Americans sure can pinch their pennies. With more than $9.34 trillion stored in nest eggs across US financial institutions, savings in 2019 are at an all-time high.
We crunched the numbers to reveal how Americans store their savings, which accounts offer the best rates and how these reserves stack up between genders and across generations.
Total savings in the US
Savings habits are tied to the economy: The slower the economy, the more we tend to save. Today, Americans are saving more than they’ve ever saved before.
In 2019, savings across all US financial institutions total about $9.34 trillion. To put that in perspective, the nation’s savings amounted to some $7 trillion in 2013. And in 2010, Americans saved a mere $4.8 trillion altogether on the heels of the 2008 financial crisis.
|Year||Total savings across all US deposit accounts|
How much is saved in personal bank accounts?
Americans can set aside money for a rainy day in a variety of ways, from certificates of deposit to money market accounts. In the US, gross private savings total $4.64 trillion, while personal savings total $1.06 trillion.
Top banks by total deposits
The US is home to thousands of FDIC-insured commercial banks. But it appears that we tend to favor only a handful of institutions to save with.
Bank of America towers above the national competition, boasting $1.31 trillion in total deposits. Closely following is Chase Bank at $1.27 trillion in total deposits. Wells Fargo is the only other bank in the top 5 to crack $1 trillion, with $1.26 trillion in total deposits to its name.
|Bank||Total deposits as of June 30, 2019|
|Bank of America||$1,353,686,805|
|JPMorgan Chase Bank||$1,311,219,000|
|Wells Fargo Bank||$1,291,135,000|
How much of our income are we saving?
Many Americans automatically set aside a part of their income to savings each month. But how much of our disposable income – the income that’s left after taxes – are we saving overall?
From 2016 to 2019, savings rates in the US fluctuated between 6% and 8% of a person’s after-tax income. In September 2019 the personal savings rate in the US hovered at an impressive 8.1%.
|Date||Personal saving rate|
Average household savings
Few things are as satisfying as watching your nest egg grow, no matter how much you’re setting aside.
Looking at just savings accounts, the US average in 2019 is $16,420. But that means some people have a whole lot more and some have a whole lot less, because the median savings account holds just $4,830.
Which accounts offer the strongest and weakest rates?
It takes financial discipline to progress toward your savings goals. Paired with a strong interest rate, your efforts can pay off in bigger balances more quickly.
While the nationwide average APY is 0.10%, many digital banks offer rates above 2.0%. Without the high overhead of more traditional banks, these online options can pass the savings directly to their customers in the form of strong rates and low fees.
Top reasons for saving
Savings can help you build that dream bathroom you’ve always wanted and give you something to fall back on when those unexpected vet bills come due.
But most Americans have wanderlust on the mind when stowing away their funds. Travel tops the list of reasons we’re saving in the US, according to a 2018 SunTrust Bank survey, followed by emergency savings and retirement funds.
- Emergency savings
- Buy a house
- Buy a vehicle
How savings differ between genders
It appears that men and women are fairly on par when it comes to how much they’re setting aside for savings.
The biggest gap between the genders is found in account holders with more than $10,000 in their savings accounts, where men outnumber women by 9%.
|$10,000 or more||31%||20%|
How savings differ among the generations
While the generations have plenty to battle about, saving for retirement is a goal we can all agree on.
Baby boomers lead in savings with a $152,000 median balance in their savings accounts, while Gen X trails an at average $66,000 stowed away, according to an April 2019 report from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. With less time to have stockpiled their earnings, millennials have only $23,000 to fall back on.
Interestingly, the same report finds that millennials start saving for retirement at the age of 24, which is earlier than both Gen Xers, who say they started saving at age 30, and boomers, who started at 35.
Median amount saved:
- Baby Boomers: $152,000
- Gen X: $66,000
- Millennials: $23,000
Which states save the most?
The Midwest Dakotas lead the pack, with savers in South Dakota and North Dakota socking away the most by way of savings deposits, minimal debt, low income tax and a high use of coupons, according to a Get Rich Slowly study.
5 tips for building a strong nest egg
Every little bit counts. Hit your next financial milestone more quickly by prioritizing your savings with a few set-it-and-forget-it lifestyle and account hacks:
- Create a budget. Analyze your earnings and expenses to get a big picture of your finances and then set a monthly budget you can stick to.
- Nail down goals. It’s easier to save when you’re building toward an exciting future. Think about what motivates you to save, and set short- and long-term goals as a challenge.
- Pay yourself first. Automate your savings with regular transfers into your account. Even $30 a month can help build an emergency fund.
- Stay inside your network. In this digital age, a dollar here and there adds up. Stick with your provider’s ATM network to keep more of your money in your own pocket.
- Automate your bills. Autopay from your account can keep you from forgetting due date on regular expenses — and getting stuck with late payment fees.
For all media inquiries, please contact:
Chelsea Gregori, Public Relations Specialist
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