How Much Should I Have in Savings?

PeopleImages / iStock.com

You have some money put aside in savings, but you’re not sure if it’s enough. A good rule of thumb for a savings target is to store enough to where three to six months’ worth of expenses can be covered. Whether it’s your regular savings account or an emergency savings account, here are some realistic savings goals to set. 

Here’s How Much Money Should Be In Your Savings Account

Generally speaking, experts recommend you should save 20% of your income. Known as the 50/30/20 rule, this can serve as a guide to help streamline your budget.

Under this rule, a maximum of 50% goes toward necessities and 30% pays for discretionary items. Therefore, if you earn $1,000 per month, you would allocate $500 for necessities, $300 for discretionary items and $200 for savings.

How Much Does the Average Person Have in Savings?

If you’re wondering how your savings account balance measures up to other people in your age group, the Federal Reserve has you covered. Take a look at the average account balance, according to the Survey of Consumer Finances — the most recent data available.

Maximize Your Savings Potential
Age Group Average Savings
Less than 35 $11,250
35-44 $27,910
45-54 $48,200
55-64 $57,670
65-74 $60,410
75 and older $55,320

No matter what your age and where you’re at with your savings plan, you can always catch up. This will require dedication and discipline on your part, but you can do it.

Fixed Expenses vs. Variable Expenses

When creating a budget and analyzing your expenses, it is good to understand the difference between fixed and variable expenses. When you understand where you are spending money, it makes it easier to account for where you can save money.

Fixed Expenses 

You can categorize your fixed expenses as monthly bills that typically don’t vary. Here are some common examples of fixed expenses:

Variable Expenses

Essential or non-essential items can be considered variable expenses, as they will fluctuate in cost throughout the month. Here are some common variable expenses:

Building an Emergency Fund

As noted above, experts recommend putting aside at least three to six months of savings to cover short-term expenses or to build on for long-term expenses. Known as an emergency fund, this type of account should be kept separate from your standard savings or other investment accounts.

Maximize Your Savings Potential

If you suddenly find yourself out of a job or with a large, unexpected bill to pay, this fund can cover your expenses. Instead of having to borrow from your standard savings account or take on debt to handle the cost, you’ll already have the money at your disposal.

When you build up enough savings in this account, there’s no need to continue contributing to it. However, if you need to access the funds, you’ll want to put a plan in place immediately to replenish them.

Saving for Retirement

How much should you have in savings at your age? The answer to this question largely depends on the age you plan to retire and your desired lifestyle, according to Fidelity.

Generally speaking, Fidelity recommends the following savings guidelines.

Age Savings
30 One times your annual salary
40 Three times your annual salary
50 Six times your annual salary
60 Eight times your annual salary
67 10 times your annual salary

If you feel like you’re not on track, or don’t have a plan that your employers match, you’re not alone. Here’s a look at estimations as to where other Americans stand with their retirement savings, according to the Federal Reserve’s Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households recent report.

Maximize Your Savings Potential
Age Any Retirement Savings Retirement Savings on Track
18-29 62% 30%
30-44 75% 39%
45-59 84% 45%
60+ 87% 52%

5 Tips To Grow Your Savings Account

You’ve found the answer to the question “How much should I have in savings?” If your ideal amount doesn’t match the balance currently in your account, it’s time to make some changes to your spending habits. Here are a few tips to help boost your savings in no time:

  1. Automate savings contributions
  2. Create a budget
  3. Make a debt repayment strategy
  4. Take on a side gig
  5. Cancel unused subscriptions

1. Automate Savings Contributions

Saying you’re going to put a certain amount of money from each paycheck into your savings account is easy, but actually doing it can be hard. Reduce the temptation to spend the money elsewhere by having it automatically deducted from your account.

2. Create a Budget

Finding extra room in your paycheck to commit to savings can be hard, especially if you don’t really know where your money is going. Take a close look at your spending habits, then make a budget to help reduce expenses.

Maximize Your Savings Potential

3. Make a Debt Repayment Strategy

If you’re in debt — such as carrying balances on several credit cards — this is impeding your ability to save. There’s never been a better time to make a plan to pay off your debt once and for all.

This might involve consolidating your monthly payments into one to lower your interest rate or simply putting extra money toward the balance with the highest interest rate. Find the strategy that best meets your needs and stick to it.

4. Take on a Side Gig

Earn extra money to bulk up your savings by picking up another job. This could be anything from serving as a rideshare driver on the weekends to picking up a part-time virtual assistant job. Put your earnings from this gig directly into savings.

5. Cancel Unused Subscriptions

Chances are, you’re paying for at least a few streaming platforms, apps, magazines and services you don’t actually use. Be honest with yourself about the level of both use and enjoyment you’re getting from these them, and cancel those you don’t need. Send the money you were paying for these subscriptions directly to your savings account.

Maximize Your Savings Potential

Final Take

Most financial experts recommend building up enough savings to cover six months of expenses. However, there’s no need to panic if you don’t have anywhere near this amount. Just remember, working to increase your savings account takes time. Instead of feeling discouraged about how long it will take to reach your goal, be proud of yourself for all your hard work and celebrate your increased account balance every time you make a deposit.


Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding how much to have in savings.
  • How much should a 30-year-old have in savings?
    •  If you are near 30 years old, you should have around $11,000 in savings give or take. This is only an average as many unique factors go into any individual's financial situation.
  • How much does the average person have in savings?
    • The amount an average person has in savings can vary widely. Here is a breakdown of average amounts by age:
      • Younger than 35: $11,250
      • 35 to 44: $27,910
      • 45 to 54: $48,200
      • 55 to 64: $57,670
      • 65 to 74: $60,410
      • 75 and older: $55,320
  • Is $20,000 a good amount of savings?
    • $20,000 can be a healthy amount of savings but this largely depends on several factors, including your age, income, lifestyle or choice of retirement account. If you are under 45, $20,000 in savings would be considered above average.
  • How much should you have in savings broken down by age?
    • The average amount a person has in savings based on their age is as follows:
      • Younger than 35: $11,250
      • 35 to 44: $27,910
      • 45 to 54: $48,200
      • 55 to 64: $57,670
      • 65 to 74: $60,410
      • 75 and older: $55,320

Explore More on Savings Accounts

Caitlyn Moorhead contributed to the reporting for this article.

Data is accurate as of March 28, 2023, and is subject to change.