How Much Money Should I Have Saved By Age 30?

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With the explosion of social media over the past decade, we're constantly being shown carefully curated milestones from our family, friends, and acquaintances.

It's completely normal to compare ourselves to others.

Especially when it comes to money.

It's one of the reasons my quarterly Net Worth Overshares have been so popular.

It's why this post is consistently one of my most popular from Google.

We all want to know if we're on track financially. And this is especially true as we hit major milestone birthdays—20, 30, 40, 50, or 60.

How much money should I have saved by age 30?

Short answer: It depends.

Start By Tracking Your Net Worth

Important numbers like our credit score or weight can be really intimidating before actually learn what they are. Tracking our net worth can be the exact same thing.

Not sure how to calculate your net worth? Subtract your debt from your assets.

I recommend using a tool like Personal Capital. Their Net Worth Calculator combines everything—checking and savings accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts, mortgage, and more—and does the calculation automatically for you.

It's FREE and super helpful to see all your accounts in one dashboard. Plus, you can assess the health of your investment portfolio with their free Fee Analyzer and Investment Checkup.

How Much Money I Had Saved at Age 30

One of my favorite things about the personal finance community is reading about other bloggers paying down debt, increasing passive streams of income, growing their net worth, and building their dream lives.

Here's a detailed breakdown of how my finances looked just before I turned 30:

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 3.49.08 PM

To be honest, I had no idea if I was on track.

But I started tracking my net worth publicly to hold myself accountable.

Other Personal Finance Bloggers Weigh In

A quick search uncovered a wide variety of answers:

Bridget at Money After Graduation states that “word on the street” is you should have 1 x your annual salary in How much should you have saved for retirement by age 30?

Sam at Financial Samurai had a couple of useful articles on the topic, How Much Should I Have Saved In My IRA At Various Ages? and How Much Savings Should I Have Accumulated By Age? He suggests that someone between the ages of 26-30 should have between $32,500-97,500 saved.

Money Smart Guides also suggests that you should have at least your annual salary saved in How Much Should I Have Saved For Retirement By Age.

Get Rich Slowly's staff writer Kristen Wong uses herself as an example in I’m 30! Am I where I should be with my finances? She cites both Fidelity and Financial Samurai's benchmarks.

Save. Spend. Splurge. also shares Fidelity's suggestion of 1 x your annual salary by 35 in How much should you have saved for retirement by age 30 – 35?

Shannyn at Frugal Beautiful questions the purpose of calculating your net worth in How much money should you have by age 30? Why calculating your net worth is a joke.

I also discovered a lengthy Reddit thread, How much have you saved up vs. others in your age? Average 35-44 year old Vanguard client has US $54K saved. Are you above or below average for your age?, citing a Vanguard study. Vanguard's article stated that their average retirement account balance for people ages 25–34 is $21,524.

The Bottom Line

Everyone's needs are different.

There are many factors to consider including expected retirement age, current annual expenses, life expectancy, expected lifestyle in retirement, etc.

The truth is, there's no rule of thumb that applies to everyone.

What's most important is that we're tracking our net worth.

A free tool like Personal Capital makes it easy.

By tracking our net worth regularly, we can look for ways to pay down debt, boost our personal savings rate, and plan for a healthier financial future.

Readers: How much should someone have saved by age 30? How do you feel about your current financial situation?

Like what you’ve just read? Stay on top of my latest posts by following Cashville Skyline on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+!

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Discussions — 40 Responses

  • Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter March 17, 2014 on 1:18 pm

    I think 1x my annual salary is just a little bit low for me, because I do want to retire early and while 30 gives plenty of time for my money to make money, it just doesn’t seem like enough. I am comfortable with my current financial situation, but I do want to increase my savings and have at least 2x my annual salary by 30 in retirement accounts and then of course my emergency fund and a good chunk of the mortgage paid off.

    • Addison Cash Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter March 17, 2014 on 3:16 pm

      2 x your annual salary by 30 is an impressive goal, Daisy! I refinanced down to a 15 year mortgage a couple of years ago, so I’ve got 12 years left. I’ve considered paying it down more quickly, but with a 3.25% interest rate, it seems wiser to invest that extra money.

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life March 17, 2014 on 4:23 pm

    I think sometimes it can be helpful to let go of our preconceived notions about where we “should” be- especially when it comes to 30. For some reason, thirty is extra scary.

    • Addison Cash Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life March 17, 2014 on 5:33 pm

      So true, Stefanie! 30 can definitely feel overwhelming, especially looking at what our parents were doing at this age!

  • save. spend. splurge. March 17, 2014 on 6:48 pm

    Wow thanks for the mention in your post 🙂 It can be hard to compare yourself to others and feel wanting, but at the same time I find it motivating to have benchmarks to try and reach.

