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Old 02-09-2010, 07:15 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,400 posts, read 4,810,813 times
Reputation: 2719
Default How much in Savings Should a 23 Year Old Have?

I see all the time on this forum where people have this saved up in this account, and that saved up in another.

So Im going to see where I stand on this, given the indulgence of other CD'ers.

Im 23 years old, in college, working part-time as a cashier. Hours vary week-to-week depending on the "whim" of the manager. I can have anywhere from 12 hours in a week to 39 *This one doesnt happen often at all..makes me sad..and broke.*

I make 7.80 an hour, own about $600 worth of stock (outright...not counting what they've given me because I dont know) in my company, and have a 401k with about $2,000 in it (It was a bit more a couple years ago...stupid economy/stock market...)

Is this bad for someone my age? Or is it normal? Any ideas on how to make it better?
Im quite curious after reading other threads.

Any input appreciated.

P.S
I just noticed I got the title flubbed up...its supposed to say "How much" :-S

Last edited by Colddiamond102; 02-09-2010 at 07:16 PM.. Reason: Im an idiot and dont check my titles first...
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Chicago
1,857 posts, read 2,753,581 times
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I think if your not in debt and going to college your on the right track. Everyone of my friends that are in college are at least in 10k in debt up to 150k
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:22 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,400 posts, read 4,810,813 times
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I'll graduate college with no debt (Thank you Pell Grant and Lottery Assistance!)..its only an Associate's degree...but I quite honestly dont want to pursue a Bachelors in Business Management. Its one of those things I CAN do...but its for a job that will pay me better. If I can get $10 an hour Im happy as a clam.

I do plan on going back to school about a year or so after I graduate with the first degree (I want to be a Gemologist)..That will probably not be so debt-free, but its what Ive always wanted to do.
I pay all my bills with the 7.80...so there doesnt seem to be much saving-room, but Im open to any ideas or suggestions.
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:27 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,012 posts, read 6,247,226 times
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I'd say you're doing well given your age. Keep saving, investing, and you'll do fine.

I had more, but I graduated at 20 and went directly to work for an engineering firm so ...
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Old 02-09-2010, 08:39 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
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^ You graduated at 20?! I have a headache thinking about it...especially in a field requiring *gasp* Calculus...and Trig...*shudder*..congrats!

I havent made any new investments since I bought the stock...My company's stock is private (even though its a large chain) because I havent been able to afford it. Hopefully I'll get the chance to do so in the next 2 years, because its stock I'll be sitting on for the rest of my life, if for nothing else than to PO my boss.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:49 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
10,900 posts, read 17,967,210 times
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You don't want to sit on a stock for life, it is just an investment and treat it as such. (make it work for you). Hopefully the company is providing the stock free, or at a subsidized price.

Keep out of debt till you are ready to buy a house. (I bought my first one at age 19, it was a real 'charmer') Those payments of $128.84 were pretty scary on $2.35 / hr wages

Just do what you can and live cheap, and take all the bonuses and overtime you can get. Hopefully you will get a better job working as a 'gemologist' apprentice. I did an apprenticeship at your age, it was not fun, but AFTER I was done the pay was good. The learning was superb. It is advisable to work in your desired field and consider your job as 'training'. Much easier to make mistakes on someone else's nickel.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:59 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,400 posts, read 4,810,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
You don't want to sit on a stock for life, it is just an investment and treat it as such. (make it work for you). Hopefully the company is providing the stock free, or at a subsidized price.

Keep out of debt till you are ready to buy a house. (I bought my first one at age 19, it was a real 'charmer') Those payments of $128.84 were pretty scary on $2.35 / hr wages

Just do what you can and live cheap, and take all the bonuses and overtime you can get. Hopefully you will get a better job working as a 'gemologist' apprentice. I did an apprenticeship at your age, it was not fun, but AFTER I was done the pay was good. The learning was superb. It is advisable to work in your desired field and consider your job as 'training'. Much easier to make mistakes on someone else's nickel.
Now you've gone and made me sad. lol
Im part-time. Ive never once gotten overtime in the 4 years Ive worked there, and those other part-timers I know of that have got written up and chewed out for it. Either that or they have you take a longer break during the week so the OT doesnt show up.
This stock doesnt fluctuate as much as regular stock does. No one else but employees can buy/own it...So while it fell a bit due to the stock market scare, it didnt fall nearly as badly as public stock..Its actually intended to be one of my 'cushions' because of the safe investment, and has indeed risen a bit since. Ive been considering upping the amount put into 401k though from $5 a week to $15.

