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

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    Make sure your financial advisor’s title is accredited, and that the he/she is qualified through a training program that holds its members to strict ethical standards.

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