How to Save for Your Dream Purchase

Emilie Papageorgiou
AFC© Candidate   
FINRA Military Spouse Fellow

Most people want to buy a “big ticket” item at some point, whether it’s a new car, appliance or other luxury item. However, don’t just reach for the credit card to fulfill your material wants. Diving head-first into expensive purchases often just leads to unnecessary debt or financial insecurity. If you’ve set your mind on a major purchase, it’s time to develop a solid plan to reach your goal.

 

Start by asking yourself a few basic questions:
·    How much money you need to save? Naturally, the amount of money needed for a new television is far smaller than the amount needed for a down payment on a house. Do your research and be realistic about how much it’s going to cost.
·    What is your timeframe? Is this a short-, medium- or long-term goal? Setting a goal date will allow you to best plan for how much you need to save on a weekly or monthly basis.
·    Where you will stash your cash? If you have some time before you make your purchase, it makes good sense to investigate options in order to earn interest on your money! Ask your local bank about savings products or research online for viable options that provide the highest interest-earning opportunities that work for your plan. 
·    Have you considered creative options? Buyers have more power than ever before to shop around and find the best deal, so think outside of the box to stretch your dollar a little further. If you wait a little longer, can you get a better deal? Are you willing to buy used instead of just running to the store for the new, perfectly-packaged item? This can be an easy way to save money while still achieving your end goal.

There are many factors to consider that can not only help you swoop up your dream purchase, but maybe even save a little money in the process. Savings takes discipline and diligence, but knowing your goals and having a plan will always make the process easier. For more large-purchase savings strategies, visit Smart About Money: Big Ticket Items.   And use this handy calculator to help you see what it will take to reach YOUR savings goals.

Need help reaching your savings goals?  Take the Military Saves Pledge, then visit www.militarysaves.org for more savings tips and information.

 

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Katie Bryan | April 10, 2014

    You can have an emergency fund! Here are 5 simple ways to start & maintain an emergency fund http://ow.ly/rIhlG 

Saver Stories View all »

A Plan for Success

Written by Super User | April 26, 2012

I’m Staff Sergeant Robert Zuniga and I have been an active duty Air Force medic for eight years. I plan on staying in long enough so that I can retire at 20 years. I have always been interested in personal finance and would like to share how it IS possible for me and my stay-at-home wife and two kids to not only save and invest a ton of money but also have a lot of responsible fun as well on 'low' enlisted pay. You CAN do it too!

First off, we write down our goals and separate wants from needs.

Read more...

A Disciplined Approach to Saving

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

I just recently retired after 30 years of service with the Marine Corps. I truly enjoyed my time serving the Corps and I flourished in the disciplined environment. I also took a disciplined approach to saving. Here are some of the tactics I used-they are very low to moderate risk.

Read more...

Naval Battalion's Effort Yields Team Success

Written by Super User | November 26, 2010

Construction Battalion Five, DETAIL CHINHAE would like to share our campaign success story with you!

Currently we have 23 members on our Det, (all of whom have registered with militarysaves) and out of them 16 are planning for retirement by saving and investing money in the Federal Thrift Savings Plan.

Read more...