In this post, we'll look at savings account balance by week in the United States. We examine which weeks balances are highest and lowest, and model savings and spending in the United States.
When are Savings Account Balances Lowest?
The lowest balance week in our dataset was the first week of the year in January, followed by the next three weeks sequentially.
The second most common cluster of lowest balance weeks was the 52nd and "53rd" week of the year (around Christmas).
When are Savings Account Balances Highest?
The highest balance week in our dataset was the 52nd week of the year (Christmas). The 49th, 50th, and 51st week of the year were also common.
Interestingly, the 45th week also snuck in. That maps to around October-November.
Keep an Eye on Your Savings Account
First let's talk caveats.
This is very noisy data due to how dates interact with years and our methodology. Additionally, it doesn't adjust for inflation (which would make a significant difference some years).
Furthermore, we're looking at savings and money market balances. It's possible people transfer money to investments or checking accounts (or otherwise don't spend money.)
For fun though, let's continue.
Throw out the years where the first and last weeks mapped to the lowest and highest average savings balance, respectively. If you do that, low balances do tend to line up with Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas.
Surprising? Probably not – but even this quick study hints at the effect of the end of year purchasing season.
Methodology for Weekly Savings Account Balances
We used an interpolated Civilian Noninstitutional population from FRED and mashed it up with total savings by week. Our dataset extends from 1975 through July, 2019.
Total savings by week is reported on Mondays, so we normalized with the Excel NUMWEEK function (the week number in the year, starting with January 1). Then we looked at relative balances per year to arrive at the statistics you see.
Annual Highest and Lowest Week for Savings Account Balance
How to read this table:
- Year: Year for savings account observation
- Week Minimum Occurred: The week of the year we saw the minimum average savings account balance
- Week Maximum Occurred: The week of the year we saw the maximum average savings account balance
|Year||Week Minimum Occurred||Week Maximum Occurred|
Shout-out to our long time reader Clint for the interesting article idea.
Any thoughts on the noisy data? Think it's enough to be useful?