How much money is actually enough

Nest egg & Co .: How much money do I need to live?

Car, vacation, house and children - life goes for money. But how much do I really need for a good life? How Much Should I Save? And how much should be on hand in an emergency?

6.9 million people in Germany are considered over-indebted - they regularly spend more than they earn. This is only partly because they live beyond their means; More often it is unforeseen events such as job loss, illness or separation or death of the partner that turn them into debtors.

So that this doesn't happen to you, you should make provisions for bad times, but also generally keep an eye on your income and exceptions - and above all be clear about which expenses are important to you and which you can save better in the truest sense.

We'll show you how to get there, how high your Nest egg and how you can save money more easily.

How much money do I need to live?

The answer to this question is - unsurprisingly - highly individual. Because what one person defines as a good life can be associated with higher costs than the life another person dreams of and vice versa.

Also, the amount you need each month depends a lot on yours personal situation from. A student who lives in a shared apartment and only has to look after herself, of course, needs significantly less than a father who has three children as a single parent and has to pay off a home loan.

So the only thing that helps here: worry about what you want out of lifeFind out which areas are more important to you than others - and calculate them. In general, you should know how high your costs are for the following areas:

  • Living
  • Food
  • Insurance
  • Transport (car and local public transport)
  • Health and hygiene
  • Free time and going out
  • dress
  • vacations
  • miscellaneous

Tip: A budget book helps you to keep track of things - or to gain an overview at all. This works just as well with an Excel spreadsheet on the laptop as with special apps or the good old paper and pen. You can read here how exactly you keep a budget book.

This is how much you should spend on housing and leisure

How much you can and want to spend on each item depends of course on the Amount of your earnings from - and from, what has what meaning for you. Perhaps you value a good location and equipment, but you can easily do without your own car.

In general, experts recommend the following rules for that Relationship of the individual items to the net wage:

  • Living: On average, your rent, including ancillary costs, should not amount to more than a third of your net income. If you want to buy your own home, the rule of thumb is that your maximum monthly mortgage rate should not be higher than 35 percent of your net monthly household income. Your equity should at least cover the incidental purchase costs. These account for up to 15 percent of the purchase price. Read here how you can protect your family with property.
  • Food: You should plan around 15 percent of your household income for this - including luxury foods such as alcohol or tobacco.
  • Insurance: Liability insurance is absolutely necessary. You can get them for around 50 euros a year. Household contents insurance is also advisable. There you are there for around 100 euros a year.
  • Transport: A car should not cost you more than a maximum of six net household incomes. And don't forget the running costs! Insurance, gasoline, and maintenance shouldn't consume more than 15 percent of household income. This also applies to bus and train tickets.
  • Health / hygiene: Plan about four percent of your household income for medication, hygiene articles and the like.
  • Free time / going out: Around ten percent of household income is realistic here.
  • Dress: About five percent of your household income is allowed to go on here.

Important: If possible, never spend your entire monthly budget, but put some of it aside. Or even better: put it on. More on this below.

The absolute minimum of money that a person needs to live is called Subsistence level. So everyone should at least make basic material livelihoods can. A distinction is made between different types.

So lies the subsistence level that the Hartz IV benefits is based, for single people at 424 euros per month, plus costs for accommodation and heating. The neuter subsistence level however, it provides information about the amount up to which income must remain tax-free. In 2020, the amount for a single person will be 9,408 euros, i.e. 784 euros per month.

There is also the so-called attachment-free subsistence level. Since July 2019, it has been € 1,178.59 net per month for single debtors. The amount increases if you have to pay maintenance. The so-called socio-cultural subsistence level should additionally the Participation in social, cultural and political life to back up.

Of course, the vast majority not only want to survive, but also a little Comfort to have. So, for example, you can treat yourself to a visit to a restaurant, spontaneously go for a coffee with friends or go on vacation.

That is one step higher luxury. Then you have so much money that you hardly ever think about your expenses. Then only follows extravagance - a state in which you are spending your money on things that in the eyes of most people are unnecessary and pointless.

