How much money do you have in your savings account? We ask a different Dutch person this question every week. Even though we talk more about money, we never talk about how much we earn and save exactly. This week, we spoke to 27-year-old Maaike, who has saved a decent amount of money, but has seen it slowly increase over the years.

Maaike’s Savings Account
How much do you have in your savings account?
“At the moment, it’s over 23,000 euros. Over the past few years, the amount has fluctuated around that level: sometimes slightly below that threshold, sometimes slightly above.”

What do you think of that amount?
“It’s a decent amount overall, but I find it annoying that it’s growing very slowly. I think when I was 19 or 20, I already had 20,000 euros saved. Since then, I moved out and traveled a lot, but it feels like the amount is growing way too slowly. Sometimes it feels like taking three steps forward and two steps back at the end of the month.”

How much do you save per month?
“Saving around 600 euros should be doable. Lately, I’ve noticed that I’m ambitious with saving, but I end up dining out too often at the end of the month, which forces me to dip into my savings. At the same time, my salary increased a few months ago, so I hope the amount in my savings account will grow faster now.”

Have you ever had difficulties with money?
“Not really. I’m lucky to have very kind parents with enough means to pay for a lot of things for me. My driver’s license, for example, but also school and when I moved out, I received a monthly allowance for two years. I’m very grateful to them for that.”

Are there things you spend more money on than you would like?
“Not necessarily more than I would like, but sometimes I do spend more than planned on fun things. Dining out, having a drink here and there, buying new gadgets, for example.”

Would you like to approach that differently?
Honestly, not really. I kept track of my expenses in Excel for a while, where I had set a budget for each category: groceries, fun things, rent, electricity, etc. I exceeded the ‘fun things’ budget every month, but I realized that I don’t want to change that. That’s where I like to spend money, and I still manage to get by every month, so I don’t feel the need to change that.”

What would you like to change about your financial situation?
“I think many people would like to earn more, but I think you adapt your lifestyle to that and ultimately end up with the same amount. A magical doubling of my savings would be great because I would be more cautious with spending. I try to keep 22,000 euros as a minimum threshold, and I’m doing well.”

Would the minimum threshold increase if you had more savings?
Definitely. If I have over 25,000 euros in my savings account in a few months, then 25,000 euros would be the new minimum threshold. If there really were a magical doubling of my savings, I would definitely set 45,000 euros as the new minimum threshold, haha.”

What is your best financial tip?
“I have to admit that I’m not a good financial advisor when it comes to money. I could say that you should track your expenses in an Excel sheet, but well, I left that aside myself. Additionally, I think saving money is also a bit innate. I’ve always been good at saving, which allowed me to have a nice amount at a young age.
Now that I’m a bit older, I notice that I’m a bit more relaxed with money and especially want to enjoy life, particularly by dining out and valuing enjoyable drinks. So, enjoy life, but not so much that you end up in trouble.”

Curious about more savings stories from other readers? Check out the previous editions of Metro’s weekly column, The Savings Account.

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