Savings are the safety net for the financial well-being of a person. Not only does it help one to meet long-term goals, but it also helps one deal with financial hardship. According to Tata Capital’s study, over 50% of millennials and 49% of Gen-Zers have impacted their savings and lifestyle due to pay cuts and job losses after the pandemic. The generation that lived on Buy Now Pay Later took a direct hit on whatever money it had saved. So, the scenario changed after the pandemic. Millennials and Gen-Zers are not only planning to save money but also to invest and grow their money. While some are saving for short-term goals, others are saving for long-term targets. One question that still confuses them is, “How much should I save each month?”
Well, there is no simple answer to this question. Three factors decide how much a person should save. The first thing is the total debt one incurs. The second thing is the number of dependents one has. And the third thing is what is the purpose of that saving. So, before you start to save, you must ask yourself three questions-
- What and how much do I owe?
- Are there people depending on my income? If yes, how much?
- What is my end goal for saving money?
Now, let us see the question: How much should you save?
There are no methods, numbers, or ways to determine how much you should save. Therefore, it would be best if you go step-by-step, first understand and analyze what you should keep.
Step 1: Make a budget and streamline the money your income and expenses
Find how much income you are generating and analyze how much you are spending and where you are spending it. Of course, it is difficult to remember all your past expenses. The easier way is to check your past bank statements, then conclude what is coming to your account and how much you are spending.
Step 2: Understand your spending behavior
It might not seem significant but understanding your spending behavior helps you analyze your extra expenses. Once you realize where you are spending the most, you can find ways to control your expenditure. For example, if you spend a lot of money on ordering food, you can find ways to reduce your expense. It might be difficult initially, but it will help you take control of your habits and get out of the vicious paycheque to paycheque cycle.
Step 3: Find where you can save
After analyzing your expenses:
- Figure out where you can save and what you can reduce, and with conscious efforts, control overspending.
- If you are an impulse buyer, uninstall shopping or food delivery apps on your phone, and stop notifications from apps that might push you to buy or order something.
- Assign jobs to each rupee.
Step 4: Follow the 50-30-20 Rule.
Divide your income into three parts in 50:30:20. 50% should go towards your Needs, 30% towards your Wants (or however you want), and 20% to your savings. If you do not have any dependents and your monthly expenditure is less than 50% of your income, you can easily save more.
Briefly, saving money is in your hand. You can start small, but you must see the larger picture. Note your goals, make targets, and start working towards them. Having goals help you to stay motivated. Saving at least 20% of your income every month instills financial discipline in you. Also, if you have money left at the end of the month after your expenses, put it in your savings or invest it. And if you are yet to start savings after becoming debt-free, start building your emergency fund.