How much money should you have saved by 30? 35? 40? Even more importantly, have you reached these three critical money milestones by your 30th birthday?

It’s among the most common questions I get: How much money should I have saved by 30? (Or by 25, 22, etc.)

Of course, it’s always seemed to me to be a silly question, because everybody has unique money, life, and career situations. Still, everybody loves benchmarks, so let’s try to find some.

“How much money should you have saved by 30?” is a rather oversimplified question. After all, having $50,000 in a savings account and $100,000 in credit card debt is a much different situation than having zero debt and $500 saved. Looking at savings alone, anybody would rather have $50,000 than $500. But most (smart) people would rather have $500 and no debt than a negative $50,000 net worth.

That said, I think your goal by the age of 30 should be:

No consumer debt

A mortgage and student loans are OK; but you should pay off credit card debt, auto loans, and other debts.

Three to six months worth of living expenses saved

This is your emergency fund, and it should be saved in a high yield savings account that’s separate from your checking account.

Some investments

Here, I think the fact that you’ve started investing is more important than how much you’ve invested. Read about getting started investing or choose from our recommended investment accounts for young investors to open an account.


Again, everybody is different, and age may not be the best milestone to use to compare your finances with your peers. (Still, people do). For example, somebody who spent most of their twenties in graduate or professional school may be just entering the workforce at 30. Somebody who has been working for twelve or eight years straight is obviously in a better position to have money stashed away by their 30th birthday.

When it comes to savings, the only absolute numbers you should focus on are specific savings goals (e.g. for a down payment, a new car, or a vacation) and your emergency fund.

After that, simply save the biggest percentage of your income as you can muster, putting money first into retirement accounts like a 401(k) and Roth IRA.

Then, what you do with your money is your decision. You can, for example, decide for yourself whether to invest and save more or pay down your student loans early.

Read more:

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About the author

Total Articles: 353
David Weliver is the founder of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues he faced during his first two decades as an adult. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.

Article comments

We invite readers to respond with questions or comments. Comments may be held for moderation and will be published according to our comment policy. Comments are the opinions of their authors; they do not represent the views or opinions of Money Under 30. Comments have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser, nor are they reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our partners. It is not our partner’s responsibility to ensure all posts or questions are answered.
sb says:

What about debts to your parents ? Does that count ? Please clarify.

Pablo Savin says:

You young folks are rolling. I am 48 and we have been able to obtain a net worth of 4.5 million. No debt , one kid, bust ya ass. Here is the way to do it. start at 17 and save 20% of your take home pay. AT least 20% if you can do 25 or 30 go for it. Now here is the biggest thing of all. DONT SPEND IT! No kidding. Trust me it works. It is easy to do for a few years , try it for three decades. Buy a couple of rentals. With the interest rates so low folks are getting into risky investments. BE CAREFUL!

Matt Smith says:

Hey guys, I’m 30, and have a net worth of about 400k, Just had my second child. Some people are doing unreal for their age and money, but I don’t mind. I’m happy where I am 🙂 Wishing you all the best

John says:

26 – ~160-170k income per year depending on how much rent I collect and the bonus i receive at work. $100k+ in 401k. 4-Rental Properties worth 1.7million+ total, w/ ~950k in mortgage debt…. driving 1995 Honda Civic.which i bought for $3k. still wondering how I got there?

Justin says:

Wow you guys are killing it!

Joe says:

I’m 32 and have $52 saved

Naiara says:

Hi Joe, I’m also 32 and I have 51 pounds saved. lol

Mike says:

I am turning 30 in a couple months and interested to see if any of the members on this board are married and have a house? I just spent $25K on a wedding/honeymoon late last year and just put down $15K on a house this year. I have about $25K in savings and $40K in retirement accounts. Some of these numbers being posted make me wonder if I am saving enough?? Does anyone else on this board have a family and house that they are also considering when saving?

alex says:

I turn 29 next month and got married 5 years ago, spent 30k on wedding / honeymoon, put 20k down on a house in 08, and have 30k in retirement savings and 110k in regular savings accounts. Going to taper off on regular savings and focus on retirement, hopein to retire at 55.

alex says:

i forgot to mention that I live off 2k a month!

KG says:

I just turned 27, have been married for 7 years (yeah yeah, we are a young couple but we act like “This is 40” with each other) to a husband who turned 30 this year; we bought a house with a FHA loan two years ago with just 6K down payment– and that was just a few months after I graduated with a MA degree (I think I only had a 9K in savings when we brought the house). He is still a Ph.D student with a decent annual stipend of 25K with a lot of side jobs.
We are debt-free on college tuition, thanks to generous scholarships and million of side jobs while being students.

Going from a freelancer to staff boosts up my income significantly, now I have 33K in my savings, 4K in my checking and $16 on my credit card (just paid this month off). My TSP account is very small, as I just started my current position, only in 8K.
I live off 3K monthly (after taxes) and only have the mortgage as my current debt.

I still shop at second-hand thrift stores or discounted retailers and still drive around my old 2000 toyota car (I think it is on its death rattle but I can afford to buy an used car). My husband and I work at the same university (different departments) which is 2 minutes from our home and it’s also 5 minutes from a popular street for young professionals to hang out for dining and bars, so I am not complaining…
However it doesn’t stop me from being curious and know how much we should set up ourselves financially because I don’t have any net to fall back onto (I am definitely not like Mitt Romney with his rich parents).

Big expenses ahead for us are: adoption fees (~20K, with half being tax-deductible) and possibly a new-but-used car (my limit is 10K).

I think I am in an okay position as long I don’t mess up at my job, my husband finishing his Ph.D on time then finding a job with a good salary, our house doesn’t fall down on us, and this, and that, and, and,
And I think it goes the same for you.

Kat says:

I am a 24 year old public school teacher with $40,000 saved and no debt of any kind.

Martha says:

How much do you pay in bills, and groceries? Maybe that is where I am going wrong!

Bob says:

I am 28 years old. What % of my earnings should I save?

bbp says:

10% is a good start but more is always better! The % of saved is going to vary person to person, it all comes down to personal decisions and situations.

Martha says:

I am a public school teacher and make only 30,000 a year. There is no way I could have any of these numbers for savings. I have 6 months of my salary put away, but not much else. This is scary!

bbp says:

Some times we can not control what we make in our day jobs. If your able to, you should look into making more income from a side business or extra work. You mention your a teacher, is it possible you could work as a tutor after hours or on the weekends for extra income?

Ryan says:

I’m 23 and have lived with my parents since high school. Spend roughly 3k a year and have saved 35k working in restaurants. Never went to school besides community college where I received two associates. The difference is I have saved roughly 50% or more of my income every year. I know I’m crazy but I want to be rich.

Ryan says:

also it takes a strict set of rules or dieting if you will. I was poor growing up so I think I am better equipped to not fall into the trap most of the middle class falls into. My friends would go to gas stations to get cigarettes and while there would grab candy and sometimes a drink. I would only get the cigarettes. Every time. This is just one example I am sure there’s a million. Kind of like how I want a million dollars 😉

lovelygirl says:

I am 20 years old with $12,000 saved of my hard work while going to school full time. As some of you mentioned above, it is not how much you make but how much you can save. In comparison to many people my age I think I’m on the right track (0 debt). I hope by the time i’m 30 I’ll have a lot more save and of course some investments.


Great site! I am in my late 20s, and have been working for about 2 years. I have 5 figures worth of savings, and 5 figures in a roth IRA account (unfortunately, I do not qualify for a 401K account at work yet).

I’m pretty blown away at some of the earnings and savings figures posted here. As a social worker, I will likely never earn 6 figures, and I suppose that does put a damper on my ability to save the big bucks. Sometimes I wonder if I should have done something else instead of getting that masters degree in social work! However, I do try to aggressively save what I do earn. I’m also fortunately enough not to have any student loan debt, but will probably have a mortgage sometime soon.

Hopefully there’s some hope for me! Will definitely continue to frequent your site for tips!

