1950 where the market basically stayed flat. There's also some selection bias in the S&P's 10 year backfill. Furthermore there's clearly some non-stationarity going on in the market in general. The market today is very different than it was in 1950.

You can extrapolate the past 80 years of returns forward four decades if you want. I think the conservative thing to do is apply some pessimism.

The "save 3% more each year" is also factored into running the calculation in inflation-adjusted terms.

Aug 23, 2014

u.s. citizen working overseas now and actually getting paid in local currency equivalent of u.s. compensation. putting away about 50% of gross local salary+bonus. depositing locally in state bank and have gotten the boost of about 2% fx appreciation + a 3ish % deposit rate.

still doing some consulting work for ex-bosses in the u.s. for which i put away 100% except for usd expenses- mostly travel, any online purchases tied to my U.S. credit card. i set up a solo- 401k where i maxed out the $17.5k limit in '13 and plan to do the same in '14, and put remaining net into savings and set aside to cover taxes

Aug 23, 2014

I max out my stock purchasing program and 401k matched contributions. My company has a monopoly with a good dividend trend, so that coupled with writing against the position is how I save. The rest just piles up in my bank accounts. I love to entertain so I spare no expense on more than I "probably" should but if I didn't what would be the point in working so hard?

Aug 24, 2014

I'm still in college (will soon be a sophomore) and I aspire to become a consultant. If all goes well job-wise, is it viable for me to save 40k total each year for my first three years? I know most consultants usually get pretty cheap apartments since they travel so much. I'd like to save the money to start my own business.

Aug 24, 2014

I don't know what consultants make anymore.

If you live near an airport (EG Newark, OHare, etc), you can live on $50K/year pre-tax. Everything after that (after tax, of course) is income.

At $100K/year pre-tax, $40K savings is pushing it, but you might be able to pull it off by maxing your pre-tax 401K and getting an employer match.

There are ways to do a business loan through an IRA. I don't know the details, tho.

Aug 24, 2014

To really supercharge your savings getting a tax status that allows you to pay your own taxes rather than having it paid for you by an employer is huge. Think about it, if you pay 50k a year in taxes before you ever even see the money you are down 50 right off the bat. If you pay once a year you can invest that 50k pro rated out over the 12 month year, with high quality investments you could make ~3% over inflation that your peers would never even have the opportunity to make.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Aug 29, 2014

I currently save 50%.... of my gross salary.

I love low income tax countries

Aug 30, 2014

currently saving around 35% of my salary. salary is not as high as most on this site

    • 1
Aug 31, 2014

Not going to give a percentage but it's high, and I don't spend my bonus. I'm cheap as hell and I don't spend money on things I don't need, aside from the random day trips and booze sometimes. I look for cheap activities like the gym and cheap local shows instead of expensive things like traveling to exotic places. I actively manage my own money and when my dividends equal my paycheck (or get close) I'm DONE working for other people.

At some point, I'd like to do what heister talks about: leveraging towards acquiring income streams. Either that or put one of my startup ideas into motion. For now, I'm working on perfecting my "spending efficiency": I have several users from this site (Illini, missingno, and a few others) that I take tips from. Everyone is different: I want to retire as early as possible so I can do other stuff.

    • 1
Aug 31, 2014

35% ~ rent, utilities, insurance and other living expenses (this is reasonable in a smaller city)
35% ~ food, partying, clothes, toys, etc.
30% ~ saved

Make opportunities. Not excuses.

Aug 31, 2014

Living in Singapore as a management consultant. I save about 65-70% post tax. I still eat/go out on weekend and travel overseas on holiday twice a year.

Main drivers for the higher savings than most of my friends are:
1. I share rent with my boyfriend (Singapore rent is just too expensive :'( and since we're both consultants, makes sense to just live together as we'll be out most of the time)
2. Food is somewhat pretty much paid for when I'm on project, so I mostly only need to pay on weekends (unless I'm on the beach). Although I think ibankers can claim their food expenses too
3. Travelling expenses (personal holidays) are also shouldered somewhat by points. As both my boyfriend and I are consultants, we tried to use our reward points to reduce part of cost (especially hotels)

My formula for success is rise early, work late and strike oil - JP Getty

Sep 1, 2014

Student who worked 30-35 hours per week making $9/hour at campus food court. Also got a monthly stipend of $400 from grandparents which almost covers rent. I now work as a part time intern working less hours, but with the same overall pay. Total it's around $1500/month with previously mentioned assistance.

Over the course of 2 years I managed to put away about $5000. I keep $2000 in checking (too much), $1000 in straight savings just incase, and $2000 in an Etrade. This past summer I worked full time at an internship and managed to put away $2000 more on top of that which is just sitting in checking, which I'm considering dumping with the Etrade account into an IRA.

Granted I don't pay my car insurance, but all other expenses are mine with that monthly amount. I refuse to spend more than I take in, and get really nervous when I get close to being "in the red" for a certain earning period.

I guess you could say on average I save about 25%. It's enough that I'm proud of it, as low as my income is as a college student.

