How to Calculate Your Personal Savings Rate and Start Thy Purse to Fattening

piggy bank

On Monday we talked about learning how to acquire gold. Today I dip back into The Richest Man in Babylon for more wisdom on wealth creation.

This paragraph comes chapter 3: Seven Cures for a Lean Purse. The first cure is “Start thy purse to fattening.”

“For every ten coins thou placest within thy purse, take out for use but nine. Thy purse will start to fatten at once and its increasing weight will feel good in thy hand and bring satisfaction to they soul.”

I want a fat purse, and I like the simplicity of taking 10 cents of every dollar earned and saving it for the future. Various blogs around the web will tell you to chase a savings rate of 50% or more, and they show you reasonable ways for achieving such a rate, so a 10% savings rate ought to be very manageable.

And since we already discussed it, I don’t mind saying I’ve been used to living off 90% of my income for years, as my definition of tithing is to take the first 10% off the top and give it to the church. It shouldn’t be a problem for me to simply take the next 10% and put it away for the future.

So let’s define savings rate and see where mine is.

A YNAB-friendly definition of saving would be “assigning a dollar the job of obtaining more dollars”, giving us a savings rate equation along the lines of:

Savings Rate = Sum of Dollars Assigned to Obtain More Dollars / Total Income

or, more specifically…

Savings Rate =
Personal Retirement Contributions +
Employer Contributions +
Debt Principal Payments /
Total Income Including Employer Contributions

Getting tabular with my actual numbers yields:

Savings Type Current Amount
1% Personal Contribution $58.33
3% Employer Contribution $177.99
Principal on Mortgage 1 $349.17
Principal on Mortgage 2 $62.11
Betterment Deposit $0
Principal on Student Loan $95.50
Principal on Residential Lot Loan $25
Total Saved Dollars $768.10
Gross Income $6,011.32
Savings Rate 12.78%

Note: I added the employer contribution to my gross income and calculated savings rate accordingly.

I’m shocked to see it “so high.” The analysis gives me two big takeaways:

1. I can move my savings rate a lot with relatively small contribution increases.

For example, using freelance income to add an extra $200 per month to my 2nd mortgage payment would take my savings rate above 16%.

If you’re unwilling unable to increase your income, fighting to free up an extra $100 or $200 per month will make an enormous impact on your long term prospects.

2. Debt is killing my savings rate and my future.

If I didn’t have my Deep Shame 2nd Mortgage, my student loan, or the loan on the residential lot, I’d free up the current principal payments to the tune of ~$183 per month. I’d love to have that money going to Betterment or allow me to increase my contribution to the 401k.

But the freed-up principal would be the smaller win. Getting rid of those loans would also let me save the ~$513 per month in interest those loans currently cost. (Pardon me while I barf.)

Adding the extra $513 with the $200 from freelancing to my contributions shoots my savings rate to 25%!

In other words: getting out of ugly debt and increasing my income by all of 5%* allows me to double my savings rate.

*$200 would be a 3.3% increase, but I’m allowing for T&T (tithing and taxes).

This is a productive analysis for me – it shakes me out of complacency and reminds me that a) my debt is an emergency and b) small increases in earnings massively impact my finances.

Anybody care to share their savings rate?

53 Responses to “How to Calculate Your Personal Savings Rate and Start Thy Purse to Fattening”

  1. MrMcLargeHuge

    HSA: $270.83
    Roth: $458.33
    Student Loan Principle: ~$525
    Emergency Fund: $100

    Rate: 44.94%

    I had never previously thought to include loan principle when calculating my savings rate. That made it jump significantly!

    • MrMcLargeHuge

      Oops, did it based on Net Income, not Gross. With Gross, it’s 33.85%

    • Micro

      I use my gross income when calculating my savings rate. Puts me at about 31% not counting loan payments. I don’t like using gross because it includes income I have no control over. It is taken via various taxes and there isn’t anything I can do to change it.

  2. k-ro

    So if money being saved is for a later expense purpose (escrow for house taxes, car insurance, HSA), is it considered savings under this formula?

    Does “gross income” under this formula just refer to employer contributions being added back in? Or is it truly gross income (as in before taxes and 401k deductions)?

    • mark

      The definition of saving I’m using here is “dollars assigned to go get more dollars.” With that definition, escrow, insurance, and other rainy day funds would not count toward your savings rate.

