So you’ve been dreaming big – of buying a home or going on a trip half the world away – but how are you going to make it happen? First of all, you don’t need everything to line up perfectly to start saving.
In fact, if you’re going to wait for “the right time”, you might as well kiss that dream away. If a penniless German immigrant Adolf Coors waited for the right time, he wouldn’t have opened his brewery that eventually became one of the top 10 best-selling beer brands in the world. Instead, he worked odd jobs across the country to save up $2,000 to start the company.
The first thing is clear – start saving now. But the journey is far from over, and you’ll need these more tips on how to save money for a goal:
Make sure you’re setting the right goals
“The best goals include a personal and sincere ‘why’ that adds meaning and importance to them,” says accountant and owner of Eckstein Advisory Michael Eckstein “Your “why” helps carry you through the beginning stages of building a habit…”
Set goals that conjure excitement and motivation and will actually make your life better. Just because your neighbor is driving the latest model car doesn’t mean it should be your goal. Some purchases just aren’t worth saving for.
Categorize & prioritize
Put your financial goals into categories like an emergency fund, being debt-free, home ownership, and investments. And then judge them based on their urgency, value, and importance. For example, in the “debt-free” category, you may want to prioritize high-interest debts.
Set a timeline
You should also categorize your financial goals as short-, mid-, or long-term and attach specific dates to them. Leave a reasonable amount of time; for example, two years for a down payment on a house.
Break your goals down into manageable pieces
The best way to save money for a big purchase is to not view it as a big purchase. It seems much harder to save $1,000 than save $100 in ten milestones. Besides, it won’t be intimidating when you know exactly how much time and effort each milestone will take.
Try a spending freeze
How to save money for your future? How about not spending at all?
Well, you probably won’t be able to cut all spending – groceries, home, fuel, and telecom make up about 42% of total consumer spending. But for a while, you can eliminate categories like travel, mass retailers, and restaurants that make up another 30% of average spending.
If you do buy something, spend to save
Warren Buffet suggests that you can save by buying high-value discounted items, “Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.”
Don’t buy lower-quality items to save some money on the front end because you’ll just end up paying more when it wears out or breaks long before its time. Buy quality.
Overcome all-or-nothing thinking
It’s not healthy to think about money, or anything actually, in extremes. If you “slip up” and spend more than you were planning to, it’s not the end of the world.
- Celebrate achievements
- Accept setbacks
- Find the life lessons in each situation
- Use unconditional terms like never or ever
- Focus on flaws
- Engage in self-defeating behaviors
Takeaway: how to save money for a big purchase
Big things start small, so don’t be afraid to aim high. If you follow the tips from above, big purchases will seem more reachable. The circumstances might not be perfect, but they don’t have to be. As you start saving, work with whatever tools you have available, and you’ll have better tools as you go along. You can do this!
How to overcome all-or-nothing thinking, Verywell Mind