3 Ways to Save Up for (Almost) Anything

You want a car. Okay, maybe not. How about a vacation? The beach sounds lovely right now, considering the window that my desk faces has a view that is rain, rain, and more rain. Maybe you want to save for your child’s education. That’s really not a fun thing to think about, but hey, start early, right? Anyway, no matter what you’re saving up for, today we’re going to look at three things you can do to help you out with the process.

  1. Open a special account just for that. Many financial institutions have special accounts that you can open for different purposes. Vacation and Christmas club accounts sometimes accrue a little higher interest and get deposited into an account of your choosing in April or October respectively. You can open a 529 account for your child or a 401k for your retirement. The best part (or maybe the worst) about these? They penalize you for taking out money early. That’s a good thing because you’re less likely to take money out, but if you have an emergency where you really should take money out; it can be a big inconvenience.
  2.  Get a piggy bank or jar. I keep a change jar in my home, but it doesn’t necessarily have any sort of purpose right now. But, other times I’ve used the money from my change jar for charity, to help a buddy out, or to go toward a vacation. I know you’ve seen the funny piggy banks; a family member of mine has one that says “Harley fund.” The intention of those is to be silly, but at the same time, they can help you remember that you’re saving with a purpose. Even if you don’t have a silly piggy bank, use a jar and label it, do something so that you remind yourself not to use what’s inside of it.
  3. Pay ahead. I have some friends who went on a cruise this past summer. Part of saving up for that cruise involved them putting a down payment on it and then making monthly payments until they went on their cruise in July. Sometimes other vacation stuff will allow you to do the same exact thing. If you’re going on a trip or doing something that involves buying multiple things, buy them in intervals. That’s why you should consider planning as far ahead as possible. College usually can work out payment plans with you, not years ahead of time, but during the semester if that will help you out as well.  

Save with purpose. Think ahead when you’re going to make a large purchase such as a home, car, college education, or vacation. Save ahead and then you won’t be as likely to be slammed financially when the time comes to cough up the cash. Have a great weekend, we’ll see you on Tuesday! 

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