This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Median Savings Rate Hits Zero, but It Doesn't Have To

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There's no doubt Americans are having a tough time saving money -- but a median household saving rate of zero dollars?

That's the reality, according to data from, although the site also says there should be $668 left over in the household budget after paying all the bills.

Way too many households are spending too much money while accumulating too much debt, and that leaves them with a savings rate of zero, the site says. If those households pulled back on excess spending, they could still pay their bills and have that extra $668 in their bank accounts every months -- or an extra $8,016 over the course of a year.

"Many of us feel like we're living paycheck to paycheck because of how we choose to spend our money," says Mike Sante, managing editor at "It's not that we can't save. It's that we don't save. It's something we can control and change."

Must Read: This Is How Little Cash We Carry These Days

Some households do a lot better at savings and spending than others. says Baltimore residents lead the country as the highest "opportunity savers," with the metro area's median after-tax income topping the area's typical expenses by $2,021 per month.

Washington, D.C., residents also do a good job of saving, with $1,664 left over in the household budget every month, followed by Cleveland, with $1,294.

But Phoenix, Ariz., residents just aren't getting the message on savings and spending, and metro area households there actually lose $95 per month on average after the bills are paid. That suggests not all the bills are being paid in Phoenix households, which leads to higher debt and potentially a lower credit rating for residents.

Miami and Boston are next in line for the worst nationwide spending and savings habits, but have some cash left over at the end of every month (in Miami's case, just $18).

One step Americans can take to stabilize their household savings is to create a household budget and stick to it. ( offers a good savings calculator here.) Keeping track of what money comes into the household and what goes out is still the best way to stay out of debt and start building a healthy amount of savings in the bank every month.

As reports, that's just not happening right now in too many urban areas of the country. That leaves millions of households scrambling to pay bills, but depleting their savings in the process -- all the way down to zero dollars a month.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.74 0.00%
FB $117.58 0.00%
GOOG $693.01 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%
YHOO $36.60 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs