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Those that have a tendency to save will love this blog post, those that have a tendency to spend may avoid it. Nonetheless, it is important to put a priority on saving up for different things so that we can avoid debt.
Using a savings account to work our way up to buy something or prepare for it, is a great habit to form.
There are so many different things you could save for, but I wanted to focus on some of the most important and sometimes forgotten categories.
Of course, the emergency fund. You expected this though right?!
I absolutely think you should have a savings account for your emergency fund. Keep it separate.
This should help you see it as its own account and only to be touched in case of an emergency. When it is lumped together with other savings, or in your checking account, it can get hard to know what is what.
Instead, have a separate savings account that is just for your emergency fund that is easy to access!
Christmas comes every year and before I started preparing for it early, it always came as a surprise… “What?! It’s Christmas again already?!”.
Get this… last year (2018) we started saving for Christmas in August.
Yup, you read that right! We started saving for Christmas 4 months in advance. This is because my mentality is, a little each month is way easier than A LOT one month.
This year, (2019) I think we will start even earlier, maybe in May or June. I like that I have a separate savings account for this because it makes it easy for me to track how much is in it.
Side note, we don’t just save willy nilly. We have a targeted number that we work up to. Example – if we want to save $500, so divide that by 7 months and we need to save about $72 per month.
I don’t know about all car insurance companies, but here’s what I do know, I get a pretty decent discount when I pay our car insurance premium every 6 months, compared to sending the company a monthly payment.
Maybe your car insurance works the same way.
You could consider “paying yourself” monthly by putting away about how much your premium is every 6 months, then on that 6th month, you have enough money saved up to send over to the car insurance company, all while getting yourself a decent “paid-in-full” discount.
When the time is right, you should consider opening a savings account to start saving up for a house down payment!
The right time would be, you are out of debt and have a nice big emergency fund that can last you about 3 to 6 months.
Once you have that in place, then it is time to start saving for that down payment. I would recommend looking at a 15 year, fixed rate mortgage that is not more than 25% of your take-home pay.
Once you figure out that number for a house, then take 20% of the house purchase price and save it up as a down payment.
For instance, if you make $50,000 a year, a 25% payment on a house would be about $1,041 and maybe on a 15 year fixed rate mortgage you can get a house for $150,000. 20% of that home price would be $30,000 and should be your goal for a down payment!
Of course, every area is going to be completely different for the price of a home, and your income may be different but this is just an example.
Cars will be cars.
From tires to brakes, engine issues, and all the rest.
Cars require continual maintenance that some can be planned for, and others cannot. This is an important category to save for because it is bound to happen.
I would suggest setting aside some money each month for car repairs and maintenance so that you have it when you need it. It doesn’t have to be a ton of money, whatever you think is best for you, but a little money is better than no money at all.
Everyone’s situation is different, but if you’re like my wife and are a contractor, taxes are your responsibility. Each quarter we have to be sure to send a tax payment into the IRS.
We wouldn’t be able to do this unless we were intentional about saving up money for those taxes!
If you find yourself in a similar situation, you need to be sure to save up for your taxes and set aside that money.
Vacations are amazing! What makes them even better is when you don’t come home to a bill that you have to pay because of that fun vacation.
When you are planning a vacation, take time to decide what you want to do, where you want to go, and about how much everything will cost. How much will the hotel be, the flights, the food, the fun activities, and anything else you may be doing. Write all that out, and get a total.
Once you do that, you have your new savings goal for that vacation! Take that number and divide it by how long until you’re going to go on that vacation and see if your monthly budget can handle it. If it can’t handle it, you may need to push the vacation back a couple of months, or reduce some expenses.
For example, if you want to spend $4,000 on a vacation that you’re going on in 10 months from now, take $4,000 divided by 10 months and that gives you a savings goal of $400 per month.
Debt-free vacations are the way to go, and saving up for them can be so satisfying! Make your next vacation the best one yet by saving up cash to pay for it.
What are some of the things you are saving up for? Let me know in the comments section!