You don’t hear much about America’s personal savings rate these days, and the reason may be because the news is discouraging: collectively, the percentage of our income that we save is trending downward again, and may be about to hit record lows. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis tracks the U.S. personal savings rate, going back to the late 1950s, when when people were setting aside a thrifty 11% of what they made. Americans achieved a record 17% savings rate in the mid-1970s (see chart) before a long decline set in. In 2013, the rate briefly spiked again above 10%, but as you can see from the chart, Americans have become less thrifty since then. The most recent data point shows Americans saving just 3.6% of their income.
If you had to save $10,000 in the next six months, how would you go about it?
Columnist Simon Constable took an inventory of average living costs, and came up with a surprising conclusion: this is actually do-able for some people, and it might actually be easy. However, for smart consumers, your total savings might not add up to much more than triple digits.