4 of 7
BACKNEXT
Personal Savings
Personal Savings
Feeling rich also comes from how much money you have available to you. Personal savings, measured by the Department of Commerce, is the amount of money you hold onto when all your bills are paid. It's stated as the amount of money saved as a percentage of disposable personal income.

In September, Americans saved an average of 1% of their personal income, down from 1.9% the month before. In fact, the personal savings rate has been on a steady decline since May, when it was at five percent - an unusually high level for Americans, possibly caused by the government's distribution of stimulus checks. Overall, the personal savings rate in the third quarter of 2008 was 1.3%.

The personal savings rate goes down, or can even become negative, when you borrow money to pay personal bills - because you are incurring more debt relative to your income. Personal savings was negative in the third quarter of 2005, when the rate went down to -0.7%. That's the lowest it's been in the last 28 years.

On the other end of our scale, people were banking the biggest chunks of their income in 1981, 12.2%.

So, if we make -0.7% equal to zero and 12.2% equal to 10, personal savings in the third quarter of 2008 scores a...

Personal Savings: 1.6

NEXT: Industrial Production

Last updated October 31 2008: 9:42 AM ET
More Galleries
50 years of the Ford Mustang Take a drive down memory lane with our favorite photos of the car through the years. More
Cool cars from the New York Auto Show These are some of the most interesting new models and concept vehicles from the Big Apple's car show. More
8 CEOs who took a pay cut in 2013 Median CEO pay inched up 9% in 2013 to $13.9 million. But not everyone got a bump last year. Here are eight CEOs who missed out. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.