Saving and investing are two super important parts of a solid financial plan. Think of saving as your safety net and a way to reach short-term goals, while investing can give you bigger long-term returns and help you reach those big long-term financial dreams.

But hold on! Before you start investing, you need to figure out how much you should save. That depends on your own financial situation, goals, and how much risk you’re comfortable with. It’s a good idea to create a personal financial roadmap, and get a clear picture of your goals and risk tolerance.

Saving and investing

Starting early is an awesome way to set yourself up for long-term financial success. In this article, we’ll talk about how to determine your financial goals and answer the question of how much you should save before investing. So, let’s begin!

Key Takeaways:

  • In savings and investments, setting specific financial targets is essential for crafting a successful approach.
  • Short-term financial goals represent objectives individuals can accomplish in a year or less, while long-term financial goals take several years to achieve.
  • Assessing your financial situation provides a clear picture of your current financial health, allowing you to set realistic short-term and long-term goals that align with your financial circumstances.
  • The 50/30/20 budgeting rule is designed to help individuals allocate their after-tax income to cover essential expenses, discretionary spending, and savings or debt repayment.

Determine Financial Goals 

In savings and investments, setting specific financial targets is essential for crafting a successful approach. By identifying your goals and arranging them by priority, you can effectively allocate your resources and create a roadmap to steer your financial journey.

Regarding saving for investment purposes, individuals have either short-term or long-term goals. These financial goals are crucial in determining how much money to save and how to invest it.

  • Short-Term Goals

Short-term financial goals represent objectives individuals can accomplish in a year or less. Such plans can include the following:

  • Establishing an emergency fund.
  • Settling high-interest debts.
  • Saving for a particular purchase like a car or vacation.
  • Handling unforeseen expenses.

These investments require you to save less funds depending on your earnings. Moreover, they often focus on addressing immediate financial needs or improving your current financial situation. For instance, renting an apartment is an investment that requires you to save in one year or less before achieving it.

Short-term financial goals are vital in creating a solid basis for financial stability.

  • Long-Term Goals

Long-term financial goals refer to financial objectives that take several years to achieve. These goals require more extended periods of savings and investing. Examples of long-term financial goals include:

  • Saving for retirement.
  • Paying off a mortgage.
  • Funding your children’s education.
  • Building a nest egg for future generations.

These goals often demand a more substantial amount of money, time, and effort to achieve. It’s essential to start planning and saving for your long-term financial goals as early as possible, as they require more patience, discipline, and long-term commitment. Retirement saving is a long-term investment goal that requires consistent contributions over several decades to accumulate a sufficient retirement fund.

By defining these objectives, you can tailor your savings and investment strategy to suit your needs and work towards achieving your financial aspirations.

Assess Financial Situation

While your financial goals are categorised into short-term and long-term goals, saving for investment can only be realistic when your financial situation is evaluated and understood. Assessing your financial situation provides a clear picture of your current financial health, allowing you to set realistic short-term and long-term goals that align with your financial circumstances.

To do this, you need to:

  • Income

Savings and investments are a function of your income. The amount you save and invest is heavily dependent on your income. The more money you earn, the more you can allocate toward savings and investments.

For instance, if you want to achieve your one-year short-term goal of buying a car. In that case, your income will heavily influence your savings plan. Higher income allows more significant monthly savings to achieve goals faster, while lower income may need longer saving periods.

  • Expenses

The amount of money you spend on your expenses plays a significant role in determining how much you can save and how quickly you can invest. Analysing your expenses and identifying areas where you can cut costs can free up more money for savings and investment purposes.

For example, you can cut expenses on everyday items such as groceries, clothing, and entertainment. Moreover, creating a budget and sticking to it can help you better manage your expenses and allocate more funds toward your savings and investments.

  • Debts

The more your debts are, the more challenging it becomes to save and invest, as a significant portion of your income is allocated toward debt repayment. High debt levels can also negatively impact your credit score and financial health.

For instance, when too much debt is hanging on your neck, getting spare loans from credit facilitators to rescue an emergency is harder. This is because your debt-to-income ratio is an essential factor that lenders consider when evaluating your creditworthiness.

  • Emergency Fund

How much you need to save for emergency funds depends on how often you attend to emergencies. An emergency fund is a cash reserve for unexpected expenses, such as medical emergencies, job loss, or urgent home and car repairs.

