Author Topic: Getting your savings rate up  (Read 3375 times)

Zola.

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Getting your savings rate up
« on: April 10, 2018, 10:22:15 AM »
What were the few things you did to get your savings rate up?

I just did a few calculations and work out that my wife and I collectively save 35% a month. I have no idea how some of you achieve 70%... must be earning considerably more than us!

haflander

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2018, 10:36:29 AM »
I see that you've posted plenty of times, so you obviously know how to navigate this forum. There are about a bazillion threads that reference your question. Otherwise, have you actually read the MMM blog?

Considering the above, I don't see the point of this thread at all...it's a waste of time.

I *hate* statements like your "must be earning considerably more than us!" Complainypants at its finest. There's a thread somewhere about a 30-something-year-old who's about to FIRE on a 30,000 salary (journal I think?). I could go on but I'll let others chime in by either facepunching (I guess that's what I chose), offering suggestions (the kinder method), or ignoring this thread completely, which would reconfirm my "waste of time" statement AND should tell you just as much about their opinion as if they actually posted.

Zola.

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2018, 10:39:49 AM »
mmmmm K.

If you don't have something constructive to add, why reply?

I don't see any issue with asking for a few things people did to make changes to their circumstances, it will vary for many, and may spark new ideas.  Just a reminder, this is a discussion forum, for discussions and such...
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 10:41:36 AM by Zola. »

Raenia

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2018, 10:44:43 AM »
If you want help getting your savings rate up, consider posting a Case Study so people can give more specific advice.  Things that worked for some people may not apply to you.  Mostly, though, it boils down to a few things - live where you work, keep housing and vehicle costs low, and don't buy stuff you don't need.  All the rest is individual.

For what it's worth, last year I made 60k and had a ~50% savings rate.  It's harder on 30k, but you can still save a lot.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 10:46:46 AM by Raenia »

haflander

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2018, 10:54:23 AM »
Constructive things I've already stated...maybe you disagree on whether they're constructive.

1. Cruise the forum. There are a bazillion threads about your ?. Doing this should take you forever, and there are a bazillion "ideas" and "discussions" that already exist. They are easy to find.
2. Read the MMM blog. This is what I'm doing. Not as expansive as the forum, but still a plethora of ideas and discussion.

Besides the above, I replied because your complainypants "must be earning considerably more than us!" statement really rankled me. Also, the "I have no idea" part of it. You would have an idea if you did the above.

I'll just throw this in for another constructive comment. Ditto to Raenia. I just started my path to Mustachianism and saved 60% last month on a salary of 70 (single, no kids). I have yet to optimize many things, so I expect that # to grow.

cats

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2018, 11:12:48 AM »
Cut out the Thursday/Friday takeaways?

Consider cutting your gym membership and instead setting up a cheap home gym?

Sell your car to get rid of the expensive loan you are carrying around on it?

Just some ideas based on what you've posted in the past few months.  I notice you're in the UK also, while a good chunk of this forum is in the US.  My impression is that the super high (70%+) savings rates mentioned on here can be quite a bit harder to achieve in the UK, but you might want to look around for some UK specific threads and see what they have to tell you.

And, if you want to get really specific advice to your situation, a case study is the way to go.

jtoomey

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2018, 11:21:05 AM »
Automatic transfers! That is something that has had me boost my savings rate. I don't feel the hit of putting money into savings because it happens automatically. Every couple of months, I increase the amount of the transfer by around $5. It doesn't seem like much but after a number of these small adjustments your monthly transfers will increase significantly without having to really make a drastic lifestyle change. I don't know if this will get you up to the 70% range, but it's a way to get the 35% up! I am at about 35% not including extra mortgage payments... probably closer to 50% including them. Definitely give the automatic transfers a try

