The average American savings: How does your savings account compare? (2024)

When it comes to personal finance, saving money ranks right up there with buying essentials and paying bills in terms of importance. Savings account contributions should be part of your monthly budget, just like the rent and power bill.

Building up your savings has numerous benefits — the most important of which is financial security. Here are some other reasons saving money is important:

  • You give yourself more freedom and flexibility to make financial decisions, whether it’s buying a new car or paying for an important medical procedure.
  • You can take calculated risks on investments or other money decisions that can grow your wealth.
  • Your money will grow thanks to monthly interest earned and the effect of compounding.

Here’s a closer look at the savings habits of Americans to see how your own compare and how you can ramp up your efforts.

How much does the average American have in savings?

In its 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances, the Federal Reserve estimated that the average transaction account balance was $62,410, which included savings and checking accounts, money market accounts, call deposit accounts and prepaid debit cards.

However, the median balance was much lower at $8,000. That figure probably provides a more accurate picture because it represents a middle value in which half the balances are higher and the other half are lower.

In terms of savings accounts specifically, you’ll likely find different estimates from different sources. The average American has $65,100 in savings — excluding retirement assets — according to Northwestern Mutual’s 2023 Planning & Progress Study. That’s a 5% increase over the $62,000 reported in 2022.

How much should average Americans save every month?

Before getting into how much the average American should save each month, it’s useful to know how much they spend.

Average expenditures for all households in 2022 were $72,967 a year or $6,080.58 a month, according to a 2023 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means the average household needs to earn at least that much to pay the bills.

When it comes to how much you should save, it depends on the purpose of the savings account.

Emergency fund

The amount you should save for emergencies depends on your monthly bills. For example, suppose you spend a total of $5,000 a month on housing, utilities, internet service, phone plans, student loan debt, car payments, groceries and other essentials. In this case, your emergency fund will be based on $5,000 worth of expenses.

It’s generally advised to save three to six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund. With our example, your emergency fund should ideally be $15,000 to $30,000.

It’s best to keep your emergency savings in a liquid account so you can access them quickly and without penalty when you need them. This means a savings or high-yield savings account is usually better suited for an emergency fund than a certificate of deposit (CD) because you won’t have to worry about fees if you need to withdraw cash.

Retirement savings

A good goal to shoot for when it comes to building a nest egg is to save 10%-15% of your pretax income for retirement. If your monthly income is $4,000, for example, then aim to put $400 to $600 a month toward retirement savings.

This is where a 401(k) plan comes in handy because if your employer offers a matching contribution, then you can hit your retirement savings goal more easily. The average American spends about 20 years in retirement, and you’ll need about 70%-90% of your pre-retirement income to maintain your standard of living.

Other savings

Beyond emergency funds and retirement savings, you might also want to save for a wedding, honeymoon, house down payment, home renovations, dream vacation or college fund.

The first thing you should do is put these items in order of importance and focus on which one you want to pay first. From there, your monthly income and expenses will dictate how much you save.

If you want a handy formula to follow, some financial advisers recommend the 50/30/20 rule. Under this rule, at least 20% of your income should go toward savings. Another 50% should go toward necessities, while the remaining 30% should go toward discretionary items.

Strategies to help build savings

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to build savings because so much of it depends on how much money you earn and how many debts/expenses you have. Somebody earning $40,000 a year and carrying no debt may find it easier to save money than someone earning $120,000 a year if the latter person is loaded down with debt.

But there are some basic steps everyone can take to build savings:

  1. Make a budget and stick to it: Saving money requires discipline and sacrifice — which means making a monthly budget and not veering away from it. If your goal is to save $1,000 a month to build an emergency fund, then you need to itemize that $1,000 in your budget and stick to it. This might mean forgoing certain luxuries you can live without.
  2. Set up automatic savings transfers: One of the most effective ways to build savings is to set up an automatic transfer into your savings account each month, similar to automatic bill payments for recurring expenses.
  3. Open a high-yield savings account: High-yield savings accounts give you the ability to earn a much higher return on your money than you would with a traditional savings account. For example, some high-yield accounts offer an annual percentage yield (APY) of 5.00% or higher, while some traditional savings accounts might only pay 0.01%. That difference adds up in a hurry. You’ll typically find the highest rates at online banks.
  4. Invest in CDs: Certificates of deposit can be an effective way to build savings because they let you lock in a fixed interest rate for a set period. If your goal is to buy a house in five years, then opening a 5-year CD with a large deposit can help you get there — especially if the CD pays much better than average rates.

Factors influencing the average American’s savings

Numerous factors can influence the average savings, but the two biggest are earnings and expenses. With everything else being equal, people with higher incomes can contribute more to savings than those with lower incomes. The same holds for expenses — if two people have the same income, the one with lower expenses has more money to put into savings.

Some other factors to consider beyond income and expenses. Data is from the Federal Reserve’s 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances.