I’m 28, with about $207K in net worth right now.

I’m hoping to reach $230K by the end of the year. Or at least, that’s the goal.

I focus mostly on expenses day-to-day, but when I start a new job, or move to a new position, I always negotiate up to the penny.

Making a big income is definitely a boost but as I’ve observed in my friends and family, if you spend every penny, you might as well make $0.

I save as much as I can, but not to the point where I won’t spend money on impulse buys or eating out, although I do get twinges of guilt and periods where I try my hardest to be on my best behaviour.

I could definitely be spending a lot less than I’m spending right now, but then I wouldn’t feel like I’m enjoying my life. It’s a balance…

Nevertheless, I max out my retirement each year, plus I try to put away 50% – 75% of my net income, which I think if I reach successfully each month, I consider it good enough. 🙂

bbp says:

Most guys here who have responded have the right idea! Its not about how much you make but how about how much you can save! When I used to make a lot less money then friends who made in the 6 figures, I still managed to save more money then they ever could! Now that I make a 6 figure income, I still live the life style of when I was living on about 30k to 40k a year. Its just about figuring out how much you can live off comfortably… and when you do make more money, don’t be tempted by the things that you really don’t need to have.

Most people these days live in the NOW and don’t think about the 20, 30 or 40 years ahead.

Bridget says:

If you didn’t go back to school late, or didn’t go to school for a professional program (law, medicine, dentistry, PhD) that kept you in school until past 25, there’s no reason you should have student loans at 30. If you do, you’re not paying them off fast enough or your borrowed too much.

I’m 26. I’ll be debt free next year (just student loans), my retirement acount is over five-figures, but I only about about 1.5 months of living expenses saved in my emergency fund. I have additional investments I could liquidate if things ever really did get ugly though =\

bbp says:

I am 28 with about 165k net worth currently. I don’t have many investments at all which is my downside. Currently my income is at 125k per year… and I expect this to increase year by year. Things will depends on much it will increase though. I don’t think I am doing too bad at all compared to the average person, I do feel like I could do better. I was in the Army and served in Iraq between 2006 to 2007, I was injured. My injuries set me back quite a bit, after being discharged from the military and only on a VA pension that pays at 1661 a month. I was not able to work full time. It took me about 3 and half years to get back on my feet and well enough to work again. I am still in a lot of pain but I deal with it and drive on. I still have that soldier in me that has the will power to keep fighting for my families well being.

Thomas says:

125k at 28 you are doing extremely well. I think my dad at 50 odd was only on 200+k and my mum (though has only returned to work in the last 10 years) is on what you make now. Me by comparison turn 25 this year and only make 23k, my next big salary increase is likely to go into 30k but not for the next 2 years at least. I have a comforable desk job, no credit card debt as such and 4k in savings. My sole investment will be when me and partner buy a house in the next 18 months, with help from our parents to pay the deposit. So I’d say you are well on the way, have a look at property investment. I used to work for a development company and with your disposable income you could easily afford one of the properties there. 12% annual yield

That’s a lot of coin for someone still in their 20s. I’ve noticed that folks with military service often do better. The soldier mentality is applied to financial life as well.

bbp says:

not always the case, most of my peers who made the same as I did were always broke. Usually this was just bad money managing, buying cars/trucks that they could not afford. Often partying every weekend… I learned its not about how much you make but how much you can save.

jason says:

What job do you have?

danika madrid says:

Hello all, I am here more for friendly advice then to show off ;).

I am 28, a musician.

I have just about no money to my name ( well I do have 2,500 in bank, but I owe 8,000 in student loans so you get the pic.)….I wish to pay my student debt off by september this year.

besides my 8,000 student loan debt, I have about 12,000 in medical debt.
Is it true that medical debt does not hurt your score as much as non medical debt?
Thank you.

jessica says:

I have 14,000 invested in stocks, etc. for at least 10 years, and 17,000 in savings I intend to mostly blow (?) over the next 8 months on a round-the-world backpacking trip.

I felt pretty okay about this until a friend my age (24) kind of freaked out that I was going to kill my savings like that.

I’m young enough to recover, no? And I’ll probably only spend like 10 or 12 of it, with extra left over to relocate and get a job overseas. (I had an excellent job in Korea and in general feel pretty confident about my job prospects, particularly in Asia.)

Some reassurance would be nice, but be brutal if you think I’m being excessive here with 8 months and this much money being spent at once. Thanks!

I wasn’t nervous, but now

Drew says:

I think it’s funny how some people don’t believe that 22-30 year olds can have “so much money”. It is possible and more common than you might think. It takes a combination of things to achieve, but it is not impossible. I’m guessing most of these people did most of the following:

– were taught the value of saving by parents
– worked in high school and saved money for college
– received scholarship money
– worked all summer during college years, probably paid internships
– pursued a degree that put them into high paying, high demand jobs
– got a 6 figure salary job, as planned
– continue with the “poor college kid” mindset and save agressively
– live with roommates to save on rent and bills
– take advantage of 401(k) matching
– invest savings wisely

Believe it or not, doing this can allow you to save a lot of money. If you graduated college at 22 debt free, make $100k a year, live with a roommate, and are frugal. You could easily live on 50% of your take home pay. That means after 2-3 years of saving and investing, you could easily be sitting on $100k, at the ripe old age of 25. By 30, you could be sitting on almost $500k or own a house with out a mortgage.

You reap the benefits of what you plan for. You will notice that everything I listed above did not “happen” to these people, they planned for it starting back in high school and college. They chose a difficult career path with high salaries and high demand. They choose to live on less than what they make. It can be done, and is being done. You just have to plan for it to happen.

jason says:

What job do you have?

mcginnin says:

Hi all!!

I’m 25 recently married for 7 months. I found this site and think its great that others are wondering the same that I am. Am I doing enough am I on the right track with my money?

I’m 25 my wife is 23, I went to a junior college $0 debt
My wife went to Penn State…..(giggles) $0 debt
We both work at NIH and love it!

We have a combine income of about $95,000
keep $5000 in checking at all times
Have about $153,000 in savings

Each have a Roth IRA with $5,000 ( just started)
And we have mutual fund accounts of 16,000 with monthly installments of $500
And Simple IRA with my work only about $3,500

0 in debt in our names no car payments student loans. Yes we still live with my in-laws who will not take a penny of rent (I’m not proud of this)

Questions let me know I love talking saving/investments.

L says:

My personal stats are not that great, but I’m being optimistic that I’m setting up for the rest of my life in other ways than cash. I don’t make too much money each year (about 35k gross, 26k take home after 401K and health insurance), so I try to focus on reducing my daily living expenses and minimize the cost of the typical large purchases.

I bought my house at 25 (now 27). I put 20% down on a liveable fixer upper to avoid PMI. My total house payment (taxes, insurance, mortgage) is almost half of rent of an apartment in that area and I work on the fixer upper a little bit at a time, taking advantage of sales and do as much as I can myself or with help from friends and family.

Got a quality used car and paid that off in less than a year (2 years ago). If I can, I want to drive this car for at least 10 more years. I’m pretty frugal in the areas I don’t care about, but I’m still able to spend money on things that I do care about so I never feel deprived. I rarely if ever make unplanned purchases.

I’m 27 and have $61k left on my mortgage which I hope to pay off by 33. I’m not making early payments (yes, I know it can save on interest) because even though I can’t earn as much interest as I would be saving by paying early, I feel more comfortable leaving the savings in a high yield savings and paying it off in bulk. This allows me access to the money for other money-saving opportunities that may come along that require an upfront investment. And I like not having it tied up. The only time I expect to pay extra on my mortgage is on my pay-off quote.

My financial port is not great but I graduated college with no student loans (I have to thank my family for that) and I’ve only had a full-time job for 3 years. My only debt is a $61k mortgage and 6k I owe on a 0% credit card that I will pay off before the 0% trial APR ends (the money went towards necessary home improvements so I’m hoping that it helped to raise the value of the property as well). I have 9k in a ROTH, and about 7k in my company’s 401K (includes the company match ups).

