Savings tips for 20-somethings

Your 20s could be prime saving years. Get some tips on how to save money with just a few small sacrifices.

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THE BACKGROUND:

People have accomplished some pretty incredible things in their twenties. By age 22, Oprah had already landed her first talk show, Helen Keller had published her first book, and Jack White had just started The White Stripes in his living room. And even if you're not Oprah, you can achieve a lot if you take your twenties seriously—especially when it comes to your money.

In her LinkedIn Influencer article, "If I Were 22," Kathy Murphy, President of Personal Investing at Fidelity Investments®, describes what a critical time your twenties can be in terms of saving—and offers some words of wisdom on using this time to your full advantage.

THE BREAKDOWN:

While it may be tempting to live in the moment, Kathy points out that your twenties are your "prime saving years"—and making just a few small sacrifices now can give you a decent financial head start. Here are some of her tips.

  • Skip one dinner out a month.
    Let’s say you're 26 and you’re saving $100 in a retirement account, like an IRA or 401(k). What if you skipped just one meal out a month, and reallocated that money—let's say $33—to saving for retirement? By the time you're 67, that $33 a month could have amounted to more than $99,000 over 25 years in retirement.1 That’s a pretty nice chunk of change.
  • Plan for the long term.
    With people living longer and longer these days, there's a good chance you could live well into your 90s or even your 100s. That's why you might hear people tell you to max out your 401(k) and take full advantage of what your employer offers in terms of a matching contribution. Trust us, your 90-year-old-self will thank you.
  • Talk to someone you can trust.
    Whether it's your parents or an advisor, it's nice to have someone to turn to for tips about saving and investing. If you have any questions concerning where to start, give us a call—we'll be happy to talk them through.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

As hard as it may be to sock away more of your hard-earned cash, remember this: You'll be so glad you did.

Take the next step

Use our simple Budget Checkup tool to see if your spending and saving is in line with the 50/15/5 guide.

Learn more

See what else Kathy's been up to by following her on LinkedIn.

Topics:
  • Saving and Spending
  • Starting Out
  • Saving and Spending
  • Starting Out
  • Saving and Spending
  • Starting Out
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1. Hypothetical example assumes that the individual saves until retirement age 67, lives through age 93, and receives a 1.5% real (inflation-adjusted) increase in wages per year. Rate of return is nominal 7.0% and consists of 4.7% real return and 2.3% inflation. This illustration assumes that deferral percentage rates stay constant throughout the participant's working career. Estimated increases in retirement monthly income are in constant 2013 dollars. It is assumed that upon retirement the real (inflation-adjusted) dollar amount is withdrawn annually through age 93, and that the participant took no loans or hardship withdrawals from his or her workplace plan. The maximum annual qualified 401(k) retirement plan employee contribution limit in 2013 is $17,500 (or $23,000 if age is 50 or older). All dollars shown (including increases to monthly retirement paycheck) are pretax dollars. Upon distribution, applicable federal, state, and local taxes are due. No federal, state, or local taxes; inflation; or account fees or expenses were considered. If they were, returns and monthly increases would be lower.
Additionally, $33 per month starting at age 26, which would increase along with assumed real wage increases of 1.5% annually for an average contribution of $46 monthly over the participant’s working life to age 67. $50 per month starting at age 36, which would increase along with assumed real wage increases of 1.5% annually, for an average of $64 monthly over the participant’s working life to age 67.
Views expressed are as of May 27, 2014. Unless otherwise noted, the opinions provided are those of the author and not necessarily those of Fidelity Investments.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Investing involves risk, including the risk of loss.
The images, graphs, tools, and videos are for illustrative purposes only.
Fidelity Brokerage Services Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917
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