How To Save 50% Or More Of Your Income

How To Save 50 Or More Of Your Income

Hello! If you are new here, welcome! I suggest you read my latest monthly online income report, $14,937 in July – My Highest Income Month.  

Before I started blogging, I thought a good percentage to save each month was anywhere from 10% to 20%. I have even read an article where a “finance expert” recommended 5% for retirement savings because they said it was good enough.

Now that I look back on those figures, that is just not nearly enough.

However, that’s what many news articles will tell you. They will tell you that anywhere from 5% to 20% is all you really need. That might work for some, but that’s just not good enough for me.

Recently, I was talking to someone who told me that they save around 85% of their after-tax income each month. I thought that was absolutely insane, but I was a little jealous.

This person goes a little to the extreme in order to save this crazy amount of money each month, but they are happy and that’s all that matters, right?

Right now, we save around 60% of our income. That amount could be a little bit higher but we recently had our wedding (and shoveled a lot of our money towards that), we have been traveling more (we have bought a fair amount of camping and hiking equipment in the past 2 months), and a lot of my business income each month goes towards taxes.

Here are different ways to save 50% or more of your income:

 

Make more money.

Making more money can really help you reach an income percentage goal of over 50%. This is because there is usually only so much money you can save, but the amount of money you can make is endless.

You could work a part-time job, a full-time job, multiple jobs, start a business, freelance, and so on. You could also search for passive income and bring in more money with minimal effort.

There are so many things you can do out there to try to make more money.

I recommend reading my article from the other day Would You Rather Work For Less Money Or More Money? I know of a few finance bloggers who have worked or are working jobs that pay extremely well (but are not jobs that they love), so that they can retire in their 30s. Yes, it’s extreme, but every person is different.

Related articles:

 

Lower your budget.

Okay, one of the reasons for why I am able to save so much money each month is because of the amount of money I make. I am not going to try to hide that.

However, just because you make less money does not mean that you can’t save money as well.

The person who I mentioned above who saves 85% of their income makes around $3,000 a month. Yes, so that means they spend $450 a month. I know this isn’t possible for everyone, but if this person can cut their budget then I’m sure others can save more than 20% of their income.

There are many different expenses that you can probably cut out of your budget or at least lower. Just because you are lowering your budget doesn’t mean that you are going to hate life.

Some expenses you can lower or ways to save money include the below. Like I said, everything isn’t for everyone, but even a small change can help you out.

  • Lower your cell phone bill. Instead of paying the $150 or more that you spend on your cell phone bill, there are companies out there like Republic Wireless that offer cell phone service starting at $5. YES, I SAID $5! If you use my Republic Wireless affiliate link, you can change your life and start saving thousands of dollars a year on your cell phone service. I created a full review on Republic Wireless as well if you are interested in hearing more. I’ve been using them for over a year and they are great.
  • ATM fees. Why do people do this to themselves?
  • TV. Cut your cable, satellite, etc. Even go as far to go without Netflix or Hulu.
  • Sign up for a websites like Ebates where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too!
  • Restaurant spending. Start eating at home more! Become an amazing at-home chef and make your family love your new found skills :)
  • Bring your lunch to work. When I had my day job, I always brought my lunch. This was to save money, but also because I hated wasting most of my lunch hour driving somewhere to get food.
  • Cut your travel budget. There are plenty of ways to travel on a budget. One way is to start earning credit card rewards. I like the Barclaycard.
  • Pay bills on time. The goal here is to try to avoid any late fees.
  • Shop around for insurance. This includes health insurance, car insurance, life insurance, home insurance and so on. Insurance pricing can vary significantly from one company to the next. When we were shopping for car insurance last, we found that our old company wanted something like $205 to insure one car for one month, whereas the new company we have now charges $50 a month for the same exact coverage. INSANE!
  • Fuel savings. Combine your car trips, drive more efficiently, get a fuel efficient car, etc.
  • Trade in your car for a cheaper one. For us, we are car people. Cars are one of our splurges. However, if you only have a nice car to keep up with the Joneses, then you might want to get rid of it and get something that makes more sense.
  • Live in a cheaper home. I’m not saying you need to go live in a box, but if you live in a McMansion then you may want to think about a smaller home. This way you can save money on utility bills and your mortgage payment.
  • Learn to have more frugal fun. We don’t spend anywhere near the same amount of money on entertainment as we used to. There are plenty of ways to have frugal fun.
  • DIY certain projects. I recently did a post about DIY wedding ideas and whether they were worth it or not. Read it! :)
  • Look for coupon codes. I search for coupon codes for everything. Today, I have two for you. I have a $25 Airbnb coupon code and a free tax ride with Uber. Both are great services that I have personally used.