I don’t currently contribute to my ROTH and my saving account is only $400. It used to be 6k but I made the decision to pay my car off in 9 months (after learning it was costing $80/month in interest.) I was forced by my homeowner Insurance a few months ago to get a new roof (ah, the joys of home ownership). I’m at peace with it because I’ve saved at least that if not more with the low house payment, and I was going to replace the roof within a year or two anyway.

After I pay back my roof in about 6 months from money I borrowed on a 0% interest for a year Home Depot credit card, I will be back on the saving train.

I’m not calling anyone a liar, but to be honest I do question the under 30s who comment on financial blogs with what appears to be highly inflated numbers. The math just doesn’t add up, especially if they went to college for at least 4 years. Not saying they don’t have the money, but maybe they are counting their spouse’s or parents’ money lol, or they inherited it. I consider myself smart with money but even if the only thing I bought was food, and lived out of a cardboard box, time is not on my side and there is no way I could earn or have that much so early in my career and life.

I’m going to say that I want to be realistic and expect to have at least $70k in Retirement and savings by 30.

Duds says:

I’m 28. I have 130k in high interest account. 100k tied up in investment properties. I only earn $90k after tax. The bulk of my money was saved by doing 3x 6 month patrols in which my Country are awarded bonuses by the IMF. Wage + IMF + tax free zone. Currently receiving $6500 a fortnight but spend up to 4 weeks at sea for a period of 4 months. I find the job itself easy, the separation from home is where it’s hard. Right now I’m saying I’m never coming back but I said that after the first rotation when I was 21, then again second rotation 25, now I’m 28. Have 3 houses off set with $130k and I still feel it isn’t enough. Is a 5-6 months away from family worth $50k?? I will return with 70 days rec leave and 3 months long service leave for 10 years service.

p j w says:

I’m so happy I found this site. Ppl rarely discuss finances but its something that is important to all of us. To the young lady is who 24 turing 25 with over $60k saved & $3500 in checkings I want to send a Huge congrats to you. You have no debt, excellent credit, & excellent finances. This is the American Dream & you are living it.

Stevie says:

These comments are hilarious. There are clearly spammers posting about how wealthy they are in their mid-20s, for who knows what purpose, and some people chose to get into a flame war. Hilarity.

David Rand says:

Forgot to add pensions will have 2% annual cost of living increases.

David Rand says:

Wife and I make 160k per year. Kids are out of the house and on their own. House and two cars are paid for. We will retire 12/24/11 with a dual govt pension income of 130,000 per year. We have about 100k in 457 differed accounts and 60k in a credit union cash account. .We are keeping the differed accounts locked and will use them for emergencies. We both have life time 90/10 health insurance with 100% of the premiums paid.

Jared says:

27yrs old, 2k ounces of silver, $35k in savings, no debt, rent a house.

blissful says:

Spoil brat! LOL! Lucky ducky! Sigh…we can’t have it all can we???? I am not rich $$$ but I think I can say I have accomplished so much more than the average person….

shay says:

How much we talkin?

blissful says:

In terms of what I had to struggle as a child supporting a mentally sick mother and raising a younger sister since the age of 13 while the father left us broke. Yes, since I was 13…working at a super market and getting paid in cash. Now I am 29…turing 30 yikes! Got 2 bachelors and 1 masters and now on my way to a license. Maybe law degree too…dunno yet. Working in my career…but definitely not nearly as wealthy as anyone on here. Would I like to??? Of course!!! I’d like to live the luxurious life, wash my car wtih evian, and not even think twice about buyin something or dropping everything to take my mother and I on a nice vacation on the islan of Figi or Bali…;-) I am very envious of those that had a better life than I did and had a stable family and “normal” childhood. But it is what it is…just gotta keep living and making it. I’ll get there some day just not while I am in my 20s like everyone else. ;-(

blissful says:

SOrry about all the typos!

Yabba says:

I truly admire your courage and all that you’re doing for your family. It takes courage to be able to stand through all such hardships and still be able to have a positive demeanor in life. Kudos

shay says:

I just turned 27. I have 130K in the bank, and a 2010 jeep which I paid cash for. Booo ya!

I’m on track to have 300K in the bank by age 32. One day I will buy something awesome.

Todd says:

someone that works for a private military company BRAGGING online ?

P.H says:

I have over $50k in savings and I’m under 40 years old. It’s possible to save if you’re willing to sacrifice. If you are in a low income bracket you’re limited to what you can do. Go to college, trade school or start a side business. Do everything, but complain. Who can save on $7.25 an hour and pay their bills? However, if you’re making over $50k and can managed to stay out of debt it’s possible. My advice; Put yourself on a strict budget, save 3-6 months for an emergency, pay off ALL debt except rent or mortgage (keep your rent or mortgage payments under 35% of your take home pay), build your emergency fund to 12 months and put it in a Money Market Savings Account, invest 10% of gross pay for retirement (if your company matches up to 5% you’re investing 15% for retirement), split and invest 15% of your take home pay (10% in savings and 5% in a 529 or if you don’t have any children put 15% in savings. That means 50% (35% mortgage or rent and 15% savings) of you take home is free for the other bills, entertainment, vacations, clothing, food, gas, etc. Enjoy!!

jojo kong says:

Hilo am Jojo born and brought up from middle class family and start earning at the age of 25 with high ambitious but i regret myself just at the age of 29 after having lots of debt without zero saving in my account . I dont know what shall i do inorder to recover my 4 lacs loan with interest . Am 29 years old now n earning only 21000 .
Please help me and suggest means and way to recover my loan 4 lac. I know its hard to recover at one time without any assets living behind

patrick says:

Hi, I am 31 years old and have about 27,000 in real estate partnerships (apartment buildings that were bought in cash a few years ago and some bare land deals along major freeways). we are sitting on the apartments and land right now i dont need the money so its fine. We will wait and refinance and get my intitial investment back to me in a check and still have my precent of the property owned. i also have about 3500 in stocks right now. Thats mainly what im trying to build up right now are dividend paying stocks to get that snowball effect going. My income is not very stable so i havent been able to put away as much in the last few years but i believe in persistance so im always putting something away. I also have a old 53 pickup im building which will be worth about 12,000k when im done and after i put about 10k into it over the years. How am I doing? Not good as some but I cant really complain.

Kristen says:

Hi all-
I am 30 and don’t have that much saved. I went to college for 5 years and graduated. I continue to waitress and be a social worker… depends on what you do for work. you can have an okay job and be happy with okay money or you can be rich and hate your job but have lots and lots of money. i work with the elderly and one thing i have learned working with them, is you can’t take it with you….

Mark says:

Josh, thank you for your service in Iraq. I am currently deployed in Iraq as well. Our present success and safety is owed in no small part to the efforts of everyone in the military who was here before us. You all deserve every penny you earned out here.

I turned 24 last month and have saved almost $75K (no loans or other debt), most of it in the past year and a half, while in the military. Being deployed overseas does help you save money. Having a regular job that pays well (not just the military) is obviously a big help. I will probably have a much healthier appreciation of the benefits of free rent, food, etc., if I go back to being a civilian in a couple years.

Money has weighed heavily on most of my decisions up to this point. I went to one of the only colleges I could afford to go to (without loans), didn’t get a credit card until I turned 23, and sold my car before I moved to a base in Okinawa last year, so I could get free of my car loan.

You should be thrifty insofar as that money is on your mind from time to time. You do NOT have to obsess over it (this can be very unhealthy), nor do you need to scrimp and pinch every penny you get. It should be a thought, though, no matter what. Unless you have millions of dollars to burn, you can’t just throw fifty or a hundred dollars around like it’s Play-Doh. (If you’re thinking about Vegas…come up with a plan before you cross the Clark County border)

Even if you do come by a lot of money, it is important to maintain the same spending habits that you had before this happened. I made a lot of money in the stock market with a couple lucky investments this year. Before this, my goal was to make enough to buy some nice speakers for $100-200. After I had made the money, I did not suddenly rush to get the $2500 surround-sound system (though it was tempting).

