How to Smartly Put Away for a Large Purchase or Investment
The average consumer saves for over 6 years to afford a down payment on a house. The numbers are similar for cars and other sizeable purchases.
What’s that one big item you’ve been working toward that seems unattainable?
With the cost of living rising and many in financial hardship due to global circumstances, saving any money feels luxurious, let alone 6+ years of savings. However, there are techniques you can use to prioritize big purchases and make progress toward down payments in a meaningful way.
Smartly putting away for large purchases or even investments is possible when you create the environment to do so with clarity, cutbacks, and accountability. Keep reading below for our top tips to making your larger goals, such as a house or car, a reality.
Get Very Clear about What You Want
Big purchases can seem overwhelming when faced with normal expenses and last-minute emergencies. Imagining yourself opening the door to a new home or sitting behind the wheel of a new car seems too far from your current situation.
That is the killer of your big goals. By not taking action now, you’ll always push off your plans—makes sense, right? You first need to get very clear about what you want (the golden item) and exactly how much you need to save for the down payment.
Everyone will have a different goal and process for acknowledging it, but we recommend you get it on paper. Verbal or visual cues are important in creating focus on what you want and act as a reminder to take action.
Grab a notebook and write down specifically what you are after, including the price of the item and the down payment goal. You can even create a vision board with a photo and these details if you have a preference for visual cues. Or save a photo as your lockscreen and desktop.
Getting specific about the item, the price, and the savings goal creates a level of clarity that is actionable. No longer is this a ‘wish’ or a ‘hope’; it is a tangible goal you are working on every day. Many times, financial success comes from a place of clear goals, detailed visions, and the willpower to go after them. So get very clear about your purchase before moving into the other steps.
Create an Accessible Plan
You’ve taken the initiative to gain clarity on what you are after and the dollar amount you need for it. We bet that number is still causing some anxious thoughts.
There is another important step to take in making your goal emotionally and physically attainable. Now you must create an accessible plan that breaks the goal amount into smaller quantities.
For example, your dream house is $300,000 and your 20% down payment is $60,000. That number may take your breath away, but an attainable savings plan makes it possible. You can decide how much to put away each month that stretches you comfortably; adding a line item on your monthly budget and setting up auto transfers to a savings account will ensure you are taking action without taking too much time or energy to think about it.
Remember that you can start small! In the beginning, the goal is to see the path of possibility of your ownership.
Bite sized monthly payments allow you to take action on your lofty goals. You’ll find momentum in this until you are putting even more towards your savings goals. We recommend creating a special savings account for your golden item. It creates a physical boundary for you to access it, making it feel exclusive and powerful.
Get Vocal and Find Accountability
You now have a visual and verbal representation of what you want and an actionable savings plan to get there. The next step is the most fun of all: getting vocal about your plan with family and friends.
Talking openly about money can feel uncomfortable. Many individuals find they would prefer to stay quiet about money-related items, whether good or bad. However, the motivation you find in sharing your goals with others is undeniable. The same is true for financial goals such as saving for that 20% down payment on a new house!
Empower yourself to share your plan with those you trust – even with just one close friend.
Not only does that ensure you’re speaking your desires into existence, but it adds accountability to your actions. You don’t want to share something you have no plan on following through with in the long run, especially because your confidant will ask you about it.
Decide on whether you want to engage an accountability partner in saving for your future purchases. That is a personal preference and one to consider when creating your plan. You should find a trustworthy individual if checking in at the end of each month to share progress will encourage your savings. If you want to share your goals with us, we are all ears. Just head to the forums and let us know that you are committed to your goal. We will cheer you on the entire way.
Prioritize Your Spending and Saving
The final method to smartly put away for your future purchases calls upon your budgeting skills and emotional management of money. This is when you need to start actively prioritizing your spending and savings to build your golden nest egg.
Repeat after us: I prioritize my goals and de-prioritize (or cut) unnecessary spending that takes away from them.
In past articles, you read about the power of creating a budget and finding a few line items to cut. That action is relevant for many of your financial goals, including saving for a sizable down payment. Would you rather spend on something you don’t need, like various subscription services, or on something you both need and want for your future, like a car?
The answer to that question should be the latter, so your spending habits must reflect that mentality. Focus on savings goals by reviewing your notes every few weeks and taking out your action plan when making the next month’s budget. By repeatedly acknowledging the ultimate goal, you can better build daily action around it, such as eliminating one coffee purchase a week.
Savings Ready for Your Future
One of the easiest things we can do is ignore (to our own detriment) an overwhelming financial goal. But you can start right now to save for these big purchases and future visions. You’ll find momentum in even the smallest actions and surprise yourself by how quickly you can save for major down payments.
Get clear, create a plan, be vocal, and prioritize your goal. These four actions will get you closer to the car, house, or other item of your dreams. Now go get started and check out our blog for other tips on how to save and spend with intention.