Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

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Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:30 pm

How much are you saving per month, and what are your goals on what to put away by the end of the year? (Whether in a savings account, non-retirement investments, or otherwise readily-accessible liquid cash).

Personally, I'm currently Big Law at 180k per year. I'm unsure whether I'll hit a bonus this year, and at least likely not a substantial one. So after tax, healthcare, HSA, retirement contribution, loan payments (i'm doing REPAYE of $150k+ loans all federal(around 1k/month), rent ($2.5k), projected food/entertainment/clothes/sending money home to parents, I'm aiming to put aside $3,000 a month into savings, or $36,000/year. I'll then round down to $30k to over-plan for a nice vacation (not sure how work expectations will affect this), and other miscellaneous nice things I may or may not want.

I've decided I'm not interested in throwing everything into loans at this point , as I'm comfortable w/ small loan payments over a long period of time and don't really give them any thought whatsoever (rather not stress over this while i'm young).

Is 30k per year in savings a decent goal (some of which i'll likely look to invest)? What does everyone else's numbers/goals look like?

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Future Ex-Engineer

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Future Ex-Engineer » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:33 pm

With that kind of saving, you will be putting yourself firmly in the top 5% wealth-wise worldwide. Possibly top 1%. If you've got the income and can make everything else work (including taxes) then that sounds like an excellent way to build up wealth for later in life.

Is 30k per year in savings a decent goal (some of which i'll likely look to invest)? What does everyone else's numbers/goals look like?


At the end of the day, the way you plan for retirement/save is a highly personal choice, so I don't think anyone can tell you what is right or wrong for you. That being said, your plan sounds quite rational.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Nebby » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:41 pm

Terrible plan. Invest in gold and grain seeds

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Yugihoe » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:45 am

Plan on saving about 60k/year or 5k a month on a 180k/year income.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby smokeylarue » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:16 am

OP, those numbers seem realistic to me. You can maybe save a few hundred bucks more a month by being frugal, but not much more than that. Since you live in the Bay Area or NYC, you can't be that cheap anyway. Other then deciding to get a roommate, I don't think there's much more you can do to save money.

I probably save 5000ish a month but I don't have loans and my rent is like half of yours, which pretty much matches what your savings expectations are if you take those differences into account..

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Mr. Peanutbutter » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:22 am

CPAn00b wrote:Plan on saving about 60k/year or 5k a month on a 180k/year income.

If you're in NYC, 180k/month turns into like $7.5-8k/month after taxes/insurance/401k depending on your contribution. Good luck saving anything close to 5k a month with that unless you live with your SO hours away from the city.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby dabigchina » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:45 am

CPAn00b wrote:Plan on saving about 60k/year or 5k a month on a 180k/year income.

that's a little optimistic.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:24 am

Bay Area 3rd year - I'm saving about $4.5k in cash per month and maxing out 401(k) this year (no Roth). Not sure if I'll get a bonus, but if I do, I'll probably use about 20% of the after-tax amount for fun stuff and save the rest. Gotta stockpile cash while the opportunity lasts.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:57 am

NYC 5th year. I save 7k a month.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby californiauser » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:15 am

Are you planning on working for the government after big law? What's your reasoning behind signing up for REPAYE?

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:How much are you saving per month, and what are your goals on what to put away by the end of the year? (Whether in a savings account, non-retirement investments, or otherwise readily-accessible liquid cash).

Personally, I'm currently Big Law at 180k per year. I'm unsure whether I'll hit a bonus this year, and at least likely not a substantial one. So after tax, healthcare, HSA, retirement contribution, loan payments (i'm doing REPAYE of $150k+ loans all federal(around 1k/month), rent ($2.5k), projected food/entertainment/clothes/sending money home to parents, I'm aiming to put aside $3,000 a month into savings, or $36,000/year. I'll then round down to $30k to over-plan for a nice vacation (not sure how work expectations will affect this), and other miscellaneous nice things I may or may not want.

I've decided I'm not interested in throwing everything into loans at this point , as I'm comfortable w/ small loan payments over a long period of time and don't really give them any thought whatsoever (rather not stress over this while i'm young).

Is 30k per year in savings a decent goal (some of which i'll likely look to invest)? What does everyone else's numbers/goals look like?