I spend less money than I used to and I am happier than ever.

 

Are you trying to save 50% or more of your income? Why or why not? What is your savings rate right now?

What are you doing to reach your goal?

 

Image via Flickr by Sheila Sund

Comments

    • Michelle S. says

      Yes, our percentage varies as well. The month of our wedding I think we were at 0% haha!

      And yes, I always think about how different it would be if it weren’t for taxes, that would be the life!

  1. Mike Collins says

    I’m not saving anywhere near 50% right now. With a mortgage, NJ property taxes, and other bills to pay that’s just not possible unless I start earning a lot more…guess I better get working on it!

  2. MomCents says

    I want to hear more about the person that only spends $450/mo?! Specifically, do they own their home outright? That would barely cover rent in the Midwest!

    It may be a while before I can save 50%, but one way to get there over time is to avoid lifestyle inflation. When there are raises…save that money instead of spending it…I mean…you’ve done without it before.
    MomCents recently posted..Check out my Guest Post at Stacking BenjaminsMy Profile

    • Rachel R. says

      That would NOT cover housing here. We have a mortgage — because it’s actually LESS to pay EXTRA on a mortgage than to pay rent — and we pay twice that for our house alone.

      I honestly can’t fathom saving 50%. I can’t fathom saving 5%, unfortunately.
      Rachel R. recently posted..DIY Dollar Store RedosMy Profile

  3. Prudence Debtfree says

    Mr. Money Mustache and his wife saved about 75% of their income for 9 years and then retired at age 30. I’m inspired by that kind of focus. It really is amazing what is possible. We are unfortunately paying off debt, so our 50% (or more like 45%) is not going to savings – at least not now. When the day comes, I hope that we continue to live on half of our income and invest the rest.
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted..MMM’s Subculture of “Badassity”: Is It For Me?My Profile

  4. kammi says

    I save about that pretty much a month; a little around 60. And yes, I’m the one who takes public transportation, brings my lunch to work, cooks at home. I’m picky about food so I’m usually angry when I eat out because the food is usually too salty, too sweet, too much butter, etc. And I”m lactose intolerant, so that doesn’t help, either. I literally spent $20 eating out this entire month. Don’t have cable, etc. My water/gas etc bill is $40 for three months. It’s really not that difficult, especially if you keep the right company. The WORST is having friends who fritter money away and are always complaining that they are broke. Many of my friends like reading or going places (hiking, going to the park or a museum for free, etc). You basically decide if you’re going to be a builder/ someone who makes (whether businesses, family relationships or actual products) versus someone who consumes, and we’re ‘trained’ to be consumers via ads, etc. Also, if you have a student ID (I’m constantly learning so I have one) it’s great because you get discounts :)

    • Rachel R. says

      “It’s really not that difficult, especially if you keep the right company.”

      …and live in a reasonably inexpensive part of the country. ;) Really, there’s only SO much a person can do to cut housing costs, utilities, and food. Transportation, too, depending on where/how you’re situated.

      Too many people make the mistake of assuming that what is possible for THEM is possible for EVERYONE, when living situations vary wildly. Then they get a bit presumptuous about what everyone else “must not be doing.”
      Rachel R. recently posted..DIY Recipes (Food Substitutions Bible) {review}My Profile

  5. Deb @ Saving the Crumbs says

    My husband and I give 20% of our gross income to charity and then live on 50% after that (which is about $1500, including a mortgage). We save on utilities by installing energy saving light bulbs, toilet flushers, and faucets. Only eat out when we get birthday freebies, of course. And grocery shop around sales (our average food budget for the 2 of us is about $60/mo). Still trying to find ways to increase earning power, but that seems a bit harder. :-)
    Deb @ Saving the Crumbs recently posted..Planning a Wedding for Less Than $3,000My Profile

  6. Darian says

    I am married with 3 kids. My wife is a stay at home mom. We are trying to make more money by starting this errands business and also we have used cars that we own. we do not have cable my job pays part of our cell phone bill. So we only pay about 35 dollars a month on our cell phone bill.

    We have a long way to go but we are on our way.

