How much money is in your savings account? We ask a different Dutchman every week. Because although we talk more and more about money, we never talk about exactly how much we earn and save. This week: 26-year-old Sam, who saves an average of 900 euros per month, but says he is not necessarily very good at handling money.
Net earnings: 2700 euros
Living situation: Living together with a partner in a rented house
Sam’s Savings Account
What’s in your savings account?
“I just made two expensive releases, so it’s a bit sad now. All together it is now about 3000 euros.”
You say “sad” yourself. Are you not happy with that amount?
“No, I wish it was a bit more. My girlfriend and I would like to buy a house in the future, so you actually want to have at least 10,000 euros as a basis. I just want to pay off my student debt first. So I have to pay for that too.”
How high is your student debt?
“Just over 17,000 euros. It was around 30,000, but part has already been waived. Namely the cost of my travel product and since I am still of the old guard, so to speak, part of my loan was also waived. But I will have to pay for this remaining part myself.”
What do you think of that debt?
“Well, of course I think it’s a lot, but my performance grant is still going away. So actually I don’t necessarily have much to complain about compared to other people who have 40,000 thousand euros in debt, for example. I also have a fairly low student debt. But I find it bizarre that a low student debt is 17,000 euros. It is still a lot of money that you have to pay off.”
Do you ever worry about money in general?
“It used to be, but not so much now. Still a bit, because being able to buy a house is difficult and, as I said, I would really like to. There is a good chance that this will take longer than my girlfriend and I thought. But all the other things you often want to do in your mid-twenties also cost so much money. I want to get married and honeymoon, but it’s all so expensive. So mainly the concerns are about whether I can realize what I want.”
Are you now able to top up your savings account?
“Yes, only last month I had some more expensive expenses, so I had to cut quite a lot. If you have many birthdays in a month, for example, and also have to pay the necessary bills, it will be less successful to save. Or not. But in general I’ve been trying to save about 900 euros a month since January. That is now possible with my current job.”
And are you ever tempted to withdraw money from your savings account for other things?
“Yes, but that’s just the way I save. I actually put everything I don’t need immediately in my savings account and take something out when I need something. That way I keep my current account low and it’s easier to see when I spend money. That works very well for me.”
Do you think you are good with money?
“I think I’m not very good with money, but I’ve learned tricks that allow me to do it. Fortunately, I have a safety net that has really let me down, because there have also been times when I had nothing in my savings account. But I would say my girlfriend is much more savvy with it.”
What can you do with her?
“She sees better what is really needed. The problem is I don’t know if I can learn that at all, since I have ADHD and that’s a thing for me. I am much more impulsive. If I really want something, I just get it. That is not really useful if you want to save well.”
But do you perhaps have a useful financial tip for others?
“That is that you determine in advance how much you want to save and that you ensure that the amount that you are not going to save is enough for your basic needs, but also for the fun things. So that you take into account that you will spend more than your base costs. I learned it from a good friend.”