How much should you be saving?

Asking someone how much they save every month is like asking about a person’s weight. In both cases, you probably will not get an honest answer.

While many people would like to save up to half their take-home salary every month, not everyone can afford that amount. Millions of Americans save only a small amount, usually ten percent or less of their total income.

No two people save the same amount because everyone has different bills and expenses, as well as financial obligations. A standard dollar amount does not work, but you can save a small percentage of your pay every month.

Start by examining your current accounts including money you have saved. Then, look at how many bills you pay in a single month. Include necessary expenses like rent or mortgage and electric bills with unnecessary bills, such as internet or cell phones.

Add up all of your figures, which show you the total amount you spend every month. Experts suggest that you have an emergency account that includes $1,000 or more. You should have at least enough to pay one month of bills and up to six months of your current bills.

If you currently do not have enough in your savings to pay at least one month of bills, use that as a starting point for how much you save.

Put back a small amount of money every time you receive a paycheck. Put the money into a high interest savings account that builds interest on every dollar you save.

The best method of saving money involves putting back a percentage of every paycheck. The biggest advantage is that you are not stuck with the same amount every month.

If you earn a commission based salary, you never know exactly how much you bring home as it changes every time. Putting back ten percent of each paycheck ensures that you at least save some money.

Ten percent might sound like a lot, especially if you have a small salary. Start with a smaller amount, such as five percent and work your way to a higher amount.

As your current accounts grow with additional funds, you might find your spending habits changing. You slowly adjust to living on a smaller income, due to the money you save.

Slowly increase the amount you save by adding another percent. Once you start saving ten percent of your paycheck, decide if that amount is enough or if you want to increase it further.

Give your savings a purpose, which makes putting back money easier. For example, use the money towards your future retirement.

Once you reach your financial goals, use any additional income for something you want or need. Save money for a new vehicle, a family vacation, or as down payment on a new house.

Try dividing your income into two categories. Category one is for the things you need, including food and shelter. Category two indicates the things you want, such as new clothes or entertainment expenses.

Set aside half of your income for the things you need and equally divide the rest among your savings and wants. Adjust the amount based on your preferences, such as putting back more and spending less on your wants. You might find it easier to spend more on your wants, once your current accounts reach the point you need.

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