      Another way to think of it is “Am I setting these dollars aside to be spent later, or am I setting them aside to earn interest?”

      My definition of gross income is before taxes, 401k deductions, etc – then add employer contributions on top.

      The exact method for calculating the savings rate probably isn’t as important as measuring it the same way over time and looking the parts you can influence.

      I use gross income because employer and personal contributions both happen pre-tax, so it didn’t make sense to me to mix pre-tax numbers with post-tax numbers (ie my take-home paycheck).

  3. trailjon

    Hmm… It may be obvious to many, but why are loan payments calculated into the savings rate? I’ve never thought of including those items in figuring how much I’m saving.

    • MrMcLargeHuge

      It’s not “loan payments” but “principle payments.” Every dollar you pay in principle is interest you’ve saved yourself from paying in the future. Extra principle payments can really add up over time, especially on something like a mortgage, where the savings can be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

  4. Jason Smith

    Using the “principle toward loans” toward your savings doesn’t seem right to me. Since I do most of my spending on a credit card I pay off monthly, I suppose I could count that all as savings, since it is loan principle?

    It seems that loan principle should only count as principle if it is going toward some asset that has real value. I would not count a mortgage in here, since if you sell your house you have nowhere to live–it isn’t really a liquid asset. You can easily sell cars, but counting car loan principle would be sketchy, since you are “saving” in a depreciating container. Student loan principle is just money disappearing into the ether. Yes, that education may help you get a better job, but you cannot resell your education to buy a candy bar.

    In general, loan principle is no different than “acquisition of stuff” in my book, which I do not consider savings. However, once you pay off that loan principle, by redirecting your debt snowball to savings and investments, you are then set up to grow.

    The formulas in this article just seem like a way to pat yourself on the back for something you are not actually doing.

    • mark

      My thought on counting principle payments isn’t about the future value of the asset. I’m looking at those dollars as “earning” more dollars by eliminating interest costs.

      I don’t feel my equation or its results merit congratulations or pats on the back. It just gives me a picture of where my money is going and what interest rate it’s earning.

      You should definitely calculate your own savings rate however you feel is most useful.

    • Eric G

      actually, you could sell your house and use the proceeds to move to a rental (or move back in with your folks or a friend)

  5. Marily

    The formula you have for a “savings rate” seems quite silly to me. I’ve read The Richest Man in Babylon and it is simply saying when you MAKE $6,000/month you put $600/month into savings. That is 10% savings. You can divide that up in a few ways, retirement, savings accounts, investments, etc. But personally, I disagree with considering your primary residence as an investment. You plan on living in a house, right? You’re never going to completely cash that out and not have a house, right? Also, many employee retirement matches have contingencies such as working for a minimum number of years at the company. If that’s the case, you can’t count it as money in the bank until you’ve met the requirements. That being said, you are only saving $58 a month (not quite 1%!), or if you count your generous employer contribution then it’s almost 4%. If you say otherwise you are just fooling yourself. Sorry to be so blunt but counting principal on debt as savings is absurd!

  6. Laura L.

    I am also confused as to why debt repayment would fall under savings. At the beginning of the year, we finished paying off our student loans, and just last month, paid off an auto loan. Paying off those things definitely did not “fatten our purse.” We basically have nothing to show for it other than a depreciating car, diplomas hanging on the wall that are now a little nicer to look at, and our net worth is finally above $0.00. (But of course, by eliminating all our debts, we now have control over all of the coins in our purse with no coins that are already “spoken for.”)

    • Minda

      Isn’t increasing your net worth by definition fattening your purse?

      • Laura L.

        If I increase my net worth from -$75,000 to $0.00, no, my purse is not any fatter. I consider it getting fatter if I increase my net worth from $0.00 to $75,000.

  7. Julie Hart Davis

    I can *almost* see counting the principal payment on the home mortgage (although I agree with other’s assertions that it’s not exactly a liquid asset… unless you are dead, of course), but completely disagree with using the principal payments on student loans. A student loan is truly like an unsecured debt, in that it is not tied to anything tangible that can be liquidated to pay off the loan. Of course, the government has the authority to put a lien on your home or tax return to pay the debt, but this, I would think would make it less like an asset, rather than more!

