A Look Back at my 2016 Savings

I pride myself on diligent savings habits and reasonable control over unnecessary spending. It feels pretty great to see my net worth rising steadily; I know I’m saving a lot. But I want to know the official number!

What percentage of last year’s income went to my retirement and savings accounts?

This year, how far can I push the limit between a comfortable lifestyle and squirreling more money under my mattress?

Employer 401k
  • $13,950 in 2016 contributions
  • $4,050 shy of the $18,000 maximum
  • I received a small salary bump in the new year, so I up’ed my contribution by 1%. That will bring my annual total to just over $15,000. On top of that, my company paid out a bonus this month, from which the same percentage was taken. That dropped in another $1,300.
  • 2017 projection: $16,300
Roth IRA
  • $4000 in 2016 contributions
  • $1,500 shy of the $5,500 maximum
  • In February, I increased my monthly transfer from $250 to $300. That brings me to $3,550. From my bonus, I moved an extra $1,000 to this account.
  • 2017 projection: $4,550
Betterment (long-term savings)
  • $1,800 in 2016 contributions
  • Automatic transfers have been on hold for the past few months. I saw my balance move past $18,000 and just wasn’t sure how much should live in this investment account.
  • Considering an increased amount of instability at the studio where I work over the past few months, continuing to sock away here would be a good idea.  I also intend to drive my 2008 Mazda until it dies, but it won’t last forever. Building up enough to cover paying cash for my next car would be prudent.
  • 2017 projection: $900 ($100 per month starting in April)
Salem Five (short-term savings)
  • $3,500 in 2016 contributions
  • Since this is my short-term savings, I did make a couple of withdraws to cover expenses for my Thailand trip and property taxes. My monthly automatic transfer is set to $400 at the moment, and I dropped $1,000 of my bonus here.
  • I try to withdraw as little as possible from this account and simply absorb big expenses from my regular pay, but that’s not always possible.
  • 2017 projection: $5,800
Conclusion
  • Total 2016 savings: $23,250
  • Total 2017 projected savings: $27,550
  • If all goes according to plan, I’ve set myself up to save more than 30% of my gross income this year. I find that an acceptable number! Particularly with the unusually high amount of travel adventures I’m taking, which feel indulgent at times, but are worth every penny (or Bhat, or Euro…)

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