    • Addison Cash save. spend. splurge. March 17, 2014 on 7:21 pm

      Agreed! It’s intimidating, but I like to have goals to push towards.

  • Andrew@LivingRichCheaply March 17, 2014 on 7:21 pm

    Happy early Birthday! I remember turning 30 a few years back…it felt like a pretty big milestone. I honestly don’t know where someone should be at that age. I had a decent amount of student loans so that dragged down the amount of money I had. And living in NYC made it hard to afford to buy a place, which I had hoped to have done by the time I was 30. I’m still waiting for that day…

    • Addison Cash Andrew@LivingRichCheaply March 17, 2014 on 9:59 pm

      Thanks, Andrew! I definitely understand how costly student loans and NYC can be. And I’m realizing that there’s no “right amount” for anyone.

  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde March 17, 2014 on 10:09 pm

    First of all, happy birthday eve!! I remember feeling SO psyched that I was turning 30 because I had a great job, was married and had a kid. All the boxes were checked. Then I turned 30 and realized I was miserable because I was spending so much time fulfilling what other people thought were ideals, therefore, I made them mine. I readjusted and re-evaluated my life and I have got to say, I am LOVING the second half of 30. So to answer your question, who cares? Don’t try to measure yourself by other people. Measure yourself, by, well, yourself and everything else will fall into place. 🙂

    • Addison Cash Shannon @ Financially Blonde March 18, 2014 on 12:56 am

      Thanks for the birthday wishes, Shannon! And thanks for the advice 🙂

  • Brian @ Luke1428 March 18, 2014 on 12:16 am

    I’d say you are doing well Addison to have basically 50K in investments saved by age 30. It may not seem like much but think long term. At an average annual return of 10% (very doable) for the next 30 years, that’s going to turn into a nice sum…and that’s assuming you would never invest any more money (which obviously you will). Happy 30th…BTW, I loved my 30s…they were great!

    • Addison Cash Brian @ Luke1428 March 18, 2014 on 12:57 am

      Thanks for the birthday wishes and encouragement, Brian!

  • Alicia March 18, 2014 on 12:27 am

    I’m behind, because I was in school until I was 27. When I turn 30 in late 2015 (eek, that is close) I am hoping to have about $50,000. Not ideal, but takes into account a good bit of debt repayment and the late start.

    • Addison Cash Alicia March 18, 2014 on 12:59 am

      Sounds like you’re on the right track, Alicia. Now that I’m just a few hours away from turning 30, it doesn’t seem so scary 😉

  • Addison Cash March 18, 2014 on 6:06 pm

    True! I think the personal finance blogger in their 20s and 30s are probably ahead of the average Americans, but we’re still always wanting more! 🙂

  • FI Fighter March 19, 2014 on 1:48 am

    I think you are doing pretty awesome for your age. I turn 30 this year and have only recently started talking to my friends about finance. Many of them are at zero, or even negative net worth, still straddled with lots of student loans.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Addison Cash FI Fighter March 19, 2014 on 1:54 pm

      Thanks so much for the encouragement!

  • Jeff @Project Ikonz March 19, 2014 on 12:05 pm

    That is a tough one. I’m almost 30 and i have really small compared to that. So, $90,000+ that’s really good. Happy Birthday! by the way. Maybe in the next decade of your life is about how to retire a millionaire?

    • Addison Cash Jeff @Project Ikonz March 19, 2014 on 1:54 pm

      That’s definitely a great goal to aspire to! Thanks for the encouragement 🙂

  • Lauren March 19, 2014 on 1:38 pm

    Happy Birthday! I just turned 30 last fall, and it isn’t as scary as it sounds. I still feel about 24-25 most days 🙂 As far as net worth, I’m nowhere near where I’d like to be, but I feel like I have the next 10 years to improve things. Hopefully it can only go up from here!

    • Addison Cash Lauren March 19, 2014 on 1:55 pm

      I definitely don’t feel 30 either! You’re right about us having time on our side.

  • Mr. Utopia @ Personal Finance Utopia March 20, 2014 on 4:13 pm

    Happy (belated) birthday! I find it fun and fascinating to read articles on the various opinions on where one should be savings wise. It’s only natural to see how you stack up. But that’s where it should stop really. As long as you have the right mindset to save and do so as aggressively as is realistically possible, then you should be at peace (even if you are a bit “behind”).

    • Addison Cash Mr. Utopia @ Personal Finance Utopia March 21, 2014 on 5:54 am

      Thanks for the birthday wishes and feedback! You’re totally right.

  • Erin @ Gen Y Finances March 24, 2014 on 1:55 am

    Happy birthday!

    I’m not quite sure where I want to be at age 30. It would be nice for my husband and I to have combined savings of $100k by then, but that’s a serious stretch. We shall see what happens!