    You say that you include these because they are going toward lowering the amount against which you pay interest. That seems like really backward thinking to me. If that is your criteria, then all debt payments would be savings payments (Including credit card payments)! That can’t be right. Feel free to set me straight if I misunderstood.

    • Julie Hart Davis

      I think that rather than adding those principal payments into your savings amounts, you should leave them out and only calculate your actual payments to actual accounts that earn you money. This will give you a better picture of what you are saving now and give you a goal to work toward. Just think about the celebration when you pay off those big loans and are able to devote those payments to the savings goals instead and see that jump in the percentage!

    • Lissa

      What if, instead of thinking of the principal as “paying toward debt,” you thought of it as “future savings money?” Because, if you are using the Debt Snowball to get out of debt & then use those same budgeted dollars as your savings once that happens, then your savings “rate” will be the same if you don’t assign a single extra dollar to the category once the debt is paid. Don’t count payments you are making to ongoing, increasing debt. We’re talking payments you are making on debt principal which already exists, in the interest of being able to one day save the (same budgeted amount of) money instead.

  8. Sarah

    Ours varies month to month based on our ability to eliminate overspending. Over this past year it has been as low as 19.4% and as high as 51.5% (the month a bonus and tax return hit and all that went towards future money making purposes). Our average this year has been 31.1%.

    This has been a very interesting exercise. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Kenneth

    My savings rate is, according to your formula (and there are many!)
    $5,333 / $10,350 or 52 percent. I don’t have a mortgage, but I do owe $60,120 on a home equity credit line. I also have considerable investments that I prefer to leave as investments.

    I agree with including principal payments as savings, especially since you no longer have to pay from 4 to 18 percent on these dollars. And when your “savings” goes positive, and you are investing instead, you can hope for a 7 percent annual return and a 4 percent safe withdrawal rate.

    Much of the YNAB community, struggles with the Dave Ramsey concept of a 6 month emergency fund. I agree with his $1,000 baby emergency fund, for people slogging it out from an oppressive debt situation. In effect, I practice this by keeping my checking balance at $1,000 approximately, after paying bills and my PIF credit card every payday. There’s my $1,000 BEF and it keeps me from getting a dreaded OD charge on my account, unless my wife writes a check for a $2,000 laptop without my knowledge! The rest of my money is used by paying down the principal on my Home Equity Credit Line. This has been paid down from $95,000 in January, 2013 to $60,120 today. But really, it’s at my pre-YNAB debt balance of about $72,500, because my budget categories total about $12,000 to $13,000, including a full buffer, and full rainy day accruing categories, plus $1,000 for Christmas and $4,000 for Cabin improvements. Why should I save up $18,000 in a so called emergency fund earning under a half percent interest, when I can just pay down my HECL principal by this amount and save 4 percent interest? If I need the money, I just go to my bank site and transfer the funds from my HECL to my checking account, simple as that.

    For people struggling, but still with a decent available credit limit, I would suggest a $1,000 BEF in the form of a minimum checking balance of that size, with the rest used to pay down their credit cards etc. You’ll save a lot of interest. If an emergency occurs bigger than your $1,000 set aside, you’ll just have to put it on your credit card – but that’s what you did in the first place to accumulate your debt. The important thing is to use YNAB to be AWARE of your spending, and PLAN your spending to be significantly less, in an average month, than your income, and your debt WILL go down over time.

    P.S. a typical response to this idea is beware your credit card company “freezing” your credit line at the most inopportune time. This might happen if you just lost your job and they figure it out – and they might. In which case you are in deep doo doo anyways. Consider taking out a cash advance in this situation to buy you some time while you are looking for your next job.

    • mark

      Hey Kenneth –

      Congrats on your high savings rate, and thanks for your thoughts on the smart approach to an emergency fund.

      • Delanie


        I am fairly new to YNAB, but your comments are very helpful. Thanks for the input!

    • Paul

      “Why should I save up $18,000 in a so called emergency fund earning under a half percent interest, when I can just pay down my HECL principal by this amount and save 4 percent interest?”

      Just to clarify, Dave Ramsey’s baby steps have you paying off your debt (including your HELOC but not the mortgage) BEFORE you save a 3-6 month emergency fund. If you’re doing that in reverse order or concurrently, you’re technically not following his advice.

  10. Sandee

    Interesting to follow this.

    Just so you know, I think it is “loan principal” not “loan principle” — everyone is spelling it incorrectly.

