On Monday, you learned how much entry-level women make in various fields. Now, it’s time to tackle the savings account part. You already know you should be steadily padding your funds, whether it’s to finance a down payment or just as a rainy-day backup plan. But how many women actually do? We got 11 to share the details of how much they put away and exactly how they do it so you can try their tips on for size.
$4,000: “I’m currently still living at home, but I’m in the process of apartment hunting. I need to move out in order to save up. I haven’t had many things to pay for besides health and car insurance, which is about $300 together, and $250 that I contribute to living at home. Since I have extra money, I’ve gone a little crazy shopping, and booking flights to go away for the weekends. Not talking about mini trips either — I recently went to Sweden for the weekend. Internally, I know I shouldn’t be spending as much, but stopping myself from going out and buying things has been very difficult. Recently I started taking out $200 from my checking account every Friday and transferring it to my savings, which is how I’ve managed to save $4K. Next month I might increase it to $300. My goal is to have about $10K in my savings by December 25th, my birthday, and submit the first payment toward my loans. That would take half of my debt away and be the best gift to myself as an adult.” —Astrid, 22, talent and production coordinator
$0: “I currently don’t have anything in savings. Last June I started working full-time on my company, which is a consumer robotics business. We focus on at-home, assistive robots. I’ve put everything I have into the business. I live at home so that all of the money I would have to put into living expenses can be focused toward my company. It doesn’t have revenue yet, so I am not currently getting paid. Hopefully, within the next year or so I will finally be making a salary, but that is still a little ways away.” —Elizabeth, 25, entrepreneur
$5,000: “I try to save $500 a month, and I have a 401k. I live at home, so I pay my parents ‘rent’ and they put it into a savings account for me. I’m hoping to get a promotion soon so I get paid more and can afford to move out. It’s a huge sacrifice for me to save that much. Every month, expenses come up that prevent me from actually doing it.” —Ibis, 25, media planning specialist
$29,000: “I had a windfall of about $2,500, which I was able to add to my $10,000 savings account. Then I was fortunate enough to take on second and third jobs, which allowed me to save anywhere from $500 to $1,000 each month. Finally, I went rent-free for the first five months of 2015, which allowed me to take my savings from about $16,000 to where it is now.” —Katiana, 29, freelance writer
$35,000: “My dad’s accountant once told me that everyone should prepare a savings account that’s a contingency fund should anything happen, and that you should have six months to a year’s worth of expenses in there. I’m fortunate enough to have been promoted a few times and not to have loans from college. I’m saving for grad school, so I try to put away $1,500 every month.” —Ilana, 25, consultant
$25,000: “Most of my savings has been a result of putting all work bonuses, tax refunds and an automatic transfer of $40 a month into my savings account. I’m pretty happy with this, especially considering I live in New York City and my parents do not provide me any financial support (other than the fact they did pay for my college, which I’m forever grateful for because it saved me a fortune in student loans). I would like to have at least $30K in savings by the end of the year, which should be feasible. I do think that when I moved to New York City it set me back in being able to save because when you’re just getting started out it seems impossible to catch up. It can be disheartening when I look at friends from my hometown who are able to buy houses already, but I guess that’s the price you pay to live in the Big Apple!” —Haley, 26, public relations supervisor
$37: “I hear you should have at least six months’ salary in savings, but I keep everything in my checking account and never save. I’m fiscally irresponsible and trying to pay off my loans, so I usually pay $100 to those every month. I also transferred all my credit card debt to one card that I have to pay off within the one year they gave me with no interest, and that’s $200 – 300 a month. I got Invisalign last year, hence the credit card debt. It was worth every penny, but if I were putting that $300 into savings every month, I would feel a lot better about myself. If I get fired, I’m going to have to move in with my mom.” —Jules, 25, manager in business development
$20,000: “My savings are thanks to my job in banking and not having a life for the past two years. I honestly don’t keep track of how much I save, but I try to do small acts that help me accumulate savings: I limit shopping to a few times a year, like winter (sales!) and pre-summer. Work also lets me have $25 for Seamless dinner, so I try to order lunch for the next day. I also try to walk to work to save money, but some recent hell weeks (2:00 a.m. average) have led me to abuse the ‘order uberX’ button on my phone as I am rushing to get dressed in the mornings. My job also keeps me grounded, so I rarely go on trips, though I am finally splurging big-time and going to Croatia next week.” —Angie, 25, equities analyst
$9,500: “A big chunk of that will be transferred out in the next few weeks so that I can pay my bills for the summer. Since I’ve been living on law school student loans for three years, the savings are there to allow me to start paying the loans back before I get my salary. Every semester when I get a loan disbursement, I immediately put $1,000 into the savings to try and keep for emergency use and to start getting some interest. I’ve rarely touched the savings the last three years, with the exception of having to make some withdrawals to cover rent and other expenses during those gaps in loan disbursement (so basically, summers). Since my last loan disbursement was in January, and I won’t be getting any income until October, I know I’m going to have to dip into the savings a great deal in the coming months (for rent, bills, and student loan re-payment). Though my savings are higher than most people in my situation, I wish that I could save more for all the uncertain future expenses I’ll have. But as a student, it’s been hard. I just always imagined that at age 27, I would be a bit more financially stable (rather, without all these life uncertainties that make it hard to plan!).” —Ann, 27, federal law clerk
$25,000: “I am the type of person who has always been careful with my money. Ever since I was young, my parents have always told me how important it is to start saving money early. I am currently a nursing student at the University of Miami and unemployed, but have had many jobs before. Every time I received a paycheck, I would immediately put half into savings. When I reached $5,000, I put all of my income into savings. I don’t have a lot, but I plan to keep my strategy of putting half of my income into my savings when I become a nurse. I hope to have enough money saved in the future to be able to take care of my family and myself when I am not able to work any longer.” —Elisa, 25, nursing student
$9,000: “I have savings from money I put away while working in college. I also have a 401k I contribute to weekly, but I’m not sure how much is in it because I don’t regularly check it. I contribute about three percent of my weekly paycheck because I can’t afford to contribute any more, although I would like to. What helped me was starting to save early, and any chance I get, I try to put some away. For example, my tax return went straight to my savings. Living in New York definitely isn’t helping to save and I wish I could be saving on a more weekly basis.” —Rose, 25, hotel sales coordinator
Have any tips on how to save money? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
This post was originally published on Levo League by Zahra Barnes.