Skip to Content

Maxing Out My 401(k) to the tune of $155,758.87

I started contributing to my 401(k) in 1999 with my very first paycheck at my very first job straight out of college. Of course, I made such a teeny, tiny salary when I first began working that I couldn’t max out my contributions, but in 2002 and 2003 I got really close and in 2004 I finally reached my goal.

• 1999 — Limit $10,000 — My Contribution $898.49
• 2000 — Limit $10,000 — My Contribution $4042.65
• 2001 — Limit $10,500 — My Contribution $6521.03
• 2002 — Limit $11,000 — My Contribution $10,452.81
• 2003 — Limit $12,000 — My Contribution $11,843.89
• 2004 — Limit $13,000 — My Contribution $13,000.00
• 2005 — Limit $14,000 — My Contribution $14,000.00
• 2006 — LImit $15,000 — My Contribution $15,000.00
• 2007 — Limit $15,500 — My Contribution $15,500.00
• 2008 — Limit $15,500 — My Contribution $15,500.00
• 2009 — LImit $16,000 — My Contribution $16,000.00
• 2010 — Limit $16,500 — My Contribution $16,500.00
• 2011 — Limit $16,500 — My Contribution $16,500.00

When I added up the numbers I was amazed to see a total of $155,758.87 in savings! I think this is one of the reasons automatic savings is so valuable. You start out small and increase the percentage ever so slightly with every raise and wham twelve years later you wind up with a large chunk of change!

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 15th of December 2011

@Sense - I haven't been great at tracking the growth in my 401(k). I received a company match of 6% so that certainly helped. It's certainly increased in value, but I can't say by how much.

graduatedlearning

Monday 12th of December 2011

Hmm, maybe I should try to max out my 401(k)! I currently only max out my Roth IRA. I have seen the power of automatic savings at work in my savings account...having money automatically transferred into there has allowed me to amass quite a large stash!

Sense

Sunday 11th of December 2011

That is really really good!

I don't mean to be rude or nosy, but can I ask how much that is worth nowadays? I'm curious since you've ridden the waves up and down quite a bit. Do you come out ahead??

Michelle P

Sunday 11th of December 2011

Wow that's amazing!