How Much Money You Should Have Saved By 30 (According To Experts)
— 1 July 2024

How Much Money You Should Have Saved By 30 (According To Experts)

— 1 July 2024
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Generally speaking, 30 is the age when you’re supposed to get your act together. Or at the very least, make some attempt at responsible adulthood by establishing key relationships, laying the foundations for a career, as well as lining up your financial ducks in a row. So how much money should you have saved away by 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 20s, but it’s a good time to start,” Kelly Smith told ATTN (via Esquire).

“Saving is not impossible, but it can be intimidating.”

Granted, six months worth of living expenses will vary from case to case depending on a number of variables, i.e. tax bracket, geography, age, etc. A good baseline would be to calculate the total with the average cost of living.

To answer this question, we did a little digging about the current landscape here in the lucky country.

RELATED: How Much Money Do You Need To Be Considered Rich In Australia?

Jump To:

The Cost Of Living In Australia (2024)

According to online calculator Expatistan, which provides comparative data on the cost of living around the world, Australia is more expensive than 82% of countries in this regard. In fact, we’re currently the 4th most expensive in the world (out of 61 calculated).

The magic number? For a single person: $5,125 per month (up from $3,623 in 2022). For a family of four: $8,875 per month (up from $6,792 in 2022).

This estimate is determined by key factors such as the price of:

  • Groceries (eggs, milk, bread, cheese, apples, chicken)
  • Personal care items (tampons, antibiotics, shampoo)
  • Monthly rent
  • Utilities
  • Internet
  • Entertainment
  • and so forth

How Much Money You Should Have Saved By 30?

If we follow Kelly Smith’s guidance, by the age of 30, you should have around $21,783 squirreled away for a rainy day. This does, however, feel like a rather low benchmark. Especially if you live in major cities such as Sydney, New York, and Hong Kong.

Hence why we did a little more digging.

According to private financial and investing advice giant The Motley Fool, by the age of 30, you should have saved an entire year’s salary (assuming you’re earning a relatively average salary).

“This target number is based on the rule of thumb you should aim to have about one year’s salary saved by the time you’re entering your fourth decade,” explains Robin Harthill, CFP of The Motley Fool.

RELATED: The Companies Paying Aussie Graduates Big Bucks (And The Ones That Aren’t)

“The median weekly earnings for a full-time worker between the ages of 25 and 34, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, is $901 as of the first quarter of 2021.That amounts to an annual salary of $46,852.”

Once again, this will obviously vary depending on a number of variables, i.e. industry, experience, geography, etc.

But adjusted for a standardised domestic figure with data sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, taking the average weekly ordinary time earnings of a full-time adult into consideration, we’re looking at whatever $98,217.60 is after tax (as of November 2023).

How Much Money You Should Have Saved At Every Age?

How Much Money You Should Have Saved By 30 (According To Experts)

CNBC probed the experts over at Fidelity Investments, which outlined a basic rule in line with the goal of retirement in mind…

“Save 10 times your income if you want to retire by age 67. Adjust this amount if you want to retire any earlier or later. Those retiring at 62 (the earliest you can claim Social Security) will need to save more to compensate for an additional five years without income. Those retiring at 70 probably won’t need the full amount of 10 times their income, as they will have worked an additional three years and presumably have fewer years left to spend their savings.”

Here’s how much cash you should have stashed away at every age (not just 30):

  • Age 30: Your annual salary saved
  • Age 40: Three times your income
  • Age 50: Six times your income
  • Age 60: Eight times your income
  • Age 67: Ten times your income

Keep in mind, this doesn’t account for assets, investments, or super. So don’t feel so bad if you’re not liquid.

RELATED: What Is The Average Salary In Australia?

Now that you’ve learned how much money you should have saved by age 30, find out how much money you need to be considered rich in Australia.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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