No, Millennials Aren’t Good at Saving. But Here’s How You Can Get Better

A woman seated in the drivers seat of a parked car.
Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder
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If you’re like me, you probably stink at saving.

In fact, I recently debunked a claim by Bank of America that 15% of millennials have $100,000 saved. In reality, a third of Americans have $1,000 or less socked away for retirement or  financial emergencies.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

4 Ways to Pad Those Retirement Savings Right Now

See, plenty of people are in your shoes and don’t have $100,000 saved. But there are definitely steps you can take to be on your way to whatever your savings goal might be.

Try a few of our favorite hacks for tackling savings.

1. Start Robo-Investing With These Tools

OK, this sounds totally weird. You might be imagining a metallic bank teller, but robo-investing is actually a way of investing for the future without even thinking about it.

Stash lets you start investing with as little as $5 and for just a $1 monthly fee for balances under $5,000. (The first month is free.)

Acorns, which will give you a free $10 to start, automates your savings by rounding up purchases you make on a connected credit or debit card, then investing the change into a fund.

As for which one is best, that’s totally up to you.


2. Get the Most out of Your 401(k)

Got a 401(k)? You’re on the right track.

Now, you just need to make sure it’s doing what you need it to. However, tapping into that account and deciphering the information — or lack thereof — can be hard.

There’s a robo-advisor for that. Blooom, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm, will optimize and monitor your 401(k) for you.

Blooom gives you an initial 401(k) checkup for free, and you’ll get to know your account a little more intimately. Find out if you’re paying too many hidden fees, have the appropriate amount invested in stocks versus bonds, that kind of fun stuff.

After that, the tool is $10 a month to use to continue to monitor your retirement account. Let Blooom know your target retirement age, and it can help you get there by investing more and less aggressively.

3. Snag a Side Gig and Rake in That Extra Cash

One way to save money is to make more money. And as you know, that’s our specialty.

From online surveys to Airbnb to Uber and Lyft, here are 12 ways to save an extra $5,000 for retirement this year.

But most importantly, don’t get down when you see sensational news articles about how much your generation is saving. There might be more to the numbers than you think.

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. He doesn’t quite have six figures in savings, but he’s made a dent in his goals since starting this job.