American Savings Statistics: A Deep Dive into How Much Americans Save

As a small business consultant who advises entrepreneurs on financial management, I‘m often asked how much money people should have saved. While there are recommendations for emergency funds and retirement savings, how much Americans actually have in the bank varies widely.

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll explore over 30 American savings statistics to understand how our saving habits compare nationally and globally. With insightful analysis and tips, you can benchmark your finances and take steps to improve your own savings.

Key Savings Stats

  • 89% of Americans save some money each year in savings accounts, retirement plans, or elsewhere.
  • The U.S. personal savings rate was 4.2% in November 2022, up from 2.3% in 2019.
  • 47% of Americans don‘t have enough emergency savings to cover 3 months of expenses.

National Savings Over Time

The U.S. personal savings rate depicts the percentage of disposable income households save versus spend. It‘s a useful benchmark for savings habits over time.

Year Personal Savings Rate
1950 11.1%
1960 7.0%
1970 8.9%
1980 8.9%
1990 5.9%
2000 2.4%
2010 5.5%
2020 13.7%
Nov. 2022 4.2%

The personal savings rate spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic but remains below post-war levels.

While the current 4.2% rate is still low historically, it has improved since bottoming out near 2% in the mid-2000s. However, it still pales in comparison to the double-digit rates of the 1950s and 60s.

Since consumer spending makes up over two-thirds of U.S. GDP, a rising personal savings rate indicates more disposable income is being saved rather than spent. As a business owner, monitoring this macroeconomic trend can signal periods of slowed consumer demand.

Savings by Generation

Savings habits in the U.S. vary significantly by age group:

  • Millennials (age 27-42): 63% are saving for retirement. Their average monthly savings is $1,205.
  • Gen X (age 43-58): 79% are saving for retirement. Their average monthly savings is $967.
  • Baby Boomers (age 59-77): 80% are saving for retirement. Their average monthly savings is $781.

Millennials save more on a monthly basis likely due to higher pay from being in peak earning years. However, more Gen X and Boomers are focused on retirement savings given their age.

As an entrepreneur in your 40s, benchmarking your monthly savings against these generational averages can give you an idea of whether you‘re on track. The 80/20 rule applies – saving at least 20% of your income is recommended.

Retirement Savings

Retirement is one of the top reasons Americans save money. But how much do we have saved?

  • The average 401(k) balance was $106,477 as of Q3 2022.
  • Among people age 65-70, the average 401(k) balance was $195,864.
  • 53% of Americans are projected to be at risk of running short on retirement funds.

The stats indicate many Americans fall behind on saving enough for retirement. For small business owners, putting away funds for retirement can be tougher when trying to grow your business. But automating monthly contributions to an IRA or 401(k) will pay off down the road.

Emergency Savings

Having quick access to emergency funds allows you to deal with unexpected expenses without taking on debt. But how many months‘ worth of spending are Americans saving?

Weeks Available in Emergency Fund % of Adults
0 weeks 18%
1-4 weeks 12%
1-2 months 23%
3-5 months 17%
6+ months 30%

Nearly one-third of U.S. adults don‘t have any emergency buffer or less than a month‘s worth. As a small business owner prone to income fluctuations, I recommend striving for 6+ months of emergency savings when possible.

Savings by Income

Higher earners save a larger dollar amount on average, but save a smaller percent of their income.

Income Range Average Monthly Savings Savings Rate
Under $25k $406 14%
$25k – $75k $609 10%
Over $75k $1,643 8%

Don‘t let the high averages discourage you if your income is lower. Focus on saving consistently each month, even if it‘s a small amount. Slow and steady savings can accumulate over time.

International Comparisons

How does U.S. savings stack up globally? Here are personal savings rates in other developed nations:

Country Personal Savings Rate
Switzerland 13.9%
Japan 11.6%
Euro area 12.7%
United Kingdom 6.5%
Canada 5.0%
United States 4.2%

Americans save a smaller percent of their income compared to most other advanced economies. However, our average wages and spending power is higher.

Tips to Increase Your Savings

Use these saving strategies to grow your nest egg:

  • Pay yourself first. Automatically deposit a portion of your paycheck or business revenue into savings.
  • Cut discretionary costs. Evaluate needs versus wants in your spending to identify excess.
  • Take advantage of employer matches. Get the full 401(k) match from your employer for free money.
  • Set goals. Saving is easier when working towards a specific financial goal.
  • Get an accountability partner. Share your saving goals with a trusted friend or partner.
  • Invest for the long-term. Let compound growth work its magic.

Now you have a data-driven look at how Americans save. Stay focused on increasing your savings each month, and your own nest egg will grow steadily.