Linea_Norway

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2018, 11:42:33 AM »
Cook your own food and don't eat out.
Drink water and tea at home.
Have low cost or free hobbies.
Cancel memberships, magazines and hobbies that cost money.
Shop around for cheaper insurances, phone, electricity, internet, etc.
Cancel all kinds of services that you can live without.
Do things yourself instead of hiring someone to do it for you.
Don't give away expensive gifts on otherwise unnessesary things, especially not to your frugal spouse who will understand this.
Go on cheap camping vacations. Don't get used to using hotels.
Drive an old car. When you need to replace it, buy used.
Don't go "shopping" in the hope of finding something to buy. Get another hobby.
Repair broken stuff or replace with something second hand.
Only buy stuff that you need on sale, at least 50%.
Stop buying clothes if they don't replace a warn-through piece.
Keep using the same stuff and clothes for decades.
Pay down your mortgage so that your house costs a lot less.
Cycle or walk if you can.

Etc.

We saved 75% last year, in an expensive country.

Just Joe

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2018, 12:53:59 PM »
I'd suggest that you make a point to cruise through each MMM forum topic a night. Just look at the topics and read-read-read. The answers are all here. Read the longer threads for topics that interest you.

The easy answer would be for everyone to repeat their strategies but the other threads already in existence here probably offer alot more detail and different perspectives.

Start a LibreOffice doc (free office software for any OS) and take notes. Copy and paste to build topic specific documents - recipes, hobbies, financial strategies, etc.

Its like taking a class almost. You have to read and re-read the material to make it stick. Or if you are like me - you have to read it 5 or 6 times before the forum lingo stops being a impediment. 

YoungGranny

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2018, 01:02:05 PM »
Hard to know without you posting a case study. My DH and I spend ~$40k per year total. This includes mortgage, food, transportation etc. A few years ago it was probably closer to $60k. We started cooking at home 99% of the time, I reduced our transportation cost by biking more, we travel hack to get vacations for less, don't do things on a whim unless they're free, have very inexpensive hobbies etc.

Without a more detailed breakout of your expenses I can't give more detailed advice.

ketchup

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2018, 01:11:58 PM »
Optimize and scrutinize the hell out of your big spending areas (housing/utilities, transportation, food), and make sure nothing else is big enough to be included in that group.  Once you have that all squared away, habits ingrained, decisions made, and autopilot engaged, focus on the second-tier smaller-but-still-not-pocket-change stuff like insurance, cell phones, and clothing.  Etc.

Everything else is really just an extension of that thought process.

jlcnuke

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2018, 09:44:02 AM »
Constructive things I've already stated...maybe you disagree on whether they're constructive.

1. Cruise the forum. There are a bazillion threads about your ?. Doing this should take you forever, and there are a bazillion "ideas" and "discussions" that already exist. They are easy to find.
2. Read the MMM blog. This is what I'm doing. Not as expansive as the forum, but still a plethora of ideas and discussion.

Besides the above, I replied because your complainypants "must be earning considerably more than us!" statement really rankled me. Also, the "I have no idea" part of it. You would have an idea if you did the above.

I'll just throw this in for another constructive comment. Ditto to Raenia. I just started my path to Mustachianism and saved 60% last month on a salary of 70 (single, no kids). I have yet to optimize many things, so I expect that # to grow.

Well, it may "rankle" you, but earnings are directly related to ability to save a higher percentages of one's income. There are basic costs that must be met by everyone and if all you can afford is to cover them, then you're savings is going to be nil. If you can afford to cover them on 2% of your income, however, then your ability to save will be significantly higher. That's a basic fact of life.  Your 60% savings rate equates to a spending level of $28k, if your earnings were $14k/year instead of $70k/year you'd likely find it practically impossible to get up to a 60% savings rate.

jlcnuke

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2018, 09:52:53 AM »
What were the few things you did to get your savings rate up?

I just did a few calculations and work out that my wife and I collectively save 35% a month. I have no idea how some of you achieve 70%... must be earning considerably more than us!

Cut spending (I replied to your case study) and increase income. Save the difference generated by each and you're savings rate will go up.

Astreja

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2018, 04:57:27 PM »
I have a couple of auto-transfers set up:  $300 to my investing account monthly, and recently increased my TFSA (Tax-Free Saving Account) transfers from $100 to $150 every payday (biweekly).   Total annual savings works out to (300*12) + (150*26) = $7500.  As I clear about $26K after taxes and other deductions, that puts me at about a 29% savings rate, not counting the money in my work pension.