For instance, if the funds you set aside for emergencies are significant, they’ll affect how quickly you achieve your financial goals, and vice-versa. Setting aside emergency funds should be based on your monthly living expenses, employment situation, and other sources of income.


According to many online resources, the 50/30/20 budgeting rule is a popular and straightforward method for managing personal finances. The 50/30/20 budgeting rule, attributed to Senator Elizabeth Warren and her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi, is designed to help individuals allocate their after-tax income to cover essential expenses, discretionary spending, and savings or debt repayment.

The rule divides spending into three categories:

  • 50% For Needs

By dedicating 50% of your after-tax income to essential needs, you prioritize the crucial expenses that support your daily life. This includes covering housing, utilities, food, transportation, insurance, and minimum debt payments.

Focusing on these expenses first ensures that your basic needs are met, creating a stable financial foundation. This approach helps you maintain a balanced budget while addressing the most critical aspects of your financial well-being.

  • 30% For Wants

The 30% for wants is the part of your after-tax income set aside for discretionary spending, allowing you to enjoy life without compromising your financial stability. This category includes non-essential expenses that enhance your lifestyle, such as dining out, engaging in leisure activities, pursuing hobbies, taking vacations, and shopping for non-necessities. Dedicating 30% of your income to these pursuits creates a healthy balance between living in the moment and preparing for a secure financial future.

  • 20% For Savings, Investments, Or Debt Repayment

Dedicating 20% of your after-tax income to savings, investments, or debt repayment is essential for long-term financial stability and growth. When you consistently set aside this portion, you empower yourself to create an emergency fund, pursue future goals, invest in assets such as stocks or real estate, and tackle high-interest debts. Prioritizing this category ensures that you’re not just living for the present but also preparing for the future.

Importance of Budgeting

One of the critical benefits of budgeting is that it can help you identify areas where you’re overspending and adjust your spending habits. By tracking your expenses, you can see where your money is going and determine where you can cut back. This can help free up cash for savings, debt repayment, or investing.

Budgeting can also help you prepare for unexpected expenses and financial emergencies. By setting aside money into an emergency fund, you can have peace of mind knowing you have money available to cover unexpected costs such as car repairs, medical bills, or job loss.

Moreover, budgeting can help you stay on track toward your long-term financial goals. Whether you’re saving for retirement, buying a house, or paying off debt, having a budget can help you progress toward these goals by consistently setting aside money for them.

When to Start: Savings vs Investment

The decision to start saving or investing ultimately depends on your financial goals and personal circumstances. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to prioritise savings before investing. This means setting aside some of your income into an emergency fund or savings account to cover unexpected expenses or prepare for future financial goals. This can help ensure you have a solid financial foundation in case of unforeseen events.

Once you have established an emergency fund and have a clear picture of your short-term financial needs, you can start considering investing your money. Investing allows your money to grow over time and can help you achieve long-term financial goals such as retirement or buying a house. However, it’s essential to remember that investing comes with risks, and you should have a solid understanding of the potential risks and rewards before making any investment decisions.

The Importance of Savings and Investment

Savings and investments are essential components of a healthy financial plan. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Financial security: Savings provide a safety net to help you manage unexpected expenses or financial emergencies. An emergency fund can help you avoid going into debt or borrowing money from friends or family.
  2. Achieving financial goals: By saving for specific financial goals, such as a down payment on a house or a child’s education, you can achieve your goals more quickly and efficiently. Investing can help you grow your money over time and achieve long-term financial goals like retirement.
  3. Building wealth: Investing in stocks, bonds, or other assets can help you build wealth over time. By taking a long-term approach and investing regularly, you can benefit from compounding returns and potentially achieve significant gains over time.
  4. Diversification: Investing in various assets can help you reduce risk and avoid relying too heavily on any one investment. Diversification can help you balance risk and reward that aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance.


The amount you should save before investing depends on your financial goals, personal circumstances, and risk tolerance. It’s important to establish a solid savings plan and create an emergency fund before diving into investments. Assess your financial situation, prioritise short-term and long-term goals, and budget your expenses using a method like the 50/30/20 rule. By consistently saving and investing, you can build wealth over time, achieve financial stability, and have peace of mind knowing you’re taking control of your financial future.

Aremu Adams Adebisi graduated from college with a B.Sc in Economics. He’s pursuing his MBA while covering trending topics in trading, investment, and cryptocurrency. He’s fascinated by the surges of...

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