Build My Savings
Your income is below average, roughly % of others in the group earn more.
Your income is above average, you earn more than roughly % of others in the group.
Your income is average, you earn more than roughly 50% of others in the group.
Your cash and savings are below average, roughly % of others in the group have more tucked away.
Your cash and savings are above average, you have more tucked away than roughly % of others in the group.
Your cash and savings are average, you have more tucked away than roughly 50% of others in the group.
Your debt level is lower than average, you owe less than roughly % of others in the group.
Your debt level is higher than average, you owe more than roughly % of others in the group.
Your debt level is average, roughly 50% of others in the group are deeper in debt.
In retirement savings, roughly % of others in the group have more saved.
You have more retirement savings than roughly % of others in the group.
You have more in retirement savings than roughly 50% of others in the group.
Successful Starters may not be completely debt-free, but they have a great job, a 401(k), a nice home, a good car and a few other toys. Sometimes the bills pile up, but overall, they are able to enjoy a little disposable income, make ends meet and find plenty of time to have a little fun.
The online checking account tells the story: Organic grocery stores, electronics stores, sushi bars, and upper end fashion shops. Skiing or snorkeling—anything active-- is ideal for a vacation, and so is a great deal, which is why shopping for vacations online is the only way to go.
Successful starters are online as much as possible. Facebook, Twitter, ebay, TMZ, blogs, and more. Texting from the treadmill, tweeting at the movie, and watching YouTube at the dentist’s office is the norm. They’re never out of touch, and never plan to be.
Stable starters are making it — at least most months. They work hard, and bring home a decent paycheck, but car payments, rent, groceries and utilities all add up so quickly, so it’s sometimes a stretch. Some try to pick up some extra hours to earn a little more money; and save money by bringing their lunch to work and shopping sales. Sometimes bills stack up, but it’s worth it. This group is young, independent and going somewhere.
Most of the time, there’s not much money for entertainment, so stable starters spend a lot of time online. A night out generally means an evening with friends at a local restaurant or club, where having fun doesn’t require too much cash. Big vacations are something to save for, but swinging a weekend getaway might be possible with some overtime.
This group isn’t into fancy stores, and tends to shop sales whenever possible. When they do buy things for entertainment, it’s usually music, magazines, etc. Cooking some great meals at home has become the norm, but that’s OK. A great night in with friends is just fine.
There never seems to be enough money. Being young and frugal means working long hours and trying to make ends meet. This group really doesn’t have any savings, and unfortunately, does have some debt. But is there a choice? Many just don’t make enough to cover basic living expenses, which seem to go up every month. On the other hand, they typically have a job, and are grateful for that. 
Young and frugal may not be an exciting life, but it’s a pretty good one. Because there’s not a lot of extra money, this group cooks at home as much as possible, though every once in a while may be able to splurge for a night out with friends. Spending time at the nearest park provides for a great weekend, as does hiking, biking, and really anything outdoors.
Renting movies is a great way to wind down after a long week. Because money is so tight, shopping is a challenge, but it can be done on a budget. Clothes and shoes are unbelievably expensive, but the Young and Frugal group has mastered the art of shopping sales and getting the most mileage out of every piece of clothing. They enjoy magazines and TV shows, which luckily don’t cost too much.
Those long hours at the office are finally paying off. Flourishing families bring in a pretty nice income, live in a great neighborhood with great schools, and every month more money goes into their 401(k) and portfolio. Sure, the investment accounts took a beating recently, but there is time, they will bounce back, and the flourishing family income is only going up. Flourishing families are happy with their current economic situation, and are confident about the future.
For flourishing families, family vacations get better every year. Skiing is often a favorite trip but they try to mix it up a little each year. They pretty much shop wherever they want.  And they eat out a lot. Sure, it’s expensive, but with the kids’ schedules, who has time to cook?  Luckily, these days it’s not too hard to eat out and eat healthy. That being said, the family is typically active - even the parents run, play tennis, and hit the gym when there is time. 
Flourishing families love their Internet and electronics. The computer is the hub for just about everything from homework and managing money, to shopping, and finding travel deals. Life is busy, but thanks to texting, flourishing families (and their friends) manage to stay in touch just fine.   In fact, they can’t really remember what it’s like to open up a phone book or what life was like before the world went wireless. 
Stable Families are definitely not living paycheck-to-paycheck. There could always be more money, but they’re doing fine. They have a good job, and drive nice cars.  They own a home in a nice neighborhood and the kids are in a good school system. Stable Families know they’re on the right track when it comes to retirement.   And though there isn’t a ton of savings to access for emergencies, they do have equity in their home to fall back on. 
Stable families take a trip each year. Maybe a national park, or if they’re in the mood to spend, a weekend ski trip. They enjoy eating out, and prefer middle-of-the-road family places where they can get a good steak while the kids eat their chicken fingers and mac and cheese. Shopping is done online and at the mall, depending on what they need and how much time they have. They will compare prices, but just want to make sure they’re getting the best value for the dollar, not necessarily the cheapest product.