That is realistic. I am a third year and my approach is as follows. I put 15% of my income on 401k and save 1k each paycheck. I get paid by weekly. I always remove that 1k and place it on my investment account once I receive my by-weekly salary so I do not overspend.
My 401k increase by 1.2k each paycheck.

Around July-August, I probably max out my 401k and I also no longer pay social security tax so at this point I will try to save 2,000-2500 per paycheck.

I am also on repaye and pay around 1.3k a month. I owe a ton more money than you though.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby davidboring00 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:54 am

Mlk&Ckies wrote:
CPAn00b wrote:Plan on saving about 60k/year or 5k a month on a 180k/year income.

If you're in NYC, 180k/month turns into like $7.5-8k/month after taxes/insurance/401k depending on your contribution. Good luck saving anything close to 5k a month with that unless you live with your SO hours away from the city.


Not including 401k in savings is inexplicable and bizarre

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Mr. Peanutbutter » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:02 am

davidboring00 wrote:
Mlk&Ckies wrote:
CPAn00b wrote:Plan on saving about 60k/year or 5k a month on a 180k/year income.

If you're in NYC, 180k/month turns into like $7.5-8k/month after taxes/insurance/401k depending on your contribution. Good luck saving anything close to 5k a month with that unless you live with your SO hours away from the city.


Not including 401k in savings is inexplicable and bizarre


don't clutch those pearls too hard or you might pass out.

most people are in big law temporarily, assuming "savings" to mean "money I'll use to support myself/next big thing once I leave this industry." It's kind of explicable not to include 401k in that.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Yugihoe » Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:33 am

Mlk&Ckies wrote:
davidboring00 wrote:
Mlk&Ckies wrote:
CPAn00b wrote:Plan on saving about 60k/year or 5k a month on a 180k/year income.

If you're in NYC, 180k/month turns into like $7.5-8k/month after taxes/insurance/401k depending on your contribution. Good luck saving anything close to 5k a month with that unless you live with your SO hours away from the city.


Not including 401k in savings is inexplicable and bizarre


don't clutch those pearls too hard or you might pass out.

most people are in big law temporarily, assuming "savings" to mean "money I'll use to support myself/next big thing once I leave this industry." It's kind of explicable not to include 401k in that.


Lol I don't need luck or a SO "hours away from the city." There are $2000-2200 bedroom apartments downtown, where if you live with a SO, you can end up paying only $1200/month with utilities in rent. I find it funny when people who probably just moved to NYC for law school, at best, want to be the authoritative source for what is and what is not possible.

Moreover, quite easy to save 5k/month if you account for the 18k/year you'll be saving into your 401k, as correctly pointed out by David.
Support themselves when big law ends? What are you talking about? All you need is maybe 3-6 months of money for an emergency fund. The rest should be used to max out your tax-advantaged funds and then non-taxable brokerage accounts.

Just avoid lifestyle creep and don't buy frivolous shit. OP, since you have debt, 3k a month is pretty good savings rate for you. You could probably do 4k/month since your debt payment is only 1k. You shouldn't really be paying 2.5k on rent. Live with roommates. Also, you should pay down any loans you have that have interest rates over 5%.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Nebby » Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:36 am

CPAn00b wrote:
Mlk&Ckies wrote:
davidboring00 wrote:
Mlk&Ckies wrote:
CPAn00b wrote:Plan on saving about 60k/year or 5k a month on a 180k/year income.

If you're in NYC, 180k/month turns into like $7.5-8k/month after taxes/insurance/401k depending on your contribution. Good luck saving anything close to 5k a month with that unless you live with your SO hours away from the city.


Not including 401k in savings is inexplicable and bizarre


don't clutch those pearls too hard or you might pass out.

most people are in big law temporarily, assuming "savings" to mean "money I'll use to support myself/next big thing once I leave this industry." It's kind of explicable not to include 401k in that.


Lol I don't need luck or a SO "hours away from the city." There are $2000-2200 bedroom apartments downtown, where if you live with a SO, you can end up paying only $1200/month with utilities in rent. I find it funny when people who probably just moved to NYC for law school, at best, want to be the authoritative source for what is and what is not possible.

