Post # 1
If you and your spouse have a joint savings account, I’m just curious as to how much you two are putting in it each month. Do you each contribute to your savings equally? Or does one contribute more? I’m not talking 401ks or retirement accounts, just strict savings. Do you aim for a certain percentage of your paychecks? Or is there a dollar goal each month or just whatever’s left over after paying bills?
I ask because my SIL recently told me that her and her husband have managed to put $1,000 into savings every month for the last 8 months and, while that sounds amazing, I have no idea how they’re managing it. I’ve been raking our budget with a fine tooth comb and can’t see a way for us to save the same amount. So I’m wondering if they’re just extra special or if my husband and if that sounds like the norm and my husband and I are doing things completely wrong.
Post # 2
It depends on you’re expenses.
I put more money into the savings account than my husband does & he makes more than me. He also contributes more to rent and bills than I do. He also has more expenses than I do.
I contribute around 200-400 a month, while he contributes 100-250 a month.
Post # 3
Our money is pooled so one of us does not contribute more than the other. Both our paychecks goes into one account, then gets distributed to savings accounts. We save 20-25% of our income on top of maxing out retirement accounts.
Post # 4
“Norm” is hard to determine– if you and your husband are making less than SIL and her husband, then it’s understandable that you might not be able to save $1000 per month, so I wouldn’t worry too much unless you think you need to be saving that much.
For my fiance and I, we each contribute a little less than half of our paychecks to the joint account, which we use for rent, groceries, and other things we buy together. The rest goes into personal savings for fun stuff.
Post # 5
llevinso : Since I do the budgeting I chose a certain percentage of each paycheck to go into the savings account. But our money is pooled together.
Post # 6
We save around 1800 per month after pensions have come out, we earn pretty similar salaries so it’s split evenly at the minute.
Post # 7
We put in a total of 700 to savings, sometimes 500 if it has been a hard month. I pay 200 towards my student loan. And then we both put money into a joint account for use throughout the month. My fiancé also contributes to his retirement but I don’t know how much. Does your sil live in an area with a lower cost of living? We both make very little but the reason we set aside any is because our rent is so low.
Post # 8
railroaderwifeyxo : So it sounds like you’re closer to $500 going into savings each month then, right? That’s what seems more doable for my husband and I. The way SIL talked about it I just got curious if everyone is always saving that much each month and we were being short sighted to not try and do the same.
Guantanamera : That’s the thing…SIL and her husband combined make less than us. Plus they have a child. I know their mortgage is considerably cheaper but still. I’m shocked that they’re able to put that much away each month.
Post # 9
Right now we’re on paying off our credit card debt (honeymoon) over the next two months, so we aren’t contributing to savings (but we do have an emergency savings account…I just refuse to use it to pay off the debt in case there is a real emergency in the mean time). Ordinarily, our goal is right around $1k/month, but we also live in a very low cost of living area so the money we make goes pretty far and our living expenses relative to our income is fairly low. On paper we should be able to save $2k, but it never works out that way because unexpected things come up or we go a little over budget here or there.
Now that we’re married I don’t think of any of it as his versus my money…it ends up just getting lumped together in one account for bills, and another for savings so I don’t know how it breaks down as far as his contributions and my contributions (I do all of our budgeting and money management). Also, most of the expenses we took on (like car payment, mortgage, etc) were all decisions that we made when my DH had a significantly smaller income…so we were used to living on far less than what we’re living on now.
You probably aren’t doing things wrong…just need to get a real handle on your expenses. I keep a running 3-4 month budget spreadsheet where I mark exactly where each dollar of my paycheck is supposed to go and what should be left over at the end of the month. Also, any time we get bonuses, that goes straight to savings. Raises go straight to increasing our 401k. I figure if we’re used to what we have we won’t miss the extra money.
Post # 10
mm18 : We live in the same basic area, though SIL lives in the city and we live in a suburb. Our mortgage is ridiculously high, so we’re trying to save in order to buy a new house in a cheaper suburb.
As it stands now, both my husband and I contribute about half our salaries each month to our joint checking account. Out of there I pay all our bills and then whatever is left over I move into our savings (leaving a buffer amount in our checking). I’d like to start contributing more than half to our joint checking but my husband doesn’t think that’s necessary. He likes having half is paycheck to play with as he wants.
Post # 11
Unless you know all of the details about their bills, debt, and income it’s hard to compare. There can be so many factors that affect a person’s budget that you may not know about. Do you have student loans? Higher living costs? A car payment? When they don’t have those bills?
We put in whatever is left over. It was easier to save a set amount each month before we bought a house, but costs seem to pop up a lot with owning a house. We discovered our shower door is leaking and needs to be replaced, the garage door stops working, etc.
Post # 12
Not married or living together yet, we’re getting married in July so at this point we view it all as our money. We are each putting 1k a month into our joint savings, this is after retirement. Granted, we are sticking hard to a strict budget because we are replacing our emergency fund and saving for a few things. I don’t make a ton of money, but I have cut back on things to get us through this period, and I know my FI has too. We do keep a running spreadsheet of our budgets, which has really helped.
Post # 13
llevinso : My FI and I put roughly 2k in savings each month and that is strictly savings – not including any of our retirement investments. This is our only savings account, as we combined our finances quite awhile ago. We are very conservative on our spending and have a very detailed budget so we always know if there is going to be a month that we may need to transfer extra funds to our checking. (normally once a year when property taxes are due) Any time we borrow from our savings, we try to pay it back within the next three months. It works for us for the most part. He definitely contributes more than I do (probably 60% him, 40% me), but we just do it that way because we want to max out my retirement account as soon as possible (and because he makes a significantly higher salary than I do).
Post # 14
I guess I can’t really judge without knowing what their salaries and expenses are and whether they are doing any additional future planning like a 401K on top of that savings (as well as for you – not that I’m asking for yours, just saying it’s often apples and oranges and you can’t directly compare yourself to other people). $1000 a month for people who make $120,000+ a year would probably be completely normal/average and fairly unremarkable. $1000 a month for people who are living on $45,000 combined would take a lot of sacrificing. I put aside 10% into savings. For me, that is less than $1000/month. However, I also put 10% into a retirement account and 5% is also deducted for a mandatory pension. So I’m really saving or putting towards future planning about 25% of my earnings – though I hope to up that soon. Could I do $1000/mo on my own into regular savings if I were super motivated? For sure. It would just take some additional sacrificing of some luxuries but completely doable. If my SO and I were to combine finances, I think $1000/mo is totally achievable without having to sacrifice our lifestyles too much (though my car and student loans are completely paid off, so that helps).
Post # 15
Currently in school, so no income, so no saving, but when I was working I first built up my emergency savings, then my pet emergency savings (larger than my emergency savings thanks to two injury-prone horses and two fickle dogs) and then my 401k.
Once I got to a point where my emergency savings were in place and I was maxing out my 401k I was putting whatever I didn’t spend into savings on a monthly basis. When I decided to go back to school I decreased my ‘extra’ spending and built up my savings to allow me to live off of them for however long school took.
Startsmall and increase the amount monthly, you’ll realize over time you don’t need X or miss Y, but losing XYZ all at once can be more of a shock. Good luck!