Am I Saving Enough? Here’s How to Tell, Ep #1

Saving EnoughDuring our first meeting, a 55-year-old couple asked, “How do you think we’re doing for people our age? Are we saving enough?”

This is a good question, one I’m often asked. People want to know how they measure up.

They hope to hear that they are doing better than most. In their minds, this means things are moving in the right direction. But “keeping up with the Joneses” has never been a bankable strategy. So we need to dig deeper to determine what the question is really about.

For the couple I was meeting with, what they were really asking was whether it would be possible for them to retire early based on their current savings. But for a young couple just having kids, the same question is likely to center on saving for college or moving into a bigger house.

People ultimately want to know if they will have enough money to do the things they still hope to do.

Digging Deeper

To begin answering this question for yourself, you first need to know the type of life you want to live. You must understand how much you are spending versus how much you are earning. But determining your spending needs is a tough nut to crack.

That’s because spending decisions are heavily influenced by quality-of-life considerations. Some people hire house cleaners and lawn services, while others prefer doing it themselves. Eating nice meals out frequently may be the spice of life for you, but others enjoy cooking at home.

Decisions on the bigger-ticket items have the greatest impact. A large house will require a larger down payment, meaning less liquid savings. Some people aspire to drive nicer cars for short periods, while others want to drive cars until the wheels fall off. Then there’s that little decision about having kids, which will have more than a slight impact on your financial trajectory.

Acknowledging the things you consider important to your quality of life can give you a great blueprint for the amount it will take to sustain that life.

Struggling to Save

While some who ask “Am I saving enough?” are seeking validation, others are worried that they haven’t saved enough.

Recent research finds that 68% of people believe they’ve saved too little — but only 3% are actually following through by saving more. This isn’t surprising. It’s the same disconnect you find in all endeavors that require consistent action. We can all get charged up on a jolt of motivation, but when it’s time to implement, we freeze.

Thoughts bubble up about the big trips we want to take this summer, or that luxury car we’ve always wanted (and deserve). We start thinking about putting more money into our 401(k), and we realize we need to limit our current spending to make it work. Then it doesn’t sound like such a good idea.

This is when what seems simple in theory (saving more) becomes hard. Making choices that change our quality of life now is more painful than we originally thought and often results in inaction.

The Answer

The only way to know if you are saving enough is to piece together your financial puzzle.

Take inventory of what you’ve saved and how much you anticipate you can still save. Set up automatic transfers of money from checking to savings — but watch the credit card bills. Automating savings while accumulating credit card debt is counterproductive.

Working with a qualified advisor can make an enormous difference. Studies have shown the effect that good advice can produce. Often, this advice helps prevent you from ratcheting up your lifestyle too quickly in the first place.

Some questions have easy answers. Unfortunately, “Have I saved enough?” is not one of them. With successful financial planning, you can find your answer — and if it’s no, you can devise a way to get to yes.

This story was was originally featured on NerdWallet, and it also appears in Yahoo Finance and Nasdaq.

Subscribe To This Podcast

Apple Podcasts <> Spotify <> Google Podcasts

9 Responses to “Am I Saving Enough? Here’s How to Tell, Ep #1”

  1. avatar


    Chad, hope I am doing ok!

  2. avatar


    Did you know you can pay your bills online without having to go to the bank to get cash? Lots of people do find it very difficult to carry cash around. Sometimes, they can’t access their bank account. But do you not that is been made easier when you have your credit card with you. You can be able to shop online, pay your bills, and won’t be carrying lots of cash. A credit card makes everything easier and saves you time as well.

  3. avatar

    credit score scale

    magnificent points altogether, you simply received a new
    reader. What would you suggest about your publish that you simply made a few days in the past?
    Any sure? credit score scale

  4. avatar

    we just did 46 shirt

    Everyone loves what you guys tend to be up too.
    This type of clever work and exposure! Keep up the awesome works guys I’ve incorporated you guys
    to my personal blogroll.

  5. avatar


    Excellent publish, very informative. I ponder why the opposite experts of this sector don’t realize this. You should continue your writing. I’m confident, you have got a great readers’ base already

  6. avatar

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this superb blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS
    feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new
    updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

  7. avatar


    I will right away take hold of your rss as I
    can’t in finding your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Kindly permit me recognise in order that I may subscribe.

  8. avatar

    First off I want to say great blog! I had a quick
    question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.

    I was curious to find out how you center yourself
    and clear your mind prior to writing. I have had difficulty
    clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there. I truly
    do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the
    first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips?

    Appreciate it!

  9. avatar

    Thanks , I’ve just been looking for info about this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I have found out so far.
    But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure in regards to the supply?

Leave a Reply

More Like This

Subscribe to our Blog

Get weekly updates with our latest blog posts.

Download our 5 Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor eBook

We break down some of the most important questions we are asked on a regular basis.

Blog Categories