Point being, stick to your spending habits that you’ve developed when money was tight. Don’t just throw it around the moment you start making a really good paycheck.

Then again…if you really really want something, and you KNOW you can afford it…don’t deny yourself some of the small pleasures in life. It’s those small things in life that make it what it is, right?

—-Saving wisely, but happily drinking decent beer, since 2009.

Sam says:

It’s really cool that people are saving well and being smart with money, I’m 21 and have a meager sum of just over 4k (english pounds) – probably around $7,000, (no debt). It may not be a lot but I’ve really enjoyed saving it, working jobs that I’ve loved. I’m just questioning if I should goto University and come out with debt or just keep doing what Im doing – it seems to be working. It does feel more valuble when you’ve earned something in an honest and enjoyable way. All of my friends are in debt and coming out of University to be greeted with lame career choices. My ultimate goal is to do what I want to do in comfort. Simple pleasures are the best – money on such a large scale is intimidating to me, the fear of finally having it all and being bored is a bad one. I don’t think I’ll interject in the crude debate over soldiers paycheques.

Happy living and spend wisely.

Shannon says:

I wanted to share my husband’s story with realistic numbers… We met working at McDonald’s in high school. He worked hard and went straight into management when he turned 18. He delayed college for a year (good decision, he wasn’t ready) and worked really hard learning the different aspects of restaurant management – he was promoted to a salaried manager position when he was 19. At that point he started at the local state school – one of McDonald’s benefits is ~$4500/yr tuition repayment, so college was on them. He also started investing in the 401k up to the match right away, I think they match 6% for his 4% investment. Today he is 29 and a restaurant manager. His annual salary now is ~44K but he has 86K in his 401k because he started so early (and he invested heavily in McDonald’s stock – not a great idea to put so many eggs in one basket but it has done fairly well overall so far).

I’m not sure how he had the insight to do all this at such a young age. I wish I could say I was a good influence, but we didn’t actually start dating until late college. Thought his story is a good one for you to share with your high school aged kids… he grew up in a fancy suburb and took a lot of flack for flippin burgers, but since he’s been in management 10 years now he has an 8 week paid sabbatical this year (on top of his 5 weeks paid vacation) and gets a company car next year. (He is currently still driving his car from high school…) He works for a corporate store – not a franchise. It may be burgers, but they take decent care of their people! Not a bad option in today’s economy.

Blissful says:

Yes, credit cards are EVIL! I have a huge student loan debt and a huge CC debt that I am still trying to pay off. I am 29, no house, teeny tiny investment account, and a teeny tiny savings account. My networth is definitely negative if you’re going to throw in the student loand debt.

Wow – I have to be honest and say…man I really envy some of you. Being at such a young age and having so much money. I hate to say this, money IS everything! People say it is NOT, but it really is! Without money – you ain’t shit and you feel inadequate. I

I came from a broken home. Father with gambling addiction left mother. Mother was left with my sister and I. Mother suffered from schizophrenia and I have supported her for the last 16years. Worked at a sweat shop from ages 13-17 and got paid in cash. I made sure mommy and lil’s sis were fed and safe and sound.

Hey, we all want the finer things in life. Everyone of us is materialistic whether or not you want to admit it. The degree of being materialistic varies from person to person.

I suffered from a major crisis during my childhood. But today I earned 2 degrees working on the 3rd. Almost done paying off my car. But I have 95K in student loans, $10K in CC debt; $1,800 remaining on my car loan; only $20K in savings and $6,500 in investment. I am so F****!!!!

I was laid off at the end of 2008. Found a contract job that only paid 1/3 of what I used to make. Life is a F*** Bi*$%!!!

Anyway, my point is save – you never know what’s coming at yah! I feel that everyone of you are super lucky to have came from a healthy and wealthy family. I think I’d be so much better off too if I didn’t have to worry about anyone else’s well being and financials other than my own.

smama says:

Love this article! I’d say my husband and I are somewhere in the middle. Sure as heck don’t have the kind of money some people are saying they have on here but at least we’re doing something!

pdid says:


I think you have excellent advise 2 posts above. We can all strive to save more by spending less.

Kevin says:

Hi im 23 making right at 47,000 a year working on paying off stupid purchases with credit cards and hsbc motorcycle loan, but I hear people saying you have 200,000 usd saved up and dont know if u can afford a house. I live near houston, tx and a decent house can very from 70,000 to really nice houses around 150,000-200,000. I would never rent cause you are not building any equity, and I live in a good area and paid 72,100. For my house

Jake says:

I’m 27 years old and have been actively saving for the past 4.5 years. My goal has been, and will continue to be, obtaining true freedom through financial security.
I ran the numbers the other day and realized a striking truth, I managed to save over $100 per day for the last 4.5 years. I was fortunate enough to land a great job with a nice bonus structure right out of college. I do pretty well, but not as well as you may think. Even though pay makes a big difference in being able to save large sums of money, surprising as it may seem to some people, the most important thing is what you do with it. It is not what you make, it’s what you do with it!
1) Pay off all debt
2) Cut expenses to what you actually need. Live with roommates!!!!
3) Even though you may feel rich, keep a poor mindset. Modesty is key!!! Live small.
4) Invest only in what you understand. No brash decisions.
5) Stay busy. Idle minds spend money.
6) Be thrifty, not necessarily cheap. Weigh costs against the true value. Cable used every night for $100 per month is probably worth it. Buying drinks for $15 at a restaurant when you’re usually perfectly satisfied with water probably isn’t worth it. Buy generic!!!
7) Small things add up. A few dollars here and there add up to big $$ in the long run.

8-100) If buying things makes you happy, give up because you’re f**ked.

L says:

Will you marry me? For real, it’s refreshing to hear that there are people out there that actually *get* that having expensive things does not mean you are rich. Having money, and freedom makes you rich.

Noah says:

I am 25, have about 4 grand in the bank and work research related jobs in southeast Asia that don’t make me shit – but at least they cover my travel/living costs. I went to college and paid off loans, but other than that have no financial security. If I was trying to live in the US right now I would be broke after about 2 months. I can’t even imagine having saved as much as most people here have posted by this age. How do you do the shit you wanna do and keep money in the bank?? I am going straight to Vegas with my last couple thou when I get back then I’ll repost.

Jake says:

As much as you can and more then most.

AJ says:

Just read all of the posts on here between blake and josh. I think you are a sick, sick person Mr. blake. If I was able to ever see you we would definatly exchange words. I am a 5 year military and iraq campaign veteran, who now works as firefighter. I also am currently paid by the va for injuries sustained in service. I came onto this site for investment information and was blown away by your comments. How, and I mean HOW? can you speak about someone like that, that is risking there life for your freedom??? I hope you have been kicked out of here. you make me sick.

Shania says:

Hi: I need your input, please. I’m almost 53, a single woman. I have 35k saved, my home is paid for, I have no debt, and have invested quite a bit in silver. Am I off to a good start? Thanks in advance for any helpful input you may have:))

marc says:

smartest comment i have seen yet. When the dollar bubble bursts all of you that are saving with 401k, ira’s, stocks, bonds, savings accounts, cd’s, will be left holding a bunch of worthless paper. And all the smart people who can see the writing on the wall and invested in gold, silver, farm land, food, tools and all other real world items will be the the wealthy class. PHYSICAL SILVER WILL BE THE BEST INVESTMENT OF THIS DECADE!!!!. Do your homework on the silver story, it is worth looking into

GoWhiteStripes says:

I should add, I had 15 k in student loan debt at age 29, $0 in savings, and had 80 k in my 401k that fell to below 40 during the stock market crash. My 401k was at 80 k due to years of putting 20% of my salary into it.

Made smart investments in AAPL and see it at 450 by year end and thats with a low PE, $81 per share in cash and huge growth in the next few years because of expansion into China, growing market share in other products, new products (iTV will happen), etc. I read every day and know my risk.