    • Addison Cash Erin @ Gen Y Finances March 24, 2014 on 6:08 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Erin! $100K is a great goal by 30. I’m sure you’re off to a great start.

  • Roadmap2Retire March 30, 2014 on 3:44 am

    Happy Birthday Addison,
    There was a compilation from JPMorgan on how much you should have as your net worth which I thought was interesting.

    Btw, I went to Iceland 3-4 years ago right after the economic collapse and the Icelandic Kroner lost a cheap. Its probably THE most amazing country Ive been to. You will not be disappointed. How long are you going for? And have you figured out what you are doing there?

    • Addison Cash Roadmap2Retire March 30, 2014 on 4:48 am

      Thanks so much for sharing! I’d like to go for a week. Probably spend a day or so in Reykjavík and the rest traveling around the country seeing the sites! I don’t have a list yet, but I’m so excited!

  • STEVEN J. FROMM, ATTORNEY, LL.M. (TAXATION) April 1, 2014 on 12:46 pm

    Although rules of thumb, like one times salary, are a good starting point, the reality is that whatever you project it is probably not enough. Knowing this and the fact that the earlier you start saving and investing become the key factors to keep in mind. Basically, invest early and often and more than you think you should. Set up a diversified portfolio of index and no-load mutual funds that invest in large, medium and small cap growth, value and blend funds and some international funds. To me this is the best way to proceed.

    • Addison Cash STEVEN J. FROMM, ATTORNEY, LL.M. (TAXATION) April 1, 2014 on 1:39 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Steven. I know I need to be saving as much as possible. It’s hard to know for sure if it will be enough.

  • Southern Belle June 27, 2014 on 8:10 pm

    Great read 🙂 thank you for the insight. I’m 26 years old and probably way more worried about this than I need to be but I’m a CPA so fortunately or unfortunately (I’m not sure which) it’s in my DNA.

    I contribute 20% of my income to my 401(k). Currently I probably save about 10-15% of take home pay after taxes but I wish it was more. Furnishing a new house isn’t cheap…. So my goal once I’m through that phase is to save closer to 30%. I started off saving 65% total pretax with my first job making 50k so even though my expenses are a little more now with a mortgage, I think it’s feasible.

    My current financial position however is a net worth of $76,646. I have no debt other than my mortgage; this is comprised of cash of 29,057, retirement investments of 22,005 and home equity of 25,585.

    Personally, I think I’m on track but I still stay on top of monitoring both savings and expenditures on an ongoing basis!

    It’s also been on my to do list to invest that cash in a mutual fund or something because I know it’s dumb to not be earning any interest at all. The only reason I have it liquid was to buy a house but now that that ship has sailed, I’ll stop dragging my feet hopefully!

    To everybody- keep up the good work saving but remember to live your life to the fullest as well while you’re young enough to do it.

    • Addison Cash Southern Belle June 27, 2014 on 9:48 pm

      Wow, you’re doing amazing! Thanks for sharing your financial situation and keep up the good work!

  • March 2014 Budget Roundup = $229257.89 or an increase of $6576.29 of 2.95% December 27, 2014 on 7:52 am

    […] Cashville Skyline liked my post on how much you need to have saved by the time you’re 30 […]

  • Don R March 18, 2015 on 9:49 pm

    90k net worth at 30 and you’re worried? Sounds to me like you should take the next 10 years off.

  • Honey October 12, 2015 on 4:53 pm

    I am 24 I have 45k euro saved and i have two rings with the value of 20k euro my aim is to try and save 10k a year from now on I love to save!!!

  • Nick February 10, 2016 on 12:03 pm

    Almost 28 years old, 125k in mutual funds,bonds. I’ve been investing aggressively the past 8-10 years.

  • her every cent counts August 21, 2016 on 6:28 pm

    Great blog! I’m 32 now and at $380k networth give or take and was at $300k when I was 30. 2x my salary would be more like $350k, but I think at this point I’m doing fine – I just need to continue to grow my savings which is what I’m worried about. I’m hoping to front-load my networth so I can take time off when I have kids. I don’t know how to figure out how much I should have now factoring in the time off concept.

    • Kate Dore her every cent counts August 23, 2016 on 7:44 pm

      Wow, that’s really impressive! It sounds like you’re on track for some financial flexibility in the future.

  • Julie @ Millennial Boss August 21, 2016 on 6:56 pm

    You bring up a great point that I didn’t think about before reading personal finance blogs – how much you should have saved before age 30 varies by person and varies by how much you spend! I guess it’s helpful to have a target to shoot for but besides that, the recommended number is not that helpful.

    • Kate Dore Julie @ Millennial Boss August 23, 2016 on 7:41 pm

      Definitely, Julie! There’s no one size fits all when it comes to savings.


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