Following on from yesterday's post on retirement savings, here is the chart of our non-retirement savings:
Again, it's not adjusted for inflation and does not include any investment returns or losses and is in Australian Dollars. These savings differ in several ways from our retirement savings:
1. It's much more volatile. Not only does the positive scale cover twice the distance there are also negative numbers - dissaving. The same overall ups and downs are apparent though.
2. In yesterday's post I found our current retirement savings were not a lot higher than in various periods in the past. Here we see that 2003-2007 and 2009-2011 have a higher rate of saving than the 1990s.
The biggest period of dissaving was when I didn't have a job in 2001-2. I was travelling a lot and then I moved to the US. Together with the stock market crash this really depleted my net worth at the time. I was down to AUD 36k outside retirement accounts at the worst point. The all time peak monthly saving that immediately preceded this period was the redundancy payout I got when my job ended.
The more recent two big negative spikes are in 2007 out move to Australia and in 2010 booking our trip to Europe. We got some comments then about how we shouldn't spend beyond our means. As you can see from the chart, though our saving did dip during this period, the 12 month moving average never dipped below $1400 per month. So I think these expenditures were definitely something we could afford.
In 2008 we did hit negative saving briefly. But we are just able to live on one income.