We’re Not Lazy, We’re in Power Save Mode

Do you think you can live off of less than $1,500 a month? Yikes! 

According to the Social Security Administration Fact Sheet, $1,471 is the average monthly benefit for retired workers. To put that in perspective, the average cost of an apartment in Austin is $1,436. So basically, you have no money when you retire if you just live off social security. Can you live your best life like that? You’re already old…

If that’s not the life for you, here’s a suggestion: The Three Legged Stool for funding retirement

  1. Social Security: you’re already going to have social security as income (unless you believe you won’t, which is for another blog). 
  2. Employee Pensions: If you have a job that offers a 401k or a 403b and you qualify for it, take advantage of it. That is pretax money, meaning, when you pull that money out when you retire, they’re going to tax it and you’re not going to love that. So what you can do to supplement that is to also get your own savings for retirement going. 
  3. Personal Savings: Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA. Do you research and choose what is best for you. The money you put into these accounts are post tax, so your money will grow tax free.

You’re not done with savings there. Always pay yourself first. That includes retirement, an emergency fund, and a sinking fund. How much should be in these savings accounts? It’s up to you and your lifestyle. 

Emergency Fund: Start at $500-$1,000

  1. If you make less than $20,000, save at least $500
  2. If you make more the $20,000, save at least $1,000

Once you have your emergency fund stocked, you can begin saving up 3-6 months of expenses in case you lose your job. 

A sinking fund is simply a strategic way to save money for big purchases, like Christmas 2020. You know you’re going to ball out, so just set some money aside each month for that. 

Don’t take the freedom you have as a college student for granted. Next thing you know, you’ll have children and a house to take care of. It would be nice to already have some money set aside for when life happens. Did you know that 66 million Americans do not have an emergency fund? That’s probably why the average household credit card debt is $8,398. I’m just going to leave that there.  

Oof. Maybe that all seems like a lot, but there are a few ways you can start saving today.

Here are a few apps that you can try:

  • Acorns
  • Simple
  • Qapital
  • Digit

Because of the large variety of options, pros and cons, we encourage you to do your own research to determine what’s best for you. But once you get the ball rolling, using apps successfully can make saving money a breeze. 

Automatic Withdraws

Call your bank and HR team! Call them now. Call them and tell them that you want to set up an automatic withdrawal. Earlier we mentioned having an emergency and sinking fund. It’s important to especially have that emergency fund at the ready but that can be difficult to commit putting a little something in. With automatic withdraws, you can fill up that emergency fund without even thinking about it.


Try for a week to drop those credit/debit cards and pay for everything with cash. Did you know they made a Monopoly game that uses credit cards instead of cash? Stop that! When you start paying for things in cash, you start to feel the weight of everything you purchase when you have to physically give your money away.

Those are some simple ways to save money. But like some of those health gurus may say, “it’s not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle.” Saving requires consistently, start small it’s okay. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you won’t be a millionaire overnight. But when it comes to your finances, its health is your wealth.