It's the end of January and we're all thinking about our bank balanaces, and to add to the strain, finance expert Kelly Smith has just told ATTN what your savings should look like by the time you're 30.
As a writer and engagement specialist for The Penny Hoarder, Kelly Smith told ATTN that you should have at least six months worth of expenses saved up before you turn 30.
"I think the goal at any age is to get to the point of having six months of living expenses saved up. Admittedly, it's harder in your twenties but it's a good time to start," Smith explained.
Obviously 'six months of expenses' is a relative concept, but given the average cost of living is estimated to be £1990, that means you should have £12000 in your bank account right now.
Of course, having thousands saved for emergencies is a far cry from what many people in their twenties actually have in the bank. Close to three-quarters of Millennials have less than that in savings, and around one-third have no savings at all.
For those who might find the idea of having an extra six months of living expenses stored up unachievable, Smith suggests keeping at least £1,000 stored away for emergencies.
The fact that so many young people have little to no money saved isn’t a matter of Millennials being more careless with their money than previous generations.
Kelly Smith points to high student loan debt and rising living costs as the reason why Millennials have such a hard time finding money to spare.
“[Saving is] not impossible, but it can be intimidating,” she says.
For those Millennials who believe that they are unable to save anything out of their paychecks, Smith says that it’s never too late to start saving, and any amount saved is better than none, “even if it's storing spare change in a jar.”
She advocates mindful spending as a tool of self-moderation. “I’d also recommend Millennials track their income and spending in a conventional spreadsheet or budgeting app,” she says. “Being able to see where your income is coming from and going helps you understand what you can and can’t afford to save.”
You might not be able to keep £12000 in the bank at any given time, but don't let an intimidating, rigid number discourage you from saving. In the case of an emergency, having a few hundred pounds saved will prove far preferable to having nothing at all.
In any case: a useful reminder to start saving, or at very least buying a lottery ticket each week.