As a high earning Millennial, a.k.a. H.E.N.R.Y.™ [High Earner, Not Rich Yet], your saving strategy might look something like this…
The Ad Hoc Savings Strategy:
Money hits your checking account, you pay for sh*t (rent, bills, credit card) and at the end of the month, if there’s anything left over, you move it into your savings account. The problem? There’s usually nothing (or very little) left over to save.
Or it might look like this….
The Good Intentions Savings Strategy:
Money hits your checking account, you move a fixed amount over to your savings account, let’s say 500 bucks per month, but if the credit card bill comes in a little high, you’ll move some (or all) of that savings back over to your checking account and use it to pay bills.
In both cases, we give you an A for effort, but unlike in school, that means nothing! We’re not ones to sugarcoat it – when you’re making good money and you have nothing to show for it, it’s frustrating. Especially as your income continues to go up but you still feel like you have nothing to show for it. (Click here for more on Lifestyle Creep)
The good news? You’re not alone. According to a 2016 GOBankingRates Survey, “older Millennials,” those defined between ages 25-34 have less than $1,000 in their savings account! Abysmal! At Stash, you don’t qualify as a H.E.N.R.Y.™ until you have $10,000 in savings (which accounts for 15% of the “older Millennial” population). So what should a high earning, high potential Millennial do?
Follow Stash’s savings strategy for H.E.N.R.Y.s™ because it actually works.
STEP ONE: FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU’RE SAVING FOR
Stop “saving for the sake of saving”. If you don’t tie your savings to a goal, what’s the incentive to stick to the strategy? It doesn’t matter if you’re saving for something small or large, you need to define what you want – that includes defining how much you need and when you’ll need it. Ex. I need $2,000 by the holiday season so that I can splurge on gifts for family and friends or I need $5,500 by next spring to buy the Restoration Hardware Madison Couch.
STEP TWO: OPEN A SAVINGS ACCOUNT(S) AT AN ONLINE BANK
If you’re still using a brick & mortar savings account, you are your own worst enemy. The best place to keep your savings is at an online bank. Why? A few reasons. The first – it keeps your savings out of site and out of mind. The second – while you’re saving up, might as well have your money working harder for you. Most brick and mortar banks (including credit unions) pay ~ .01-.03% in interest. On $20,000, that’s somewhere between $2-$4 a year – highly insulting! At an online bank, you’re earning about 160x that amount, closer to $320 a year. We realize the difference isn’t going to make or break you, but it’s a couple extra happy hours each year – we’ll take it.
TIP: Our favorite online bank accounts (as of the time of publishing) are Ally and Marcus. CapitalOne360 is an old favorite, but they haven’t been raising their interest rates as quickly and we’re not sure why.
STEP THREE: AUTOMATE YOUR SAVINGS
Most of us are busy. And because we’ve got more important things to do, we recommend taking “saving money” off your to-do list and automate that sh*t. Now that you know what you’re saving for, how much you need, and by when, set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to each of your newly designated savings accounts (one for holiday gifts, another for the RH couch). We recommend structuring it so that the money leaves you checking account the day after payday. That’s it. It’s not complicated and it doesn’t have to be to work.
BONUS SAVINGS TIP: If you’re in a serious relationship (once you live together), we recommend having a joint savings strategy. If you have separate goals, that’s okay. But the ideas above still work to help couples get on track for their goals faster and more efficiently.
Are you using another savings strategy that actually works? We’d love to know. Please share in the comment section below and click here for more articles like this.