GoWhiteStripes says:

I’m 33.
I am very lucky to have 88k in investments (much has 15% tax burden; the rest will be there soon)
141 k in my Retirement IRA
30 k in another Retirement IRA

I hope to have substantial growth in all three areas over the next year.
I wouldn’t be surprised if I have 140 k, 180 k, 37 k by year end because I know my investments very well.

I’m hoping to use the savings on a house someday, and let the retirement fund grow.

lovelyGirl says:

I am 19 and I just started saving. I am in college and work a part-time job in which I only make about 900 a month! I currently have saved $1000 in 6 months. Hopefully by the time I am 30 I’ll have save as much as you guys.

Jake says:

Why are you saving in college? Seriously, at that savings rate, you’re far better off not working those extra hours and devoting more time to your studies. In the end, the return on your invested time may have far superior returns to anything you’ll save at $10/hour in college. Also, go out and have fun, you’re young!

lovelyGirl says:

I’m not one of those who have their parents pay for everything. I still have to work even if I wasn’t saving. Maybe now it might not be much but by the time I graduate and get a better job I would be able to save much more.

cutefluffyemily says:

I am 20 years old in college taking engineering classes. I have 14k saved up in savings account, taking full-time studies, paid tuition by scholarships and hard-earned cash without parental assistance and 5k in student loans.

Although I have no retirement, no house, no car, hopfully someday I will too get those things by 30. To me, it is always better to start saving in college while young. “Go out and have fun! you are young!” isn’t really an excuse to not plan for financial future.

Yes, I sacrified all my summers and weeknights to work, but the money I earned today will compound (etiher by the rising inflation or the ability to not take on additional loans and paying interest later). Plus, I get real work-experience in my field….even though I am lowest of the low.

Everyone got to start somewhere,right?

lovelygirl says:

That is exactly what I think. Why waste time when you can start now? I may not have much save but I will get there too.

Jake says:

I disagree with both of you. You seem to imply that saving is a race. It makes me sad. Lovelygirl, having fun is not wasting time at the age of 20. Life just gets busier and a whole lot more stressful. Saving is an important part of becoming financially secure and being truly free, but a larger account is not the goal. The goal is to enjoy life. Having money in the bank can make happiness easier to obtain, but the money itself will not make you happy. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t save at 20, it just shouldn’t be your priority.
Cutefluffyemily, sad 🙁
Both of you missed my original point, in investment terms, it doesn’t make sense to start saving when you’re making so little. Once you graduate and are making real money, it will take you all of a couple months to make up for what you lost. In fact, if you spend some of that time you would have spent working, studying, you may end up making and saving a lot more in the long run. School is about investing in yourself, not adding a few bucks to your meager savings account.
I congratulate you for paying for your school while still in school, but it is foolish to go any further. Life is your greatest possession, don’t waste the best part. Having fun gets harder the older you get, and it gets a lot more expensive.

lovelygirl says:

I understand that. What I don’t understand is, what is the problem with saving now if i still get good grades? You say this is the best time of my life? well by saving I have manage to pay for my vacations and college debt. I’m not sacrificing much by saving. Like I said before, I do get financial aid but I still have expenses. Not everyone has their family to get help from. At what age did you start saving?

eric says:

Jake that’s terrible advice. Sometimes it’s not the actual money you’re saving that’s important, but the head-start in learning how to save. If more young people learned to be financially responsible in college we wouldn’t be in as big a mess as we are.

Folks who think strictly in $$$ RIGHT NOW are sometimes missing the bigger picture.

lovelygirl says:

Thank you eric!!!

L says:

Jake, why do you think “Life just gets busier and a whole lot more stressful [the older you get]” Because people are not prepared. I am making a personal resolution to not have children until I feel comfortable financially.

You would not believe how many people do not plan for kids–and I don’t mean people who accidently get pregnant…I get that it happens. I mean people who actually try to have kids but are in debt, don’t have their mortgage paid off or almost paid off, no savings…etc.

I am only 27 but I have learned that most of the difficulties of life are for lack of preparedness. I would rather face the difficulty of becoming prepared on my own terms, rather than because I’m forced to. It’s a whole different kind of stress when you push yourself to work hard, or save, or get a second job because you choose to, rather than because you HAVE to….both are stressful but guess which type of stress is preferable.

Em says:

I am 21 years old, and began working at an upscale restaurant as a waitress in 2014. Within 2 years I have managed to save $11000It is difficult, but with the correct mindset and motivation, it can be done. The strategy I had was to always put half of my paycheck in savings no matter what it was. I hope this helps & goodluck!

Mandee says:

As an American I am ashamed to live in the same country as some individuals such as Blake…. it is a disgrace to treat someone who is protecting our country that way. You should be ashamed of yourself, you obviously know nothing about the military and have no right to speak of our soldiers’ service in that matter.

On a lighter note I would like to say thank you to Josh for your service to our country and keeping us safe each day/night!

To also go against everything that Blake said regarding being liars because of how much money someone can have saved at a young age…. I am 26 years old and I am proud to say that I have over 130K saved, and I have worked HARD for every penny. I have experienced a very successful career early on with a great company… IT IS POSSIBLE! I might save a decent amount of money but I also spend a good bit of money to treat myself for my hard work. So Blake you are once again wrong….. some of us work hard for our money.

Raul Hernandez says:

My wife and I are 52 and have about 3 million in our retirement accounts and about 75k in cash accounts at our credit union. We hope for a retirement income of about 100k to 140k per year. I also have a pension which will give me 110k per year. I feel I will be able to get by at that income level.

Heather says:

Blake is right. The 20% taken out of my paycheck goes to the soldiers who eat Pizza Hut and shop at Walmart. I pay them to protect me whether or not I like it. Most of them are in the military because no one wanted them here in the states. Fresh out of high school, the ‘almost failures’ choose military instead of homelessness. Since “no student is left behind” these days, they can graduate without even knowing how to read past a 2nd grade level. The government should take my taxes and better education, not military. If everyone was a little bit smarter, maybe they would actually be allowed to vote for the president. Since most people aren’t educated enough to know, WE DON’T PICK who presides over us. A bunch of rich white men on the Electoral college decide for us because illiterate boneheads believe what the media tells them to believe.
Save your money, repopulate the world, and enjoy life. What else is important?
Not blowing people’s heads off, not spending hours online, not jumping off ladders to be sent home from a pointless war.

Ryan says:

The 20% of your paycheck goes everywhere. Soldiers also pay tax so wtf are you even complaining about????!?

Were you upset when 9/11 happened? Whether it was an inside job or not it still pissed you off. So, some people are actually over there in a war zone dealing with what most lazy Americans wont. The same Americans that sit on a pc and talk crap on the net about things they have no clue about. Some soldiers are actually smart and get out and start multimillion dollar companies. Guess smarter than you working you little 9-5.
Josh is not a soldier, he stated he was and now contracts. So you are saying you would not take a 6 figure paycheck? The guy did his time in the military and now is contracting making some big buck for himself. Perhaps jealousy is what you have..

Regardless if the war is real or not, soldiers and contractors are there and are dying. You and the public is what believe the media hype. Do you know what goes on in Iraq or just what you read and see on TV? Hmm, well if you are not physically there ten you are the same bonehead as you call other people. Its funny how many people complain about a war yet to scared to ever do something like that in their lives. I’m proud of our soldiers and vets even though I believe our govt. is the most corrupt of them all.

For 25, Josh has some great funds under his belt. This site is for that, not for what military does or doesn’t do. I also am a contractor and make in the 6 figure mark for the past 4 years. People still get bombed, still get snipped, and still get hurt. Some soldiers are lazy asses and some work as hard as they can. So you are saying that regular working Americans are all smart hard workers!?? Lol, I think not. I have a portfolio set at a 80% high risk and 20% low risk. I own my house ($230k) and only make payments on my wife’s car due to the rates are great right now.

Michele says:

Wow Heather. If you work at Walmart, those soldiers that shop there are essentially paying your paycheck. That 20% of your paycheck does not go to only pay soldiers. I pay the same taxes as you do being in the military. So am I paying for my pay check???

