Whatever “average” is, I’ve always tried to be better. In fact, I’ve pretty much spent my whole life trying to go above and beyond what “normal” people are doing. I fully admit that this overachiever mentality has not always served me well. Actually, I think it’s psychologically unhealthy to try to be the best at everything. It’s an unreasonable demand to contend with, but it’s the natural frame of reference from which I operate that I constantly have to be “talking myself down” from. So imagine my shock (and total horror) when I found out that last year, I was below average when it comes to savings.
According to this article, Americans saved an average of $940 in 2008. Yikes. That’s not even $100 per month. And according to what I’ve read elsewhere, the savings rate in 2008 was actually up from the previous few years (I remember reading when I was in college – maybe 2005? – that the average savings rate was negative!). I, on the other hand, saved…well, about $50 last year. OUCH! To be fair, last year I was really focused on paying off my personal loan, so saving wasn’t really a priority. But still! Ugg! Below average!!! (If you have a chance, you should read the whole article – it compares the recession of the early 1980s to today.)
This year, I’ve done a lot better. Excluding my Roth IRA, I’ve had a net savings of $1500 this year. So I’m above average for 2008’s numbers and way above my own previous savings rate. Which is good. But I’m hoping for a waaay better 2010.
What about you? How much did you save in 2008 compared to 2009?