No jewelry store (Not one I'd want to work for anyway) will hire me without some sort of gemological degree or certificate. I cant reputably (i.e customers/employers will actually believe I know what Im talking about) sell, appraise, or ID stones without said degree. Ive tried everywhere,even offering just to sweep floors/scrub toilets and the answer is the same:
Come back with your GG, then we'll talk. Ive never even heard of a gemologist apprentice until AFTER the degree was obtained..I wish there were such a position..probably because no decent jeweler (I dont consider Kays or Zales 'decent'..maybe Im a snob that way...) can afford some bumbling newbie messing up a $2,500 stone. Since I cant find work in my wannabe field, I am a long-standing member of our local Gem and Mineral Society (I also sit on the Board of Directors as Secretary for the club, and am by far the youngest Board member..yay for me! ). Hopefully that will make a good start on a resume some day.
Im a stone snob (You try to pass me a CZ or some lab-created stone and its going into a fish tank!)...and Id be awful stuck behind a jewelry counter as some sales girl at one of said businesses above (exactly what they'd do too). I'd get fired, because I cant sell a stone I personally believe is crap. So I want to go for specializing in appraisals instead. Sorry I got off topic...this is just something Im passionate about.

Thank you for the suggestion, though.
Here's a link to what the heck it is/what to do for those who dont know.
http://www.degreefinders.com/educati...emologist.html

Last edited by Colddiamond102; 02-10-2010 at 12:09 AM.. Reason: Forgot to add something
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Oakland CA
7,370 posts, read 10,077,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colddiamond102 View Post
Im a stone snob (You try to pass me a CZ or some lab-created stone and its going into a fish tank!)...and Id be awful stuck behind a jewelry counter as some sales girl at one of said businesses above (exactly what they'd do too). I'd get fired, because I cant sell a stone I personally believe is crap. So I want to go for specializing in appraisals instead. Sorry I got off topic...this is just something Im passionate about.

Thank you for the suggestion, though.
Here's a link to what the heck it is/what to do for those who dont know.
How to Become a Gemologist
I get it -- when my house was broken into and my jewelry stolen, I had my wedding ring remade and a matching engagement ring added. He used all the insurance money and I ended with a gross "G" color oval diamond. I tried to love it. I really did. But it looked like a cubic zirconia or a piece of cracked ice. Just horrible. I even got tons of complements on it, and I kept thinking what are those people smoking? This looks AWFUL.

But, luckily, I went to a great jeweler. My husband finally dragged me back after nearly a year and they not only let me pick out my new ring design, they also took the stone back at full price and ordered me four new rocks to pick from.

I looked at all four rocks. One was HUGE, over a carat, but very white -- cracked icey all over again. The other two I can't remember, but the fourth -- it was smaller (71 points) and clear as a teardrop.

It was a "D".... and the jeweler said I knew you were going to pick that one. It's the most expensive one here, and the best color..... I love that ring... and I wear it often. The size of the diamond is perfect for me, with my short stubby fingers. A big rock would look funny...
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:01 PM
 
1,328 posts, read 1,144,226 times
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OP, the amount of money you have at age 23 doesn't matter at all. At this point, you should be more focused on actually gaining education/work experience/skills. Many of your peers are still in college, just starting their first full time job, or are currently attending graduate school, law/med school, etc. and aren't even generating an income yet. Being concerned about your financial situation should take effect around the age of 30 (when all of your peers are actually out in the workforce), not 23; you're just a kid.

In fact, you should focus more on working towards having a certain amount in net worth by retirement (which is likely 40 years from now for you).
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:22 PM
 
784 posts, read 1,729,999 times
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There is no magic number. I graduated college at 22 with $10K in savings and $17K in Student Loans. I'm now 23 and I have over $100K in retirement + savings, and no student loans. When I go back to grad school (MBA), whatever I have will probably be wiped out, or very close to it.

I know plenty of people who came from less, and have more.
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