Moreover, quite easy to save 5k/month if you account for the 18k/year you'll be saving into your 401k, as correctly pointed out by David.
Support themselves when big law ends? What are you talking about? All you need is maybe 3-6 months of money for an emergency fund. The rest should be used to max out your tax-advantaged funds and then non-taxable brokerage accounts.

Just avoid lifestyle creep and don't buy frivolous shit. OP, since you have debt, 3k a month is pretty good savings rate for you. You could probably do 4k/month since your debt payment is only 1k. You shouldn't really be paying 2.5k on rent. Live with roommates. Also, you should pay down any loans you have that have interest rates over 5%.

How long have you lived in NY? Where did you find your $2200 apartment? Through craigslist or from a friend?
Last edited by Nebby on Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Yugihoe » Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:41 am

Nebby wrote:How long have you lived in NY? Where did you find your $2200 apartment? Through craigslist or from a friend?


Good point. You're probably not going to find the $2200-2400 1BR apartments on craigslist if you're some out-of-towner, as these are few and far in between in old walk-up buildings in select neighborhoods.

That being said, you can def get some roommates and live someplace like lower east side, where it's still easy to find apartments where your rent is going to be like $1300-1400 for a room in a 3bedroom.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Nebby » Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:42 am

CPAn00b wrote:
Nebby wrote:How long have you lived in NY? Where did you find your $2200 apartment? Through craigslist or from a friend?


Good point. You're probably not going to find the $2200-2400 1BR apartments on craigslist if you're some out-of-towner, as these are few and far in between in old walk-up buildings in select neighborhoods.

That being said, you can def get some roommates and live someplace like lower east side, where it's still easy to find apartments where your rent is going to be like $1300-1400 for a room in a 3bedroom.

So you found yours through a friend then? I need to meet this friend lol

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby favabeansoup » Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:58 am

Mlk&Ckies wrote:
davidboring00 wrote:
Mlk&Ckies wrote:
CPAn00b wrote:Plan on saving about 60k/year or 5k a month on a 180k/year income.

If you're in NYC, 180k/month turns into like $7.5-8k/month after taxes/insurance/401k depending on your contribution. Good luck saving anything close to 5k a month with that unless you live with your SO hours away from the city.


Not including 401k in savings is inexplicable and bizarre


don't clutch those pearls too hard or you might pass out.

most people are in big law temporarily, assuming "savings" to mean "money I'll use to support myself/next big thing once I leave this industry." It's kind of explicable not to include 401k in that.


I think the general consensus is that "savings" refers to retirement and long term saving goals, not simply funds that "support you" once you get out of big law. Savings to me implies not touching it until I retire.

Ideally you should have an emergency fund (which is not savings) in a low interest savings account that is easily accessible. It covers you between looking for new jobs, medical/family emergencies, etc. until your new income supports you.


Plus if you are "saving" and not using 401k, it's just dumb with all the tax benefits you miss.

But to each their own. This is why it's called personal finance. +1 for clutching some pearls.

In terms of main prompt, it all depends on your circumstances.
I'm in Texas and can max out my 401k while still paying down debt ahead of schedule, but I can only do that since my COL is pretty low here. People in SF/NYC have harder time keeping expenses low, but on average they get more actual $$$ more senior you get (on a non relative basis).

Actual dollar amounts, I'm saving like 2.5k-3k month until I finish paying off my loans next year, then I'm going $5-6k a month until I leave big law.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Mr. Peanutbutter » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:12 am

I max out my 401k contrib and bring home $7k/month after all taxes and deductions. Even if you count the 1.5k/month in your savings amount, getting to 5k is difficult unless you're really thrifty. I'm not saying it's not impossible, it's just not as easy as "you should save 60k on a 180k salary"

And if I don't have at least 100k in throwing around/investment money by the time I leave big law I'll have considered all of this a waste yo

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Pokemon » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:31 am

CPAn00b wrote:
Nebby wrote:How long have you lived in NY? Where did you find your $2200 apartment? Through craigslist or from a friend?


Good point. You're probably not going to find the $2200-2400 1BR apartments on craigslist if you're some out-of-towner, as these are few and far in between in old walk-up buildings in select neighborhoods.

That being said, you can def get some roommates and live someplace like lower east side, where it's still easy to find apartments where your rent is going to be like $1300-1400 for a room in a 3bedroom.