Michelle says:

Even though 20% is a bit of a hyperbole, a large portion of taxes does go to the military. Also, Josh stated above that up to $94k does not get taxed so you are wrong in saying the soldiers are being taxed the same. Joining the military is not courageous or admirable; you are supporting a war that cannot be won. Most of the people that join the military join because they couldn’t get into college or (what I’ve seen more), they couldn’t find jobs following completion of their degree. There is a small set of people that actually planned from the get-go to join the military; however, most did not. Additionally, receiving a paycheck for being injured overseas and yet still being able to work making the same money is absurd. For the most part, I believe in some of the ideas of both Heather and Blake.

will says:

i joined the army after college. what are you trying to say? I just wanted to serve my country so someone else like you didnt have to. I fight for your freedom to say whatever you want on this site.

Matt says:

Heather, you are just barely on the North side of retarded. Do us a favor and don’t try to act like an intellectual on the internet. Don’t bash hard working military men and women, don’t dispense investing advice…you know what don’t give any advice (stop having children as well, don’t need that pollution in the US) and research the electoral college. Don’t let your pals at UC Berkley determine your points of view. Blake, it’s obvious that you’re just a liar and are actually retarded, so no need to waste anymore space. Thanks!

Matt says:

Oh P.S.
You will find some of the brightest, most talented, caring, generous, and hardest working people in the military. So eat it!

Michelle says:

Heather has many solid points. Most of the people that have posted here from the military has admitted to not doing a whole lot and getting paid, tax-free, for it. This is not so much a problem of the people joining the military (hell I would love to get paid $88k a year tax-free to sit on my ass reading financial blogs) but rather a problem with our war-driven government.

“Glad I have something to do at work today” -Josh

Nick says:

If you’d carefully read Josh’s comments, you’d know he makes his 6 figure salary as a PRIVATE CONTRACTOR, not an enlisted soldier. He WAS a soldier.

Also, for the record, I made around 25k in Iraq as a machine-gunner (11B infantry). Afterwards, I went to college, got a BA in Philosophy and a BS in Computer Science, graduated Magna Cum Laude (GPA 3.72), got a good job, and got married to a beautiful woman who gave me a beautiful son. Don’t generalize based on whatever unjustified misconceptions you hold.. it makes you look ugly (on the inside). Have a great day. 🙂

Kate says:

Heather, among other things, you obviously have absolutely no idea what no child left behind means. It is actually quite the opposite of what you said. It means that students are held to certain standards before they can graduate.

eric says:

Actually Kate, No Child Left Behind is much more than that, and it is much worse than that…which is why it’s being phased out. NCLB was a terrible idea from the get-go.

I have some vet friends who are the greatest people I know. They love their country and chose to make a difference. To them I am grateful. They should be afforded certain luxuries for their service. I also have a friend who is dumb as a brick and joined the military because he didn’t have many other opportunities. The time he spent in the military has allowed him to earn a pay-check he never would have seen otherwise. So you see, it works both ways. You can’t lump all soldiers in the same boat. There is also no point in being jealous of a contract worker who was smart enough to take advantage of an opportunity not afforded to your non-military American.

What does alarm me is that our country is spending that much money in another country when we need to focus on ourselves for once.

Kate says:

I never said it was a great thing, but what Heather said is not right. I am a teacher at a public high school.

eric says:

I did not really pay attention to what Heather wrote. I saw what you wrote, and I would imagine you don’t see the problem with NCLB as much in high school as you do in K-4/5 (depending on the SAU) or really even K-8. A lot of intelligent children are held back to accommodate the troublemakers, the kids who just aren’t very smart, the IEP kids or those don’t have parents who care to help them learn outside of class. It’s a very backward system.

The world needs brain surgeons and the world needs burger makers. NCLB ignores that very important philosophy, and what’s worse is it is shoved down kids throats when they are in their formative years. Thank goodness it’s eventually going away.

Josh says:

Some people just do not understand. The military does not pay soldiers anything. As a E-5(Army sgt) I was making about 30K a year while I was in. 30K!! To come overseas and fight a war of lies for a nation which is falling apart anyway. Some of you would never think twice about going or anyone who has lost their life here for that cause. I am not in the military but a private military contractor. I noticed when I was put out of the military service for my injuries that job were hard to land. Either you knew someone or where at the right place at the right time. I took my job overseas due to they were there and the pay was better. People whine about no jobs in America, well make a little sacrifice and go work out of country to make that money to support you and or your family. Yes some days we don’t do much like every person on this blog. Yet 80% of the time, I work 11 hours out of the 12 hour day I have on my 6 day work week. Again, some you whine about working a 5 day 40 hour week and would cry if you are told to work weekends. The difference is I put the effort in to make this income I make and push 78 hour work weeks. This is why I make the pay I do, and at age 25 have right around 200K in my bank, about 10k in the stock market, building my first home, sold my Lexus IS300 and bought a 2009 Lexus IS350 cash, and trying to secure my future at an early age. This type of work I do is not for everyone yet if you are willing to go to 3rd world countries to make a 100k+ yearly salary and live in extremely harsh conditions, harsh food and sanitary conditions. I am proud to say I served in the military, not about the war we are fighting but living under the lying Government we do in America is not better. For those who have not saved as much, it is possible, just put in the effort to get the outcome you are looking for.

Josh says:

On a side note to, Michelle
No I did not join because of the reasons you assumed. I joined because I was 18 and the military offered free college if you sign up for 3 years or more. That is a hell of a deal. Look at all the people who are paying off student debt. If the government is willing to give you something for a little of your time, why wouldn’t you take it? I now have free school for any classes I want to take up to 74K and have completed a good amount while I was in service. Now I have a 6 figure job. so your reason for ppl joining the military is false I have to say. I took it as an investment on my future and it sure paid off well as you can see. I do not agree in our govt at all, I feel they lie and are only worried about themselves. Our nation is still in a recession and it is getting worse. If the gov is willing to give you a 6 figure job to go overseas to work for them either as a mechanic as I used to be or now a logistical lead, you are telling me that you would say no? I highly doubt that. If you have kids or certain reason for not going then yes, that is understandable but for a 22yr old newly separated soldier at the time that was the best thing I could hear.

Michelle says:

You really might want to use the free college that is offered by the military. Maybe you could learn useful things like sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation. This way, when you tell people that you make the amount you do, they might believe you.

Josh says:

Thanks, I do not know where i would be in this world without your punctuation comments. I am not to worried if people believe what i make., if you are ever in Florida, let me know and I’ll walk you in my bank to see my pay stubs and a print out of what I have :). I know at age 25 what I make, what I own, and what is in my bank. I also know at 25 I can enjoy things some people may not have the chance to due to the income I make and the amount I save.

For those looking at a better income or hight paying overseas jobs, look into these companies to get you some more income under your belt. Google the company name then careers after it so you can get to the job page.

bae systems

most middle east jobs pay 100k and up.

This is the way I see it though.

you could make 40K per year stateside.
minus, food, gas, insurance, property tax, HOA fees, water, electric, monthly bills, and monthly spending. You could literally see 20-60% of your income go to that depending on your life style.

Then you still need to put some away to save.

Where I am at, military provides housing, water, electric, we do not drive much and free DFAC food. With this job I literally an save 100% of my annual income if I just work. Then come stateside and have that amount in the bank.

Another way to look at it:]

30k avg salary for 30 years will net 900,000 if 100% is saved.
100K -+ salary for 1/3rd of that time at 9 years nets the same. Once you invest wisely, the money can go further than you think and much quicker. I am not proud that America has overseas jobs but I am glad that I have the opportunity to do this kind of work for this pay.

eric says:

Actually $30k is a lot to some people, Josh.

Good luck and stay safe over there! Invest your money wisely and don’t worry about what people like Blake think.