  7. Little House says

    I’d love to save 50% of my income. However, living in Los Angeles, it’s a little more difficult. But…I’m working towards saving 30-35% of my income come this fall – after I pay off a couple of things. ;) I started working on a side project, selling my teacher lesson plans on TPT, to make some extra cash to SAVE. If this goes well, that extra income could potentially push my savings closer to 50%.
    Little House recently posted..Guest Cottages as an Alternative to a Larger HouseMy Profile

  8. Cindy @ GrowingHerWorth says

    I’m still in the debt-payoff club, but hope to graduate into the 50% savings club in the next couple of years. I’m slowly working on both sides of the equation: Cutting spending and earning more. I’m always jealous of people who have made better choices than I have, and who are further along in their path to FI. But I’ll get there someday!
    Cindy @ GrowingHerWorth recently posted..The (Job) Search Continues!My Profile

  9. nicoleandmaggie says

    Nope! We have lived on less than 50% in the past, but now we have a lot of savings and two kids and no desire to retire so it’s time to loosen up a little bit. Currently I think we’re only putting 20% away for retirement, and prepaying the mortgage another 10%, so I guess we’re living on 70% of our income right now. Oh, I forgot the 529s, so make that 65% of our income. Yay auto-deductions. We’re living on 65% of our gross pre-tax income.

    We’re starting to do some much needed deferred home renovations with some of that money. (Got any thoughts on what to do with the 30K we’ve saved up?)
    nicoleandmaggie recently posted..August Mortgage Update and what to do with the 30K in the home maintenance fundMy Profile

    • Michelle S. says

      Sounds like you are doing well :) Sounds like there are a lot of things that you want to change in your home, I hope you figure out what to do with the $30K!

  10. Kasia says

    Wow, 75% saved while earning $3000pm sounds tough, I know I definitely couldn’t be that frugal. But like you say that sort of thing isn’t for everyone. Although it’s always interesting to hear these people’s stories.
    Before I went on maternity leave we were saving 30-40% of our income although expenses that arose ate into that and diminished our savings drastically. Now that I’m at home with the little one we’re down to about 15-20% depending on the month and the account is slowly building back up. Once our income returns to normal levels and hopefully continues to grow we would like to aim for 50% savings rate.
    Kasia recently posted..Should you pay off your HECS-HELP debt?My Profile

  11. Tre says

    At first it didn’t seem possible that someone can save that much, but now I see how it can be done. Our savings rate varies, but we have had months where we hit 40%. Now we’re going to focus on paying off my student loans and put less in savings.
    Tre recently posted..Job Search in 2014My Profile

    • Michelle S. says

      Yeah I made the mistake of having an extra large emergency fund when I still had student loans. I ended up nearly liquidating that putting it towards my student loans.

  12. Sara says

    We recently had our youngest child start public school full time, so we have been able to bump up our savings to about 43%. I need to go back through the budget again to find a few more things we can cut. I’d like to get to 50%.

  13. Heather McKenzie Carter says

    We have a large family so its important to us to pay cash whenever possible and not amass debt. We bought our home as a fixer upper with cash 5 years ago and have been working on it while living on it since. We only buy vehicles used, and after we save for them in order to avoid loans. We do not have cable, however we do use netflix and hulu. We do not use smartphones because we can pay $50 a month for both my line and my husbands line and thats unlimited talk and text. We use coupons and only eat out three nights a month. We garden to help supplement our food source. When people see that we have ten kids, they often think “how do you do it!?” We only buy what we can afford, save for what we need and I always get the best deals on items we think we need/want. I think a lot of people *think they need more than they really do. When you simplify and save for what you want, instead of impulse buying I think that makes a world of difference!

  14. Joanne D says

    Making more money is my goal! I have certainly reached the threshold of cutting down my budget, and am making good progress on my high student debt. In order to save more, I definitely need to earn more! Finding a good side job right now is a major goal of mine, while developing my website. It’s slow-moving but I just need to learn the ropes. Your website is such a good resources for that! Thanks for all the insight you offer :)

  15. Jon @ Money Smart Guides says

    My wife and I are on pace to save 50% of our income this year. We are doing it by both increasing our incomes and watching how we spend our money. We sat down and looked over our big expenses – cell phones, insurance, etc and tackled them first. After we were able to save some money there, we looked over smaller expenses and cut some there too. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how bad you want it.
    Jon @ Money Smart Guides recently posted..5 Signs You Are In Way Too Much DebtMy Profile

  16. Diana Corlett says

    These are all great goals, but I am in a position at the moment where I can barely save 10%, even by living frugally. In order to start saving more, the situation will have to change drastically. We are moving forward toward that, but have a long long way to go. Never say never, though.