When more money doesn't make you happier

By the way, according to a study by economists Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton, there is an exact amount up to which more money always makes you happier: 60,000 euros per year. Anything beyond that will not bring you any further satisfaction boost, but rather makes you more unhappy again.

The scientists explain this by the fact that more salary usually also means more responsibility - and less time that you can spend on the things that are most important for your well-being: such as time with family and friends, hobbies or simply idleness.

How Much Money Should I Save?

Here, too, it is said again: That depends. For example, do you already have a certain one capital accumulated, you need to save comparatively less than someone who is just starting out.

That too Age matters - because the less time you have to hit a savings goal, the greater the rates need to be. And of course: you Savings target yourself decide how much you should put aside each month. Short-term goals, such as a long vacation, require different amounts than long-term goals, such as not having to cut back on retirement.

But even here there is Rules of thumbwhat percentage you should save from your gross income:

  • Young professionals: 4-6 percent
  • 30 year olds: 5-8 percent
  • over 40-year-olds: 7-10 percent

Tip: Don't despair if you don't hit the percentages right away. Of course, especially with lower incomes, it is more difficult to cut something. But: Saving is a technique that can be learned. Just ask yourself every issue whether it's worth it to you. I'm sure everyone will find something they can do without. Saving creeps into your everyday life step by step - until it has become a routine.

Nest Egg: How Much Should My Reserves Be?

You guessed it: for him too Nest egg there is a rule of thumb. Three net monthly salaries you should lay on the high ledge so that the unforeseen does not throw you completely off track. Do you have children or own property, you should Better to increase reserves - because unplanned expenses then occur far more frequently. The best thing to do is to put the money in a current or call money account so that it is always to hand.

On no account should you avoid saving a nest egg. Only when it is ready can you start thinking about investing your money. We'll explain how to do this below. However, there may be another step ahead of the nest egg: Reduce debt.

If you have an overdraft facility on your account or if you still have to pay off a consumer loan, you should take care of it first. Because overdraft and loan interest are always higher than credit interest.

When should I not save?

Yes you've read correctly. There are also situations in which Saving is not a good idea is. For example, according to the consumer association, you should do not miss out on important investmentsjust to build up reserves. If, for example, the washing machine breaks, you can get away cheaper in the long term if you buy one straight away than if you first have to pay for every load in the laundromat for weeks.

Also, don't forget that Invest in yourself. Your most important asset is still your own labor. So don't save at the wrong end and go ahead and spend some money on yourself further training or yours health to do something good.

And: If you have saved up your nest egg and have enough money in hand for possible goals such as vacation or equity to buy a house, you shouldn't save any further - but invest your money.

How can I increase my money?

By investing part of it. Classic forms of investment such as savings accounts or overnight money, however, no longer bring any income because of the low interest rates. That's why you won't be around shares come around when you want to make more of your money.

If you are now thinking, "No way, I can gamble away my money in the casino right away" - then you are only partially correct. Yes, if you only invest in individual stocks, it is very risky. Because so Put everything on one card, the risk of loss is high. But there are ways to spread the risk - for example, by investing in a product that combines a large number of stocks.

This works comparatively easily and cheaply with so-called ETFs ("Exchange Traded Funds"). These are special equity fundsin which a computer algorithm maps a stock index such as the Dax. The value of the ETF therefore always develops in the same way as the index that the fund tracks. Because, unlike traditional funds, ETFs do not need a manager, they cost less. So they can usually get one higher yield retract, also called yield.

You can already do so in ETFs invest with small amounts. Many banks offer Savings plans from 25 euros in the month. All you need is a depot - and you're ready to go.

Important: You should only invest the money that you do not need acutely. Because the best way to invest in the stock market is long-term, i.e. at least ten years, better 15. So you can sit out crises and short-term losses are compensated for in the long term.

more on the subject

  • Subjects:
  • Economy,
  • Money,
  • Checking account,
  • Save up,
  • Account,
  • Transfer,
  • Property,
  • Financing,
  • Finances,
  • Debts,
  • Banks,
  • Consumption,
  • ETF,
  • Stock index,
  • Overnight money,
  • Savings plans,
  • House purchase,
  • Consumer advice center,
  • Equity funds,
  • Financial advisor