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We Never See the Money, So We Don’t Miss It

That's exactly what William and Cynthia Foust of Mount, North Carolina had to say about their automated savings. According to a recent Money magazine profile, they've been able to save over $800,000 for their retirement. Granted they saved at a rate of 35% of their income, which is no small feat.

But a bigger feat these days seems to be remaining consistent with your savings. Life just gets in the way. One month you have excess funds and the end of the month and you can dump some money into savings. The next month, you fall short and have to reach into savings to help you out.

That's why I love automated savings. As long as you stay at the same job, there's nothing to get you off track. You set it up once, and you forget about it. Notice that the Fousts didn't just do it with 401Ks though. They also used the Roth IRA, an online broker, and an online savings account to supplement their effort. Great move. They are my saving heroes.

Keep in mind if you decide to do this, you need a little more discipline to make the automation work. Instead of a direct deposit (like your 401K), you'll likely need to set up an automated withdrawal from your checking account. Start small and set the transfers to occur the day or two after your paycheck arrives. Once you get comfortable with the move you can increase your contributions.

To see more inspiring money profiles, visit my list of Millionaires in the Making.

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Last Edited: July 26, 2017 @ 6:03 pm
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a former practicing CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of FinCon, the conference and community dedicated to helping other financial influencers and brands. He created this website back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money, hold himself accountable, and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.

PT uses Personal Capital to keep track of his financial life. This free software allows him to review his net worth regularly, analyze his investments, and make decisions about his financial future.

PT keeps a portion of his emergency fund in Betterment, the automatic investing tool that makes investing super simple. Betterment focuses on what matters most: savings rate, time in the market, investing costs, and taxes. PT recommends this service to anyone looking to get started investing for themselves.

All the content on this blog is original and created or edited by PT.


  1. Jason @ One Money Design says:

    This is great encouragement. I agree the best kind of savings is the kind you don’t see. We do the direct deposit from my payroll check into savings and get it out of our hands immediately. However, I still find some months require more money than others (which require a dip into savings). I suppose we sharpen our budgeting, but overall, we have found the auto deposit to provide the most success in building our emergency savings plan.

  2. @Anthony – That’s great, man. Yeah, I’m at least double that number myself.

  3. I’m currently saving 8% pre-tax into my 401(k) and 14% post-tax into an online savings.

    I’m nowhere near the 401(k) contribution limit, so that’s a goal for me next year. I am currently building my emergency fund in the online savings account. Once that’s done, those “freed” up dollars will go towards a Roth IRA.

    I have a long way to go on both fronts!

    Sadly, even though Fousts were dedicated and saved up a bunch, $800k would fall WAY short of my retirement goal.

  4. Moneyedup says:

    Saving 35% if your income is no small feat, and I see what you are saying about automated saving. I like the programs where you can save a small amount every time you use your debit card. It makes you think twice about using your debit card and when you do you can have around $5 transferred to your savings account. It really adds up!

  5. Wow, amazing feat! Sadly, if I saved 35% of my income I’d never see it either – I’d have no home, no no car, and I’d be in jail 🙂