Seriously thinking about kicking it up just a bit, perhaps by increasing the investing side by another $100 a month.  To avoid piling up transaction fees I tend to buy new units only when the account balance is over $500, so getting more cash in there would let me invest more often.


haflander

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2018, 03:40:13 PM »
Constructive things I've already stated...maybe you disagree on whether they're constructive.

1. Cruise the forum. There are a bazillion threads about your ?. Doing this should take you forever, and there are a bazillion "ideas" and "discussions" that already exist. They are easy to find.
2. Read the MMM blog. This is what I'm doing. Not as expansive as the forum, but still a plethora of ideas and discussion.

Besides the above, I replied because your complainypants "must be earning considerably more than us!" statement really rankled me. Also, the "I have no idea" part of it. You would have an idea if you did the above.

I'll just throw this in for another constructive comment. Ditto to Raenia. I just started my path to Mustachianism and saved 60% last month on a salary of 70 (single, no kids). I have yet to optimize many things, so I expect that # to grow.

Well, it may "rankle" you, but earnings are directly related to ability to save a higher percentages of one's income. There are basic costs that must be met by everyone and if all you can afford is to cover them, then you're savings is going to be nil. If you can afford to cover them on 2% of your income, however, then your ability to save will be significantly higher. That's a basic fact of life.  Your 60% savings rate equates to a spending level of $28k, if your earnings were $14k/year instead of $70k/year you'd likely find it practically impossible to get up to a 60% savings rate.

Thanks jlcn for stating some universal truths. I'm not going to argue with them, because they're infallible. My point is that I don't like when someone focuses on others' income in a negative way. It does nothing to improve your own situation, which is the reason we all should be here. If people are here to do things other than improving their own situation or helping others...well, I take umbrage with that. Now, if you're focusing on others' income in a positive way, such as asking how did you get there, side hustles, etc, that's a different matter that does have to do with improving your own situation.

Zola.

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2018, 01:51:51 AM »
Constructive things I've already stated...maybe you disagree on whether they're constructive.

1. Cruise the forum. There are a bazillion threads about your ?. Doing this should take you forever, and there are a bazillion "ideas" and "discussions" that already exist. They are easy to find.
2. Read the MMM blog. This is what I'm doing. Not as expansive as the forum, but still a plethora of ideas and discussion.

Besides the above, I replied because your complainypants "must be earning considerably more than us!" statement really rankled me. Also, the "I have no idea" part of it. You would have an idea if you did the above.

I'll just throw this in for another constructive comment. Ditto to Raenia. I just started my path to Mustachianism and saved 60% last month on a salary of 70 (single, no kids). I have yet to optimize many things, so I expect that # to grow.

Well, it may "rankle" you, but earnings are directly related to ability to save a higher percentages of one's income. There are basic costs that must be met by everyone and if all you can afford is to cover them, then you're savings is going to be nil. If you can afford to cover them on 2% of your income, however, then your ability to save will be significantly higher. That's a basic fact of life.  Your 60% savings rate equates to a spending level of $28k, if your earnings were $14k/year instead of $70k/year you'd likely find it practically impossible to get up to a 60% savings rate.

Thanks jlcn for stating some universal truths. I'm not going to argue with them, because they're infallible. My point is that I don't like when someone focuses on others' income in a negative way. It does nothing to improve your own situation, which is the reason we all should be here. If people are here to do things other than improving their own situation or helping others...well, I take umbrage with that. Now, if you're focusing on others' income in a positive way, such as asking how did you get there, side hustles, etc, that's a different matter that does have to do with improving your own situation.

You need to get off your high horse, I wasn't complaining.... in the slightest, making an observation, at best! How you interpret that is up to you.

11ducks

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2018, 04:11:35 AM »
Everyone is at different phases of this journey. I don't think unkindness is warranted for people who are legitimately seeking advice or support.