Lol, yeah lower east side at 1300 - 1400 a room... is this some weird joke. If you had said Jackson heights, forest hill, Astoria or Bedford stye maybe.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Pokemon » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:34 am

Also 5k a month in NYC is extremely difficult for a first year. Like you all do realize that taxes eat a huge chunk of income and op has debts and rent is expensive and we tend to underestimate how much we spend. This is key, every year people have unanticipated or unplanned expenses that take a chunk of your income.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Yugihoe » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:48 am

Pokemon wrote:
Lol, yeah lower east side at 1300 - 1400 a room... is this some weird joke. If you had said Jackson heights, forest hill, Astoria or Bedford stye maybe.


Nah son what are you talking about. I know multiple people who paid this amount even in 3L, who were not from NY, tf are you talking about?

https://newyork.craigslist.org/search/aap?query=lower+east+side&max_price=4200&min_bedrooms=3&availabilityMode=0

People pay even less in some of the places you mentioned. $900/astoria. Damn just stop stepping up if you're some NYC transplant who doesn't know shit.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Yugihoe » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:53 am

Pokemon wrote:Also 5k a month in NYC is extremely difficult for a first year. Like you all do realize that taxes eat a huge chunk of income and op has debts and rent is expensive and we tend to underestimate how much we spend. This is key, every year people have unanticipated or unplanned expenses that take a chunk of your income.


Yea 5k is def hard if you have debt, but OP is only making 1k/month payment. I know I personally could save 3.5-4k if I were him. This is an argument, that seems to be recurring on TLS, bewtween how much you want to save and your lifestyle. It's personal finance and people will have different objectives and preferences. Some people want to pay 3k/month for a studio. You do you, boo.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Mr. Peanutbutter » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:09 am

I'm not saying this with any amount of authority, just curious: I wonder how much of this super frugality for big law could be penny wise and pound foolish? Like, if saving an extra $800-1000/month by living with two roommates or commuting 30+ minutes each way is offset by burning out faster. Boneus your third or fourth year alone would outweigh those savings if it means you make it 3-5 years instead of 2.

Just throwing around that idea. It's only anecdata, but two acquaintances I know who pulled the super cheap route (one in EV with three roommates in a third floor walk up, the other in a metro-north suburb with fiancée) both left BL less than 2 years out from starting.

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Re: Monthly/Annual Savings Goals

Postby Pokemon » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:24 am

CPAn00b wrote:
Pokemon wrote:
Lol, yeah lower east side at 1300 - 1400 a room... is this some weird joke. If you had said Jackson heights, forest hill, Astoria or Bedford stye maybe.


Nah son what are you talking about. I know multiple people who paid this amount even in 3L, who were not from NY, tf are you talking about?

https://newyork.craigslist.org/search/aap?query=lower+east+side&max_price=4200&min_bedrooms=3&availabilityMode=0

People pay even less in some of the places you mentioned. $900/astoria. Damn just stop stepping up if you're some NYC transplant who doesn't know shit.


Sorry are you actually from NYC and in biglaw, because so much of this advice is genuinely shockingly dumb. Lower east is a genuinely bad place for most associates to live. Sure it is feasible to find 3 bedroom, but it would be of shitty quality, your housemates will most likely not be in biglaw and the entire neighborhood is booming in a drunk way. Considering you are paying on the cheaper side for the neighborhood, no way you have good enough acoustics to deal with les drunk noise. And generally, if you will have a hard professional life, you do not want to be at the cheapest apartment the hood offers. It is cheap for a reason and the reason is not landlord generiosity not your genius in finding apartments. Surprise I know, but NYC real estate market is fairly efficient market.

If people want to go the cheap route in NYC, then queens for midtown people is the way to go. Express on e from forest hills or Jackson heights, sunnyside or woods ode. Above Columbia is also not bad, Washington heights. Somewhere in Brooklyn or New Jersey for downtown people. But les, come on, that is a pretty dumb place to be unless you are a trust fund baby.


Even in queens, I would not go for the 900 place. Yes shocking news, but prices tend to reflect the apartment. If an apartment is considerably cheaper than what is market in the neighborhood, it is so for a reason.
Last edited by Pokemon on Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.



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