  17. Erin G says

    I am not currently saving much…def. not close to 50% I chose to become a stay at home mom when we had my daughter 2 years ago and living off of one income when we really can’t afford to be makes it impossible to save. We don’t however have any debt and we are excellent with budgeting, just not enough to save. I will be heading back to work soon and hope to put most of my money into saving since we know it is possible to live off one income, just not comfortable. My savings rate is literally zero :( We have untouched credit cards for emergencies, but again this should change soon!! I WILL reach my goal once I go back to work!

  18. EarlyRetirementGuy says

    Including the workplace pension, I save about 60% of my income which is funneled into mortgage over-payments and index funds. Here in the UK they also spout the “Save 5% for retirement” link which too many people blindly follow. I wish more people would wake up and realise that they dont NEED to be working till 70!
    EarlyRetirementGuy recently posted..July 2014 Income/ExpensesMy Profile

  19. Susan Smith says

    I wish we could save that much but we have a son in college right now but when he graduates we plan on saving more money. We are trying to improve our income as my husband has taken on a second job and we are reducing our expenses by eating in more and cutting back on vacations.

  20. Amy Heffernan says

    Great tips to save. I wish i could save some also. So hard with a big family. 5 kiddies and hubby only working right now. Hoping to return to work in Sept when my youngest goes to school!

  21. carol clark says

    i wish i could save 50% i have two kids so it is hard and i do go without things a lady needs so i can help get my daughter a car

  22. Kohaku Pen says

    Considering I’m still in community college. A lot think I don’t understand the means of savings, income, when in fact I do. Right now I help my household save up about 45%. I don’t enjoy talking over phone, so my sister and I decided while paying rent to our parents; we can take minutes off the phone bill. It works well!

  23. Jill Myrick says

    My savings at the moment is 25% of my income because of a few unforseen expenses that I am currently paying off. I cut coupons, stay at home more and rarely ever eat out to try and save more.

    jweezie43[at]gmail[dot]com

  24. Shane Prather says

    This would be a great goal for me one day but considering I am in an entry level position fresh out of college and living in a very expensive city for the year (sydney) I may have to wait until I am back in the states to achieve this!
    Shane Prather recently posted..Operation Beautiful V.27My Profile

  25. Holly Storm-Burge says

    We’re not saving anything right now. I keep thinking, “Next month…”, but it never happens. Thanks for this article, it was an eye-opener.

  26. Vasileios Zografos says

    Don’t know how much I save, but I try my best.. Always make a list of what you want to buy and never go berserk on the store!! Do a price check before buying something you want. Search for offers/special deals etc. You can even try to talk to the manager to make you a discount. That’s my basic rules about saving money.

  27. Richard Hicks says

    We probably sock away around 30%. We are also always looking for ways to trim the budget. 50% is a good goal to strive for

  28. Taz W says

    thanks for your article as it gave me another possibililty of looking at this retirement issue….

    i m currently saving only about 5% of my income
    - have not thought of trying to save 50% of my income

    my goal is still a retirement where there’s no need to worry about $$

  29. Dan @ HWDC says

    I wish I could save 50% of my income! I’m currently saving around 25-30%, I need to get out of the silly spending habits!

    I’m new to your blog but this post has interested me so I’m sure I’ll be reading much more :)

    Thanks

  30. Stacey Roberson says

    We are currently saving money for buying a house next year and have dedicated a portion of each paycheck to go into savings.

  31. Jennifer Speed says

    I am trying to save 50% or more of your income, so that I can get my own place and move out of my parents house and especially because I don’t have the job that I want right now.

  32. MichelleS says

    A lot of these are no brainers, but the “making more money” isn’t necessarily a luxury people have if you’re already working 40 hours a week. Well, you could, but you’d have no time to relax. We only have: rent, utilities, phone, netflix, internet, and food. Wear what you have, make one splurge on filling the freezer and eat from there. Meal prep cuts it down so you’re not going out to eat and spending $5-$10/person when that money can be spent on meals that you can prep at home.

  33. Carrie Messer says

    Thanks for some great tips! We are currently trying to save more. We are still no where near 50% but I know we’ll get there one day!

  34. Stefanie Foote says

    You offer some good tips. Right now, I’m not able to put back much money at all. I’m starting with small goals and I’d like to hit 10%, then move on from there.

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