Considering most Americans are deeply in debt, any amount of savings without debt is often times considered breddy gud. By the time the average American young adult has his own place and a car, pays his taxes, buys a few things, and if he went to college like a good little kid like the system told him to do and borrowed a fuckton of money, he more than likely is so indebted he will never pay it off, never own his house, car in full, might pay off his college loans after he retires, will always just borrow money and/or charge up that credit card whenever he gets the itch to buy something. Many go paycheck to paycheck with almost no savings, almost no cash, borrow and spend like damned fools. Americans who rent and lease cars have absolutely fuck all to show for it.
I'm old world minded myself, no debt and stack cash. I agree with the old mentality. Gives me a good perspective of the American average Joe situation, so i sit with the old world people laughing at plight of the endless borrowing, but seeing it first hand I do feel sorry for these people who have been mislead and taught bad personal economic choices. It is correct to say "$5,400 ain't that much" in an objective way, and a old school way, but in terms of relative to how Americans live and spend, yeah, that's a lot of savings if he has no debt. Maybe when the neo liberals fuck up the economic system really bad next time the debt ridden Americans will win and the old savers like us will get fucked to death by bail ins.
In my situation, I've just been buying guns, tools, cooking things, stuff I like and use, I've been keeping my savings down because of inflation and low interest rates (holding onto cash basically watches it almost rot away to nothing, bank accounts pay fuck all and not enough to keep up with inflation) and at least if I spend I own the things I always wanted, a real tangible thing. Even as a hardcore saver I've abandoned it in the short term because the situation the banks have put us in makes it painful to do so, if you are gonna buy shit do it these years of no interest. How's the negative interest rates in parts of Europe going for all those penny pincher savers?
With my poverty level income, but staying at home in the deep nowhere rural area, I've been able to hold onto cash and a bank account, as well as a large arsenal, thousands of dollars of tools, ect. Part of it is discipline, which I try to impart onto others, but part of it is my situation, so these renters getting ass raped in the US have my sympathy. Living on your own is great, I'll give you that, freedom and all that. But the price for that freedom, or that vanity of "Oh look, I'm an American and I have my own place" is going from a cheap thing every 18 year old had to an expensive, bank breaking luxury.