Lucia says:

Actually Josh, the soldier above sounds quite hot.. Shame Blake sounds like a twit.. Sorry mate but not everybody likes the idiot that criticizes soldiers out there sacrificing their lifes for the country.. You should have some respect, and no he is not working for you, he is working for his country and doing a good job. You should do yours..

Bill says:

babydaddy you seem to be an investor and it sounds like a majority of your money has grown through wise investment not just shoving cash under the mattress.

BabyDaddy says:

So far, so good but I’m no expert. As I said though, it takes a concerted effort to put money away. On my parent’s advice, I’ve always put 10% into the 401k since I began working. I’ve changed companies a couple times which is why I have the Traditional IRA (401k rollover.) Always make sure to max out your employer contributions to your 401k as that is just free money. Also, take advantage of a RothIRA!! I started one just last year but should have been doing it sooner. You are allowed to contribute $5k per person or $10k per married couple annually. This money is already taxed before going in, so, it grows tax free and you get that money free and clear at retirement. Vanguard has some of the lowest fees in the industry for their Roth funds. Lastly, this last year I’ve gotten into the habit of tracking my accounts in Excel. Its just a simple spreadsheet that tracks liquid cash (Savings, High Yield Savings (Emergency Fund), and Stock) and retirement accounts (401(k), RothIRA, TradIRA.) Each month, I take the monthly statement of each account and enter them into my chart. The chart totals each type of cash and their totals and then puts it into a color-coded graph. It gives me a clear indication that my finances are heading in the right direction. Its been very helpful. Good Luck and let me know how its going for you Bill.

Jp says:

Wow!! you guys have to read these two characters above ‘blake’ and ‘josh’ … First off we need to appreciate our United States soldiers that are serving in Iraq even though I do not agree with the war because it is nothing but greed over oil that was generated by our Commander and chief George Bush by a horrible false flag attack on the Twin Towers in Manhattan.

Blake honestly bud your being an idiot and need to show a little respect for Josh.

And Josh you just need to ignore Blake .

; ) ..Prob resolved??….Ohh and P.S. Im 25 and my financial situation is absolutely horrendous …Which in all honesty really doesn’t even matter b/c The united States is 14 TRILLION dollars in debt and our dollar in the up and coming years is going to be next to useless…

…In the thirties and forties …the united states ‘dollar’ was backed by gold bullion in federal reserves…but now has absolutely nothing to back it … so to summarize….

– 14 TRILLION dollars in debt
– for every dollar the U.S. borrows they have to pay back 43 cents on the dollar
– The U.S. debt increases by 4 billion dollars EVERY SINGLE DAY

pretty depressing right?? : ( …Simply the facts …

So Please save a little money but do not try to hard b/c we can wake up one morning and find that the U.S. dollar has no value whatsoever…So by all means rack up debt and just enjoy life


BabyDaddy says:

I’m 29 and I’ve been a hard worker since before graduation. Married now for over 2yrs to a pre-school teacher with a baby due in March. In an overpriced condo in New England with 2 cars. Truthfully, had some help with half of the condo from my Dad. His theory was that he could be a bigger help now versus all in an inheritance later. Been handling the taxes, mortgage, and condo fees myself. Since grad., I’ve worked in sales (car rental, pharma, medical capital equip., and currently ortho med. device.) Just got earnings consistently over $100k in the last year and a half. Add $25k from wifey. Consistently adding 10% to the 401(k). Current account statuses: 401(k)$37.7k, RothIRA $5.5k, TradIRA $23.4k, Savings $31k, High Yield Savings (Emergency Fund) $25.4k, Stock $52k. Just spoke with financial advisor and will be making the move to max out the 401(k) with $16.5k for 2011. This takes full advantage of a 35% company match of what I put in. Soon to move $10k into the Roth ($5k each for 2010) and will add another $10k throughout the year for 2011. Some additional savings will be put into a 529 for the new baby. Any axtra savings after that will be put into some index funds. I feel like these moves will help get me on the right track. I’ll feel better when I have more squirreled away in the retirement accounts.

BabyDaddy says:

Forgot to mention one piece of advice. If its not an emergency use, don’t EVER carry over a balance on your credit cards. I’ve followed that rule, paid them off every month, and I’ve only reaped the benefits of AMEX Blue cash back every year.

Raymond says:

Quick question, whats the benefit of having both types of IRA (Trad and Roth) as well as a 401K? Thanks

Bill says:

This guy vince with the 1.5mil net worth at 30 is a rare exception if he telling the truth. Vince you are not normal. If you have a lot of money saved (say 20-30,000) by thirty then you did a lot of saving and cant possibly have kids, Ive owned three successful businesses three kids, nice home and I have 16 gs savings— oh by the way I’m 40

Tamika says:

I have $29K in savings; and I’m 27. I feel like it’s not enough; but I keep getting reminded how having $29K saved at my age is not normal, so I’m happy. 🙂

Ryan says:

I feel so lucky I have over 50 gs in stock money meant for college when I was born. My dad after years of struggling is getting rich and paying off my college instead of me using stock. I chose to do half at community college to save money and im almost done there. I have a paid off car as well. Im 21 now by 24 ill have a nice car a down payment on a house man ima be rolling in pussy 🙂

Lucia says:

Something I would love to know.. There’s someone here mentioning the fact that USA is so many trillions in debt.. The situation is not much better in Europe, as some members of the EU own alot of € to other members.. Britain in also in debt with other countries.. So, my question is.. Who on earth has got the money and is providing for all the countries in debt?

Matt says:

Exactly…this is a good question.

Louise M says:

By 30, I would like to have my student loans paid off and be married (paid in full with cash). Hopefully I’ll have enough money for a housing deposit and to start a family.

rick says:

Stay out of 401K’s, they’re traps to sucker people to invest their hard earned cash into the risky stock markets.
Stocks are a minefield for most. Unless you are willing to stomach massive losses and have your cash tied up in an investment the government can’t let you have until you get old or have a personal disaster, stay away.

Jake says:

I actually agree with you. However, would it be worth investing in if your company were matching it? It should be utilized to that extent, it is additional compensation. To you it is, free money!

marc says:

not to mention the real rate of inflation according to is about 20%. So if your mutual fund or ira is earning you less then a 20% gain per year you are actually losing money in the form of losing purchasing power. Before I pulled my money out of my 401k my financial adviser would brag about how he made me a 5% gain. After I pulled all my money out and bought physical silver I turned a 60k investment into a 120k in less then 8 months. And he warned me that I was making a foolish descision and would regret it. My only regret is that I didnt pull it out sooner. Like rick said:dont fall for trap” Financially eduacate yourself and make your own investment decesions

Michelle says:

I agree it is nothing to do with age but about setting goals to eliminate debt, and setting savings goals in your 20’s. I’m 26, looking to buy a house, no debt…but I also have no retirement.

Josh says:

I currently contract overseas, I have about 105K in saving and 20K in low risk investments. My 2001 car has been paid off and I have no debt. For being 25 with only some college and prior military I think I am on the right track.

blake says:

lol! you are all liars… and i have 84 million under my mattress. you can’t even spell ‘savings’ correctly.

Vince says:

Why are they lying?

I am 30 and I have over US$1.5 mil networth.

Do the sums – if financial freedom is your focus, there are MANY things you can do to achieve it. Minimise expenditure, make sure you get into a decent paying job and best yet, move into a low tax paying country where you can still make good money.

You are literally working 30-40% faster to get the same amount of money.

Oh, and invest wisely (but I wouldn’t swing the money around too much if you don’t have much buffer or if you don’t know what you’re doing)

Dave says:

Can you share with us how you earned 1.5 mil by age 30 please?

I need to take out a page from your book!

Josh says:

Because you are not as financially stable you say we are liars? I jumped into the military at the age of 18 and was injured after 4 years of service. I got out with a medical payout and now get monthly VA payments for life. I had help getting a contract job overseas and a lot of people work here in Iraq, afghan, Kuwait…Etc
The lowest paid salary here from what I know is 88K per year. Some of my buddies make over 200K. I am 25 have been here 2 years already with a 6 figure salary. I’d rather be here and make as much as I can now and be stable later than be in the US where it is hard to get a job anywhere. Do a research on contractor’s salary in Iraq and see for yourself what we make. I recently just sold my car and have put all the money from that into a money market and looking for a home. I am still overseas but my contract will be over in Nov. I frequently visit this site due to the good info and I am learning more ways to keep my money growing.