Sep 1, 2014

In NYC, I made 65k-95k in my pre-MBA years, minimal bonus. I always had 7% off the top into my 401k and started off saving 10% of my after-deduction paycheck as cash, then ramped it up to 15-20% as I started making more.

Rent was between 1250 and 1550, other expenses were ~900 in a cheap month to 2k in a really expensive one. ~1300-1400 was about the norm.

Use a paycheck calculator to see what you can expect your actual paycheck stop look like after taxes/401k deductions, and that will help you budget accordingly.

Sep 1, 2014

You can find an apartment in Manhattan for 1.3k?

Sep 1, 2014

About a 1/3 to 1/2 of my after tax, after IRA (10%), salary + the vast majority of my bonus (might splurge on a little something but saving 80-90% of it otherwise).

Sep 1, 2014

Your question shouldn't be what % you save, should be more on what % you spend...
But to answer your question, I pretty much set aside how much money I NEED to spend (rent, commute, etc.), give myself a reasonable allowance until my next paycheque, and just save the rest.

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Sep 1, 2014

-20%.

Sep 1, 2014

I'm currently saving about 50% of gross (splitting expenses, which helps). No car payment (paid off) no student loans (paid off) really helps; if you keep your rent expense under control it shouldn't be that hard to do something similar.

I'm also a post MBA consultant, so I have WAY more money than I need. But even when I was in the military, I saved 30-40% regularly. I want to retire early, so the easy math is that at 50% savings, every year I work funds a year of retirement. Work 30 years out of undergrad and you're done at 52.

And yes I'm aware that this is lazy math, but I figure its conservative in the end in the end so the laziness works in my advantage. I'm ignoring inflation and future taxes, but I'm also ignoring investment gains.

Sep 1, 2014

Spend the paycheck bank the bonus

Sep 1, 2014

in a 401k or bank acct?

Sep 1, 2014

I mean, like you worked for a year and got your bonus, but you spent money all year long as well and stashed money in retirement.

I'm thinking about cash on hand after a year, after normal living expenses and normal retirement investments.

Sep 1, 2014

where do you live though?

Sep 1, 2014

Most ppl I know lived pretty well, maxed their 401k and saved their after tax bono. So maybe 20k into retirement accnts (including company match) and then another 25k or so outside that.

A good guideline is to spend your salary and save your bono, that works well I think.

Jimbo.

Sep 1, 2014

As a first year analyst, chances are you're coming in and trying to dig yourself out of debt, so I made sure to pay that 30K off in student loans quick and get debt free so that I could have a fresh grave dug for grad school. So for first year analysts, the 20/25 save might be kind of a stretch...

"Cut the burger into thirds, place it on the fries, roll one up homey..." - Epic Meal Time

Sep 1, 2014

unless its private loans, why would you ever pay of govy loans unless rates were at like 1%?? this confuses me. i carry around like 30k of govt loans and im very happy to keep them for the next 20yrs.

Sep 1, 2014
lcsonka39:

why would you ever pay of govy loans unless rates were at like 1%??

Because the govt loans aren't even the subject of discussion here. The govt loans someone receives to pay for tuition at an expensive college like Hopkins are peanuts compared to the private loans he/she has to take out in addition.

Sep 1, 2014

For some people, being in debt is just an awful feeling. Paying it off can be a sense of relief, regardless of whether or not the most economic path may be to hold onto it.

Sep 1, 2014

so they also pay in full for their house or car? PE shops of the future are going to write a full check for the companies they are buying? hehe .. oh well.

Sep 1, 2014

I think we both recognize the difference of the two situations =)

Sep 1, 2014

naturally, but this still bugs me. you can add that too "i dont want to give the govt a 0% loan", hehe. i know its true, i just dont know why everyone says it like that. oh well.

in any event, i laugh at some of the numbers people have been quoting on how much its possible to save (for someone completely on their own -- ie. no parental aid) it just doesnt seem that realistic esp with taxes taking close to half. You have to be pretty frugal to live in nyc on a 60k salary alone.

Sep 1, 2014

To be honest, I think that depends. Personally, I very rarely spend money. I don't go out to eat and will opt to eat a bowl of cereal for dinner over a full meal. The only non-essential purchases I have made over the past 6 months have been books and education sorts of things. Then you take my brother. He receives the same amount of "Parental Aid" yet manages to find himself in debt constantly. He bought a paintball gun on an impulse 2 years ago and has yet to use it. People like him can't understand how / why others save whereas people like me can't understand why others spend!

Of course, once you move to NYC you are screwed. I have an analyst friend paying $1,500 a month for a crappy 1/3rd of an apartment. At some point you have to stop being frugal and start paying for things to make your life livable. Personally, I'm beyond glad that I won't be doing my 2 years in NYC.

Sep 1, 2014

I wouldn't plan on saving much from paycheck to paycheck w/ that salary

    • 1
Sep 1, 2014

Is it worth starting your pension this early then? Or wait a few years until your pay goes up?

Sep 1, 2014
Comment