    • Ian Tyrrell

      Thanks Sandee,
      I noticed that too. I’ve gone through and fixed the spelling in the blog post now.

    • mark

      Thanks – you are not the first to correct me on that spelling!

  11. Patzer

    I’d guess my personal savings rate, as defined, to be somewhere between 20% and 25% of gross income. But I don’t look at gross income much. I budget from net income, where net is after 401(k) and tax withholding. Within my budget, the savings rate this month is about 3%, consisting of money I throw out of the budget at the brokerage account, divided by the total budget.

    For the definition as stated, I’d have to back up to gross pay, add employer contribution to the 401(k), and add interest and dividends. To be fair, I’d have to look at a full year instead of a month because I get an annual bonus which happens to correspond with when I budget for Roth IRA contributions. Interest is mostly on-budget, but dividends happen in the brokerage account and are off-budget. And if the year I looked at happened to have any sale of stocks, I’d have to figure out how to treat the capital gain or loss for income purposes.

    On the savings side, I’d have the 401(k) contributions (which are pre-budget), the employer match (off-budget, and not even income to the IRS or Social Security Administration), the Roth IRA contribution (a budgeted expense), and additions to the brokerage account (a budgeted expense). While I always have debt consisting of current credit card charges, I never pay interest; so I don’t think I should count the credit card payments as principal. I could get to all the numbers; but I don’t think it’s terribly vital that I have a precise number. I know I’m saving for retirement as fast as I can, but my model is to figure out how little I need to feed the budget rather than figure out how much I can feed the retirement accounts.

    From a consistency of definition standpoint, I have a quibble with principal payments being “savings.” Under that definition, if I had borrowed to buy my car the principal payments would be savings. But I didn’t borrow for my car, and the dollars I budget for Car Replacement are a specific job; so they don’t count as savings. Ditto for the dollars I budget to Home Improvement. If I hadn’t been budgeting anything there, you’d count principal payments on loans taken out for replacing a water heater, or insulating and air sealing the attic, or repaving the driveway, or having major repairs to my main wastewater drain as savings. But under your definition, I don’t have savings for any of those things because I budgeted the dollars to Home Improvement, and used the budgeted dollars to pay the bills when they came due. (And yes, all those things happened while I was budgeting with YNAB.)

    So, the savings rate . . . nice theoretical concept, but it doesn’t look at money in the same way that YNAB does. Everyone should be familiar with the theory, but the details become a bit messy if there is more than wage income. And after you move beyond having debt, you should have more than just wage income.

    • Chris

      Any fluctuations in investments (other than interest) shouldn’t affect savings rate. They are changes to your net worth, but you didn’t save anything.

      I think savings rate is a snapshot of your current situation where you look at income and how much you saved.

      Agree with you on the principle payments though. You’re in debt. By paying off principal, you are increasing your net worth, decreasing debt, but not saving any money.

    • mark

      Excellent points! I appreciate you taking the time to lay them out.

  12. Jay

    Yes thanks for sharing Mark. I must say it takes thick skin to offer help by sharing your personal financial journey, and continuing the conversation, giving us regular opportunities to think of how to do all of this better – and then have folks who have offered *none* of the above just show up and immediately rip on your ideas in such a condescending manner. I was thrown by the debt principle inclusion too but I thank you for presenting a different view. And may I suggest that fellow ynabers and others of the personal finance/budgeting community be less derogatory when examining a thought process they don’t fully grasp??? Certain remarks ( ie patting yourself on the back, this seems silly) don’t really need to be a part of your response do they??

    • Jason Smith

      I am sorry if it came across as condescending. I promise I am not just an internet troll trying to pick fights and hurt people’s feelings. I apologize if I offended. My intent was that of a spirited discussion.

      To address my comment about “patting yourself on the back” that you don’t seem to have cared for very much, the intent of that statement was to reflect that this formula can produce very high “savings rates” which could deceivingly indicate to someone that they are doing a good job “saving,” when really all they are doing is paying on a lot of debt that could have been avoided in the first place. I did not intend the statement to be directed at Mark specifically, but to anyone who makes the mistake of thinking that paying principal on debt is as good as being debt-free or saving, or that they can add debt and not worry too much about it because they are “saving” when they pay it off.