  • Age: Younger people typically have less savings than older people because they have not had as much time to build their savings. Also, they usually earn lower salaries and often have to put a lot of their income toward major expenses, such as a new car or student loan debt. The average person younger than 35 has $20,540 in savings, while the average person 65-74 years old has $100,250.
  • Household size: Marrying and having children can have a dramatic effect on your ability to save money. The average savings balance of a single person under the age of 55 is $19,320. For a single person with at least one child the average is $16,800. Couples with no children have the highest average balance, at $103,140. Couples with at least one child have an average of $73,890.
  • Education level: The higher your education level, the better your chances of growing savings. The average savings balance of those with a college degree is $116,010, while those with a high school diploma have an average of $23,380.
  • Homeownership: People who own homes tend to save more than those who rent. The average savings balance for those who own homes is $85,430, and for those who rent, it’s $16,930.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The mean (or average) retirement savings as of 2022 was $333,945, according to Federal Reserve data. The median retirement savings was $87,000, which is probably the more accurate figure. Here are the median retirement savings broken down by age:

– Younger than 35: $18,880

– 35-44: $45,000

– 45-54: $115,000

– 55-64: $185,000

– 65-74: $200,000

– 75 and older: $130,000

As of December 2023, the average savings account rate was 0.46%, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), but you can find much higher rates if you look around. Many financial institutions are offering 5.00% APY or higher on traditional and high-yield savings accounts.

The average American savings: How does your savings account compare? (2024)

FAQs

The average American savings: How does your savings account compare? ›

Key Takeaways

What is the average American bank account balance? ›

The median transaction account balance is $8,000, according to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), with the most recently published data from 2022. Transaction accounts include savings, checking, money market and call accounts, as well as prepaid debit cards.

What is the average bank savings rate in the US? ›

Key Takeaways: The national average savings account interest rate was 0.47% APY as of April 29, 2024. These rates fluctuate based on economic conditions, the federal funds rate and competition among banks.

How many Americans have $200,000 in savings? ›

9% of Americans have between $100,000 and $200,000 saved, and 4% have between $200,000 and $350,000 saved.

What is the average lifetime savings of an American? ›

The average retirement savings for all families is $333,940, according to the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances. The median retirement savings for all families is $87,000. Taken on their own, those numbers aren't incredibly helpful. After all, not everyone who is the same age will retire at the same time.

What is the average savings account for the average American? ›

According to the Federal Reserve's 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), Americans' average (mean) household savings account balance is $62,410. However, the median savings account balance of $8,000 might be a more accurate representation.

How much money does the average 30 year old American have in their bank account? ›

Savings by Age
AgeAverage Account BalanceMedian Account Balance
Under 35$11,250$3,240
35 to 44$27,910$4,710
45 to 54$48,200$6,400
55 to 64$57,670$5,620
2 more rows
Sep 19, 2023

How much money does the average 20-year-old have in savings? ›

In fact, people in their 20s were able to save an average of nearly $5,580 last year, according to data from New York Life, putting them third on the list of age groups that saved the most in 2023. That's less than the average amount of $7,148 people in their 20s aimed to save, but how much should you really be saving?

How much money does the average 40-year-old have in the bank? ›

Average Savings By Age
Age RangeAccount Balance
Ages 35-44$27,910
Ages 45-54$48,200
Ages 55-64$57,670
Ages 65-74$60,410
2 more rows

Is $20,000 a good amount of savings? ›

Is $20,000 a Good Amount of Savings? Having $20,000 in a savings account is a good starting point if you want to create a sizable emergency fund. When the occasional rainy day comes along, you'll be financially prepared for it. Of course, $20,000 may only go so far if you find yourself in an extreme situation.

How many Americans have $10,000 saved? ›

Majority of Americans Have Less Than $1K in Their Savings Now
How Much Do Americans Have in Their Savings Accounts?
$1,001-$2,00010.60%9.81%
$2,001-$5,00010.60%10.64%
$5,001-$10,0009.20%9.51%
$10,000+12.60%13.48%
4 more rows
Mar 27, 2023

How many Americans have 100k in savings? ›

Most American households have at least $1,000 in checking or savings accounts. But only about 12% have more than $100,000 in checking and savings.

How many Americans have 50k in savings? ›

Personal Savings in the U.S.

18 percent said their saving were at least $1000 but under $10,000, while 11 percent each had $10,000 to $49,999 and $50,000 or more saved up.

How much does the average American have in a 401k? ›

Average and median 401(k) balances by age
Age rangeAverage balanceMedian balance
35-44$76,354$28,318
45-54$142,069$48,301
55-64$207,874$71,168
65+$232,710$70,620
2 more rows
Mar 13, 2024

What is the ideal savings by age? ›

Fast answer: Rule of thumb: Have 1x your annual income saved by age 30, 3x by 40, and so on. See chart below. The sooner you start saving for retirement, the longer you have to take advantage of the power of compound interest.

How much does the average American have in their checking account? ›

Average household checking account balance by gender
Gender of reference personAverage checking account balance in 2022Median checking account balance in 2022
Male$20,221.19$3,800.00
Female$8,272.74$1,200.00
Oct 18, 2023

How much money is in the average American checking account? ›

The average (mean) household checking account balance was $16,891 in 2022. The median household checking account balance was $2,800 in 2022. Average and median household checking account balances more than doubled from 1989 to 2022.

How much does the average person in the US have in the bank? ›

American households, on average, have $41,600 in savings, according to data last collected by the Federal Reserve in 2019. The median balance for American households is $5,300, according to the same data. The reality is that the above stats may not accurately reflect the financial situation of many Americans.

What is the average balance in a bank account? ›

Monthly Average Balance refers to the average closing balance maintained in a Bank Account over the course of a month. It is calculated by adding up the closing balance of each day of the month and then dividing the total by the number of days in that month.

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