Blake says:

lol i wouldn’t brag about that if i were you mister soldier man… you’ll probably explode in a sweet roadside bomb soon, and all that money will go right back to the government when no one claims it. Not to mention that it’s all tax payer money anyway… hahaha, some of my money is sitting in your bank account. GIVE IT BACK!!!!!!!!

Josh says:

At least I have the balls to do both as a soldier and civilian over here. What have you done in your life worth anything? Guaranteed you would never say what you have typed to a soldier or veterans face..
You have no idea about anything; you probably just watch the news and believe what you hear. Just so it bothers you even more. What we make here is not taxed up to 94k per year 🙂
Enjoy your life

Blake says:

Ooooo! the big bad soldier is super sassy today. i would say anything against the war to anyone’s face. i actually have a career that doesn’t involve eating cardboard boxes each meal, hunting for towel heads and jerking off in the bushes at night. the truth is… no one cares how much you ‘make’, you work for me, the tax payer. so as your boss… get back to work little man! oh, and yes i do enjoy watching the news. maybe you should do something more productive, like i don’t know… keep psychos from shooting up grocery stores in your own damn country.

Josh says:

Wow, the people in America now-a-days. ..SMH why don’t you stop those physco’s in your own country? Hmm…. probably due to you are one of those people who talk behind a computer screen but never to anyone’s face. Who eats out of cardboard boxes and jerks off in bushes? WTF, you must be looking outside the window at what your family does all day. I eat Burger King, pizza hut, go to the pool, Movie Theater, gym.etc…yup all on tax payers dollars in Iraq while making 2-5 times your annual salary. To me that feels great at the age of 25. What were you doing @ 25? Let me guess, jerking off in bushes? There are also women here so no need to jerk off, you do know what women look like correct?

I do not know why you even wrote back. I posted that at age 25 I am on the right financial track. That’s what this site is for. If you have something negative about the military, the way it’s ran or anyone in it, perhaps you should go voice your opinion on a military base.
Since you, “would say anything against the war to anyone’s face” which I highly doubt.
If you have a career, I think you should just stick to that and get to work so I can keep getting my lovely paycheck. Thanks “big bad civilian guy in America who says he pays my paycheck” 🙂

Blake says:

HAHAHAHAHAHA you’re such an idiot. i went to college at 18, followed by grad school like white people with money are supposed to do. but i do enjoy the oh so entertaining banter of the exceedingly inferior poor man who works for me. don’t forget to think of me right before your face explodes all over that big bad military vehicle i paid for!

Josh says:

Such a comical individual you are…you are so entertaining! Glad I have something to do at work today. I will let you know the day I do actually get in a military vehicle so your babyish comment might have a chance of coming true. I really don’t know why you wrote back. again..
Save time with your inutile comments.

Michele says:

wow. Blake. Wake up, dude.
For spending your mommy and daddy’s money on grad school you really have poor writing skills.
You obviously have no idea what the military is about or military life in general. You should be ashamed and you’re just jealous what Josh is doing with his life and how much he makes.
Your sense of entitlement makes me sick. You’ll be begging for the military to help if our country or your home town is in trouble.

jeff says:

idk how old these posts are but man, blake sounds like a whiny little bitch. i appreciate what you do there soldier man. damn, though i didn’t know you can make that much money out there good you for you. i would follow suit but i dont think i have the courage you do so congrats on that. truthfully, i think this blake guy is really some 15 year old playing WoW all day and if not then god help this “adult” who was fed with a sliver spoon.

RM says:

Why do i read so much negative.. Can’t peoples respect one another.. I assumed this was a site for positive comments on investment strategies and saving targets not peoples bashing each other.. If people lie that’s cool they know it, if people have tons of money “wonderful”, if peoples pissed it all away on black 17 in Vegas so be it.. do what you can to help each other.. Please always respect.. as we might all die tomorrow.. Live life, enjoy yourself, and smile.. Give 5.00 dollars to the next homeless person you see and tell me that does feel better then drinking 1 extra large coffee from Starbucks.. its not about how much you make rather how much you save.. this can be a dark world.. try to be a positive light and moneys will come your way.. To all the English scholars this note has spelling and grammatical errors.. I studied worlds change and have peoples check my final drafts so no need to point it out, don’t waste the correction on me correct your or you’re mind.. Best.. RM

Kris says:


Don’t waste your time or mental energy on this Blake character. Kudos for being financially stable and thank you for having the unction to joined the armed service and for doing just that; serving our country!

Colleen says:

Ugh…it makes me sick to know that killing people pays at least triple what I make trying to help people stay alive and live their lives productively on a daily basis. It’s just disgusting to know the way the economy works. Some arrogant jerk can sit on his ass in his office all day and tell people what to do and make as much as I make in 4-7 years actually devoting my time to helping people work out their problems, grieve, etc. The love of money really is the root of all evil, I suppose. You can follow value and really give to society earning nothing, or let your greed take away your soul and earn mounds of money. Sorry, I went on a bit of a tangent.

Stranger says:


Josh says:

Josh this is Josh over….

LoL, glad to hear your finances are working out!! I spent some civilian work over there and got to pay my student loans and got lasik done too. I’m not making the big contractor bucks though. Oh and I’m 25 too, finally getting back on track and save my money!


Tyler says:

i am 25 almost 26 and i have 60k with another 11k in investments, i have been trying to figure out what is average…….. i have a new 08 car and all my schooling payed for ( 2 year collage) im now moving on to another progarm and the tech collage for computer science.

Ben says:

Learn to spell. It’s COLLEGE, not collage. Collage is an assymblage of diverse elements coming together. You should have been taught that in elementary school. Are you sure that you are ready for college?

Malcolm says:

Calm down

Eric says:

Ben, it could have been a typo, kind of like your typo. No need to flip out about it.

Or if you want me to approach it from your angle: It’s ASSEMBLAGE, not assymblage. You should have been taught that in elementary school. Are you sure you’re ready for college?

The squiggly red lines beneath the word means it’s spelled wrong.

Gregedrob says:

Awesome! Excellent response Eric. Hilarious!

Josh says:

I am 26 and I almost have 24k saved. I would like to buy a home, but I can’t afford it on my salary, so I guess i will just rent… or live with the ‘rents.

Your advice is an excellent one. Instead of concentrating on the amount to be save by the age of 30 one should concentrate on being debt free and save as much as possible. The 10% rule is a wonderful one as well and should be practice.

Kk says:

Honestly speaking what about a 24 almost 25 year old female… about 60,000 saved and keep around 3500 in checking at all times. I have absolutely 0 dad and I have perfect credit. Is this something that I should be proud of to achieve at such a young age or is this just about average in 2011? feedback would be appreciated thank you very much have a good day! Ps if I have typos in here my apologies I’m using this voice messenger on my cellphone while driving 🙂

lovelygirl says:

I think that’s excellent. That’s a great accomplishment. Keep it up!!! 🙂

p j w says:


DC says:

Liquid cash is great in the short term, but you really would want to assess your long term investment prospects. I’m 27, I’m married, we have around 20,000 in cash, our first house/mortgage (which we have had for about 4 years) and we are looking at buying a second in the upcoming months. Cash is good but over the long run, and by that i mean decades, other investments yield higher growth. A good porfolio should include a range of cash, stock and property to ensure stability in all environments.

Alex says:

Good advice, David. I think the point about age not being the best milestone is a pertinent one. It used to be easy for the high school graduate to go work on the line here in Detroit and make great money for being 18 years old. Today, of all days, we can appreciate the value of the 18 year old who went to school and potentially has more options because of it.

Jamie says:

Wow Alex, Very well stated.