      It kind of reminded me of when I used to budget using Microsoft Money and Quicken, where you could blow your budget one month, and then it all just magically reset the next month as if nothing had every happened! Things could look all rosy in the current month’s budget, while ignoring the fact that I had overspent $3000 the previous month, and didn’t actually have any money!

      • mark

        No harm, no foul. Patzer’s point about borrowing to buy a car and then counting the principal payment as “savings” made me rethink my approach. I should probably have phrased it as “getting ahead rate” rather than savings rate. In any case, the discussion is always interesting and welcome!

      • Jason Smith

        I was thinking the same thing about the name, I just couldn’t come up with any name that wasn’t a mouthful! When looking at it from the perspective of what percentage of your income is being dedicated to improve your financial well-being, then it is clearly a useful number!

        What I think is particularly useful about it is that once you are debt-free, your savings is entirely discretionary, so it lets you determine what your “non-savings rate” is, to help you determine an adequate size for an emergency fund. Until that debt-free point, all those principal payments are non-discretionary, so you would need a much larger emergency fund to be able to cover them!

      • Patzer

        On re-thinking the theory, I hark back to when I used to have a mortgage, in pre-YNAB days. I paid extra principal on the mortgage every month I had it, which is one of the reasons I didn’t still have it when YNAB came out. My thought process was that the *extra* principal was savings, like buying a zero coupon bond with a maturity date as of when the mortgage would be paid off with the additional principal. But I didn’t think of the *regular* principal portion of the mandatory payment as savings. That might be a useful distinction for the theory of a savings rate.

        Of course, the details of coming up with a single savings rate are still messy. I have pre-tax retirement savings in the form of 401(k) contributions, after-tax retirement savings in the form of Roth IRA contributions, and after-tax savings not specifically tied to retirement in the form of an ordinary brokerage account. Turning this into a single savings rate number will require a compromise or a complex calculation to put everything into a comparable state with respect to taxes.

        But the part of the theory I find most interesting is the interaction with YNAB Rainy Day funds. Pre-YNAB, I put what looked like a lot of money into savings accounts, but I didn’t know specifically what I was saving it for. That would make it look like part of the savings rate for this discussion. Several years into YNAB, I’m putting more money into savings accounts; but much of that money has specific jobs with titles like Car Replacement, Home Improvement, Medical, Shelter:Maintenance, Clothing, and so on. Because I *know* that this is money meant to be spent, and have a label for what I intend to spend it on, it’s not part of my savings rate.

        Paradoxically, being more aware of my budget makes my savings rate go down, because I know that a lot of the money that might look like savings if I were only looking at one month is really money for deferred consumption. Balancing that is the fact that in the more aware world I don’t have to dip into savings very often, because most irregular expenses have been budgeted.

    • mark

      I appreciate the kind words! For some reason I’m pretty hard to offend, which is fortunate because I’m often wrong and require correction. Besides, the Indignant Blog Commenter is one of my favorite internet characters. ;)

  13. Chris

    ~25% for the year ignoring 401k. This will be higher after my next paycheck since our buffer will be full with 3/4 of the check! If i use 401k its up to 45 with the employer match.

    Regardless, like your weight, the tracking is more important that the number. Being mindful lets you do something about it!

    • Kenneth

      Well put! Savings rate, debt, net worth, weight – all worth tracking, and being mindful about. I weighed 275 pounds 3 years ago and weigh 205 pounds today. I track my weight every day – and thereby stick to a nutrition and exercise program.

      • mark

        Congrats on the health improvement! That’s no small feat.

  14. blackdiamond

    I have the book but have only read parts of it in short bursts, but I would have anticipated that the 10% being taken out was tithe and the fattening of the purse was a result of being blessed. You are making me curious about the book so maybe I’ll actually read it.

    • MrMcLargeHuge

      Do it. Great book. My absolute favorite personal finance book.

      And no, the book does not have a religious slant at all, it’s simply a personal finance book.

  15. No Waste

    The sweetener is that as that savings rate gets higher, you’re getting used to living on less, which means you need less of a nest egg to ultimately retire or be financially independent!

    • Kenneth

      Yes! At a 50 percent savings rate, if you have no debt and no savings, it will only take 17 years to reach financial independence, where a 4 percent safe withdrawal rate from your investments will cover your budgeted expenses.