To raise my %SR, I aimed for 1% at a time (which for me is about $15). I considered each of my spending categories and tried to reduce each, one at a time. Generally most people can cut $15 from their grocery bill at least. Every time I got a raise, it went straight to my SR too- over time little changes really add up.

Trifele

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2018, 04:36:04 AM »
Everyone is at different phases of this journey. I don't think unkindness is warranted for people who are legitimately seeking advice or support.

To raise my %SR, I aimed for 1% at a time (which for me is about $15). I considered each of my spending categories and tried to reduce each, one at a time. Generally most people can cut $15 from their grocery bill at least. Every time I got a raise, it went straight to my SR too- over time little changes really add up.

Great comment @11ducks.  Love the idea of taking it in 1% steps.   

Zola.

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2018, 05:40:42 AM »
Cheers @11ducks  ! :)

Basenji

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2018, 06:03:22 AM »
Cook your own food and don't eat out.
Drink water and tea at home.
Have low cost or free hobbies.
Cancel memberships, magazines and hobbies that cost money.
Shop around for cheaper insurances, phone, electricity, internet, etc.
Cancel all kinds of services that you can live without.
Do things yourself instead of hiring someone to do it for you.
Don't give away expensive gifts on otherwise unnessesary things, especially not to your frugal spouse who will understand this.
Go on cheap camping vacations. Don't get used to using hotels.
Drive an old car. When you need to replace it, buy used.
Don't go "shopping" in the hope of finding something to buy. Get another hobby.
Repair broken stuff or replace with something second hand.
Only buy stuff that you need on sale, at least 50%.
Stop buying clothes if they don't replace a warn-through piece.
Keep using the same stuff and clothes for decades.
Pay down your mortgage so that your house costs a lot less.
Cycle or walk if you can.

Etc.

We saved 75% last year, in an expensive country.

Nice list.

Here's a list I compiled back in the day:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/what-small-things-did-you-do-today-to-save-money/msg744133/#msg744133

Laura33

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2018, 06:06:33 AM »
There are many incremental changes you can make to get from 35% to 40% or even 50%.  But if you are talking about doubling your savings rate, that means rethinking everything that you probably take for granted -- housing, transportation, food, insurance, travel/vacations, clothing, etc.  Because no matter how large your income, if you have gotten used to living on 65% of it, cutting that figure by more than half takes a major readjustment.

Which is why artificial numbers like savings rates are useful only in the most general sense.  What really matters is learning that happiness doesn't come from stuff, and figuring out what balance between lifestyle and time in the workforce works for you and your family.

Zola.

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2018, 07:14:15 AM »
There are many incremental changes you can make to get from 35% to 40% or even 50%.  But if you are talking about doubling your savings rate, that means rethinking everything that you probably take for granted -- housing, transportation, food, insurance, travel/vacations, clothing, etc.  Because no matter how large your income, if you have gotten used to living on 65% of it, cutting that figure by more than half takes a major readjustment.

Which is why artificial numbers like savings rates are useful only in the most general sense.  What really matters is learning that happiness doesn't come from stuff, and figuring out what balance between lifestyle and time in the workforce works for you and your family.

I like it Laura!! :)

TheAnonOne

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Re: Getting your savings rate up
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2018, 08:52:43 AM »
There are many incremental changes you can make to get from 35% to 40% or even 50%.  But if you are talking about doubling your savings rate, that means rethinking everything that you probably take for granted -- housing, transportation, food, insurance, travel/vacations, clothing, etc.  Because no matter how large your income, if you have gotten used to living on 65% of it, cutting that figure by more than half takes a major readjustment.

Which is why artificial numbers like savings rates are useful only in the most general sense.  What really matters is learning that happiness doesn't come from stuff, and figuring out what balance between lifestyle and time in the workforce works for you and your family.

I like it Laura!! :)

First off, your going to need to do a case study, and secondly, your going to get downright ridiculed here. That is literally the intended culture, face-punches and all. If you cannot take it, I wouldn't do a case study!


I really like this post though, to double your savings rate you will likely need to completely rewrite your life and yes that might even include increasing your income.