The kitchen-table budget won't cut it anymore. To achieve substantial savings, a new study says it's going to take categorized, comprehensive financial planning.

People who stick to an aggressive financial plan wind up saving twice as much as people who aren't so organized, according to a study released Monday by the Consumer Federation of America and NationsBank."We're not suggesting that you go without food, that you go without clothing in order to provide for the future," said Barbara Roper, CFA's director of investment protection.

"What we are suggesting is to examine what you expect to need in the future and make those a priority now so you have some hope of getting there," she said.

The survey of 1,770 American households found that 84 percent did have some sort of savings. But when researchers examined those numbers a bit closer, they saw a far more bleak savings landscape, said Diane Colasanto, president of Prince-ton Survey Research Associates, which conducted the study.

"Even after people had started to save for a goal, many savers' habits were haphazard," Colasanto said. They invest poorly, fail to earmark accounts or just save too little, she said.

The study found that 64 percent of working households have started retirement funds, about 56 percent are putting money away for children's education and 51 percent have funds for major purchases.

Then the numbers dive: Only 34 percent are saving for new homes, and just 17 percent have money put aside to care for elderly parents.

With rigorous financial plans in place, the numbers improve. Regardless of how much people earned, the study found those with financial plans saved roughly twice as much as those without. They also distributed their savings better.

"Just developing and trying to carry out a savings plan, even if this is done with little knowledge of savings and investments and little help from experts, apparently leads to increased savings," said Stephen Brobeck, executive director of CFA.