  16. Lisa

    I, too, am in the camp of NOT counting your loan payments as any form of savings. They are debt reduction, pure and simple. Once your debt is paid off, then you can save all that $$ and have a real increase in your savings rate.

    I count may savings rate as the total of my 401k contributions, the employee match, and any investments I’m making (100% of this is going into the 529 plans right now) as a % of my gross. I’m at about 32% using this formula. Our strategy right now is to live on 1/3, save 1/3, and give the other 1/3 to the tax man!

    Also, this savings rate does not count my savings categories for my one-month buffer or for what I consider short-term things…I accrue funds for holiday shopping, car replacements, home projects, etc. My slush savings right now has a few thousand in it. In another month or so, I’ll move that around to start funding next year’s vacation or some other larger house project. I use this slush-fund savings as my $1k emergency savings under the Dave Ramsey rules.

    Interesting comments on the emergency savings as well. We know our average expenses, and went through an exercise where we eliminated all non-essential items in the budget. For example, if one (or gasp, both) of us lost our job tomorrow, we would eat out less, eliminate the cleaning service, suspend contributions to the kids’ 529 plans, etc. So, we looked at the “barebones” monthly number, and saved up 8 months worth of that. The hope is that at least one of us would always be employed. But that hasn’t always been the case in the past… Also, unemployment would help. If I am the one to lose my job, I would have a decent severance package. All of this would allow us to continue on the barebones budget for 18-24 months.

    • mark

      Love the idea of the 1/3,1/3,1/3 plan. Thanks for sharing.

  17. networthwarrior

    Its amazing how unnoticed those small changes can be especially considering the debt scenario. Mrs Warrior and i are going through that right now in first building our emergency savings, second paying the debt and third shoveling all of the first two additions over to investments and mortgage.

    Congrats on recognizing and acting upon the calculations. Looks like you will be far ahead of the game after the debt is taken care of.

    The Warrior

  18. angela

    I calculated my savings rate at a simple 10% of my gross. I used was happy to see that with what my company takes for pension and what I put into my 401 k and (my company matches), I am at about 11%. If I add what my company matches, I would be at 16%. This makes me feel very good! I follow Dave Ramsey and am working on baby emergency fund and debt reduction.

  19. Christian

    If you consider your principal payments as savings, then you can increase your savings rate by increasing your debt. Same with the concept of “getting ahead”. Clearly this is illogical, so there is something wrong with this practice.

    Interest is the penalty you pay for buying something you can’t yet afford.

    I too would suggest not including loan principal payments. These are payments which increase your equity of something (i.e. car, house, etc) and is not “putting a dollar to work earning more dollars”. Yes, you will pay less interest, but your return will still be ZERO. In other words, the interest is a return of -4%, and paying it off yields a return of 0%, not +4%.

  20. Nancy

    Good exercise. I always think I am doing a poor job of saving but I’m at 27.5% of my gross without principal on mortgage, 30.1% if that is included.

  21. Michael

    Looked at where I land with this savings calculation. I’m happy! :)

    Savings: pre-tax 401k, company match, savings for emergency fund, and principal on personal and wife’s student loans.
    Income: Gross check, life insurance benefit, wellness incentive, company match

    Savings rate of 50.31% on one income!

    If I cheat and include ‘rainy day funds’ it’s just over 58.2%.

  22. Eric

    Thank you for this post, this is something I’ve been meaning to track and now I’m committed to tracking it monthly.

    I’m struggling with the definition you give above at bit. Aren’t all dollars you set aside to be spent later?? Even if you are setting aside dollars to earn interest, at some point you plan to spend those. For example retirement, set aside to earn interest initially, but eventually spend.

    Thus I’m confused about how I should categorize things like saving for kids college, saving for my next car through a rainy day fund.

    BTW, I agree that loan principal payments should count towards savings rate assuming you plan to just roll those payments over to savings payments when the loan is paid off. It is increasing your net worth after all

    • mark

      Hi Eric –

      All dollars *could* be spent later, but many people work under the idea that they’ll build up a nest egg large enough that they’ll live strictly off the interest. In other words, the dollars they set aside to recruit more dollars will never be spent – they’ll always be recruiting more dollars. For me, personally, saving for my kids’ college and saving for a new car would not count toward my savings rate because my savings rate is all about my ability to stop working someday.

      But that’s just me. You should work with the calculation in whatever way is meaningful and motivational for you.

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