Spend Half, Save Half

The easiest way to save more. This is for everyone that says, "I can't save 10%". It's also for those that say "I'm already saving 10%, or those saying ther is no way I could save 15%".

While it's possible I read this somewhere else, If I did it was decades ago. Since I've not heard it repeated as anyone else's hook, and it really was the way I got to where I am, I'm simply going to call it my idea at this point.

Once you have a fairly balanced budget, Spend Half and Save Half of all of your future raises.

This can be very, very, successful at virtually no sacrifice on your part. It's January and you just got a raise at work. You didn't have that money last week and you still balanced the budget. So why not save half of the raise for the future? You still have new money for buying toys, but there will never be an easier time to slightly increase that savings rate.

No time that is easier of course unless you got a promotion. Great news! And again, you didn't have that money the day before the promotion, so how about you save half of that raise?

You can still spend the other half guilt free, so its' a win, win, all around.

This is particularly effective If you are just starting out in your career, but applicable for any time or if you are at a loss of where to start saving.

But I can already hear you saying "The raise is small and will never amount to anything".

Time for some numbers.

From Nothing to a 10% savings rate

How many Years to achieve a 10% savings rate?


  • 0% initial savings rate
  • A yearly raise
  • Spending Half and saving Half of every raise
Yearly Raise Years to 10%
2% 11 years
3% years
4$ 6 years

Taking this to the Next Level

So this time, let's assume that over 20 years of working you double the salary of your very first job. This works out to be about a 4% annual raise. What will your saving's rate be in 20 years?


This is the kind of savings rate where the words "retire early" and FIRE start be to thrown around. This is the type of savings rate where you sleep like a baby at night, and to get here, you never had to sacrifice a thing.

Try for yourself

What to play with the numbers yourself? You can download a copy of the spreadsheet here