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How Much Should You Have Saved by 30? Here’s Some Surprisingly Reassuring Expert Advice

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Eating birthday cake and spending money is easy. Actually growing older and saving it is, unfortunately, much harder.

Looking at your finances through a long-term lens isn’t always fun, but putting money away can make you feel better about the future. In a survey Money recently did with Synchrony Bank, 91% of consumers said the ability to save gave them a sense of control over their finances — something you may be lacking if you’re nervously approaching a milestone age.

“Think of it as paying your future self, setting your future self up to be empowered,” says Michaela McDonald, a CFP with the personal finance app Albert. “That is going to totally elevate the way you think about yourself financially.”

It’s common advice for everyone to have an emergency fund, and it does feel nice to have a safety net of sorts just in case everything goes belly up. McDonald says once you have that foundation, you can truly start considering what you want to do next, whether that’s buy a new iPhone or travel to Italy.

So, say you’re rounding out your 20s and attempting to plan ahead. How much money should you have saved by age 30?

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