Stable families enjoy movies, a night of bowling and an occasional live performance or concert. They spend a lot of time online, reading and exploring.  And home improvements and yard work typically consume many weekends. Overall though, this group works hard, so what they really want to do is unwind and relax. And the best place to do that is home.
This group is the heartbeat of America. They make enough to cover the bills, but there’s little room for extras. They work long hours, make a decent wage, and, most importantly, get health insurance coverage through their employer. So, the Frugal Family group just keeps working hard, keeping a roof over their family’s head, and doing the best they can. Their tax return will pay for Christmas and maybe a little vacation each year, but the rest of the year, it’s paycheck to paycheck. Sure they’d like to have more money, but they’re doing okay.
Big resort vacations are typically out of the question.  So, Frugal Families spend most vacations at a nearby attraction, or maybe a neighboring states’ theme park. But that’s OK, the kids have fun, the hotel pool is fine, and there’s a decent restaurant next door. The rest of the year they generally stay close to home, watching movies and working around the house.  It’s a good life. Not glamorous, but good.
Work keeps the Frugal Family busy. On weeknights, it’s housework and getting ready for the next day. On the weekends, if they aren’t working to earn some extra cash, they’re working around the house, or frequenting bulk shopping clubs to stock the fridge on a budget. Frugal Families enjoy their satellite TV, reading magazines and just relaxing. They lead a peaceful life focused on home and family.
For the most part, this group has enjoyed rewarding, high-paying careers or have enjoyed a healthy inheritance. They have a diverse portfolio and ample liquid assets as well. They have no debt, except for maybe a small mortgage on a vacation home — and that’s really just for tax purposes. Simply put: they’ve done very well financially, and retirement truly will be golden.
If they haven't already, this group will retire in a few years — maybe even sooner — and then they will travel. Greece and Italy sound great, so does an African safari. Right now, shopping in  New York or Chicago a few times a year is the norm, and they frequently spend weekends at the family vacation home. A quiet dinner at one of the nicer restaurants in town or at the country club is their preference. And they are often involved in some charitable organizations. Life as established and flourishing means enjoying performances and concerts at the performing arts center and a few local theaters.  
"Established and Flourishing” individuals play tennis and golf as much as they can. They have a regular golfing group at the club, and play in a tennis league, too. There really is no better way to spend a beautiful weekend. They use the computer for email, news and weather, and ordering books. They are voracious readers and have built quite a library.
Like their parents, this group has always saved. It might have been tough when they were younger but they did it, and are ready to retire. They may not be rich, but they are finally enjoying some of the rewards of their hard work and sound money management.
Stable and established individuals will likely travel when they retire. But while there are some places they’ve always wanted to see, there are plenty of things to do close to home, too--going to museums, working in the garden, or exploring the bookstore. Lunch with friends no longer has a time limit or a budget, life is pretty good.
While individuals in this group have finally gotten a computer to email family and friends, they will never give up their morning paper or evening news. They want to check a book out of the library that’s printed on paper; still visit brick and mortar stores to buy things, and prefer a real symphony performance over a virtual one.
Every penny counts with this group. They have never made a fortune, but have been able to save a little. So, there is a backup. Everything keeps getting more expensive though, which means it is more important than ever that they are careful with their money. Luckily, this group has healthcare coverage and their prescription drugs aren’t too expensive. Though they wish they could travel, life has gotten way too expensive and complicated. Sure, they wish they had more saved, but they don’t mind living the simple life at all.
No luxurious vacations or expensive dinners for this group. But that’s okay; they’ve never been one for the finer things in life. A good meal out or an overnight trip to visit a friend is enough. Shopping used to be more fun, but now it’s just a hassle. Clipping coupons and checking out the Sunday circulars from the grocery and drug stores is routine. Established and frugal individuals prefer to stay at home and watch television. They typically love working in the yard, and nothing excites them more than a beautiful, home grown ripe tomato.
Computers are just not for this group. Even if they wanted to give into their friends who want them to get a computer so they can email, they can’t afford it at this point. They’ll probably give in eventually, but right now, they’re standing firm. They enjoy magazines, books and movies, and take advantage of the local library. They never miss the evening news, and, when it comes right down to it, are happiest when they are at home. People are too busy these days, and this "frugal" group just likes to keep life simple, slow, and on a budget.
Successful Starter
Stable Starter
Young and Frugal
Flourishing Families
Stable Families
Frugal Family
Established and
Flourishing
Stable and Established
Established and Frugal
If you are married, include the salaries for both you and your spouse. Also include income from investments, rental property, alimony, child support, social security, disability payments, etc.
Include money you can quickly access such as checking accounts, savings accounts, money market and CD accounts.
Include all retirement accounts such as 401K, IRA,annuity accounts, etc.
Include credit card, retail store accounts, automotive, and lines of credit balances. DO NOT include your mortgage.