Easy ways to save for a big purchase

Kaleah Mcilwain

You have probably heard at least once that it is important to save your money. Savings can help you buy a car or a home, get your first apartment, and plenty of other things without any added interest that comes with loans. But to have savings, you first have to save.

Saving for big purchases can seem like a daunting task, but with a few smart decisions you can have the money saved to buy that car or go on that family vacation.

Here are four steps to saving for that big purchase easier.

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Map Out Your Plan

To start off you need to have a concrete plan for how you are going to save. First is determining how much money you need to save to make your purchase. Keep in mind that prices do change over time but doing some research to get an estimate on how much you should save will be a good starting point.

Your plan should of course include how much time you have until you need the money. It could be months, a year, or years, but the more time you give yourself to meet the objective the easier it will be to get there.

Next is creating a schedule that fits into your current budget. The best time to put money aside is when you are receiving it, so when you get paid it's best to treat your savings amount the same as your bills, as regularly scheduled commitments you have to pay.

Find Extra Money To Save

Saving for a major purchase requires a lot of discipline. It also may require that you change some of your current spending habits so you can reach your goal in the time frame you mapped out.

A lot of time people don't realize just how much money they spend on eating out and personal entertainment costs. Things like getting coffee in the mornings, going out with friends, and buying lunch at work can all really add up on a weekly basis.

Cutting out simple things can help add to your weekly, biweekly, and monthly savings. For instance, if you make lunch at home and take it to work instead of buying lunch every day you can potentially save $50 a week that can go to your savings.

When saving money it is important to remember that money that you would normally spend on smaller frivolous purchases can go toward the major purchase you want to make.

Make Saving Money Automatic

Establishing a separate savings account that is automatic will be essential to reaching your goals. It ensures you can clearly see how much you have saved but also stay disciplined in not touching your savings.

An easy way to achieve this is by seeing if your current bank allows you to open several savings accounts and set up automatic transfers every time you get a direct deposit. Setting aside a percentage of your deposits automatically takes away the hassle of manually doing it and the temptation to not save as much or at all one month.

Save More, Spend Less

This is the time to save and you should be looking to do that in all areas of your life during this time, but also on the major purchase itself.

Whatever it is you are saving for will at some point go on sale or be a cheaper price. Do some research and ask around to know when that time is and see if you'll be able to save the money needed to get it at that price by that time instead of paying full price.

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Journalist with a background reporting on local communities, now living in and reporting on the Baltimore area. Find me on twitter!

Baltimore, MD
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