How Much Is Too Much Money In Your Savings Account?
We have hammered into your brain at this point that you need to be saving. It is far too important to overstate that you have to have some sort of rainy day fund to ensure that you can stay afloat in hard times. For those who develop the skill and discipline it takes to save much more than they will need for an emergency, the location of that money becomes the main point of progress. Once you begin to see your savings go from 3-4 months-worth of expenses to a beginner retirement fund, that money needs to start growing outside of a traditional savings account. Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, mutual funds, and index funds are all places that will see more gains than your bank will give you, and the sooner you start one, the better. So, how much is too much money in your savings account?
“Too much savings” is definitely not a problem. The issue comes when you have so much in your regular bank account that you are leaving gains on the table that could be found elsewhere. The point at which this becomes a noteworthy issue is different for everyone. A good rule of thumb is that if you can survive six months on your savings account balance, you have enough. Three-to-four months will serve just as well as justification for putting some cash elsewhere; six months is where I would say things are bordering on excessive. Once you can do that, it is time to start getting some tax-free gains elsewhere. This will ensure that you keep a cushy level of liquidity, but still maximize your wealth accumulation. This is vital in ensuring that you have a comfy retirement.
The question now is, “where should I put my money now?” Well, here is something you should’ve already been doing: Contributing the maximum amount to a 401(k) or Roth IRA that your employer will match. If you haven’t been doing this, you have literally been foregoing free money. Not to fret, just start doing it now. Not only does your money get matched by your employer, but it also gets withheld tax-free. This lowers your taxable income for the year (yay, lower taxes!). These are 2 separate ways you are already gaining money before the actual retirement account even starts doing its thing; that thing, by the way, is growing. With few exceptions, retirement accounts like these bring great, reliable gains to your money over time. This makes sure that your retirement is as comfortable as possible. Other options for those who want more manual control of their money (after you have maxed out employer match) are index funds, mutual funds, and individual stocks. My recommendation on those is pretty much told in the order they are presented.