What do weddings, new cars, and homeownership have in common? They’re big milestones that can also come with big price tags.
Consider these statistics:
- The average cost of a wedding is $35,329 – with $6,163 spent on the engagement ring alone.
- The average transaction price for a vehicle is $34,968, and increasing at a rate of 2-3% per year.
- The median listing price for a home in the Milwaukee market is $124,800 – but if you’re looking at a suburb like Mequon or Brookfield, that median price jumps to $539,000 and $364,500, respectively.
That’s a huge chunk of change to drop outside of your regular living expenses. Fortunately, there are some simple savings tips that will help you navigate these milestones without wrecking your finances.
Set a goal.
Do you think the person you’re with might be The One? Have you been driving the same vehicle for a few years now? Are you dreaming of a nice, big yard for the kids or a dog? This is the perfect time to start saving. I’ve given you a rough idea of what these items may cost, now set a savings goal to help you get there. Take a look at how much money is coming in, where it’s going and how much you can realistically afford to earmark for these purposes.
Set a timeline.
Even though life may have a funny way of throwing plans out the window, having a timeline attached to your savings goal will help keep you on track. Not sure what’s realistic? We’ve got an awesome calculator to help you save toward a goal.
Once you have your goal and your timeline, it’s up to you to make it happen (of course we’re always here to help, if you need it). Keep in mind that this is not a rainy day fund, which is meant to be dipped into when the need unexpectedly arises; these are funds set aside for a specific purpose at a specific rate. If you’re worried you’ll need to draw from your milestone fund, you can open a separate savings account, opt for a purpose-specific product, stash it away in a short-term CD, or simply, readjust your goal to something more reasonable. Bonus: After you’ve paid for one milestone, roll over your remaining balance to kick-start your next savings goal.
Life is stressful enough without worrying about how you’re going to afford to actually live it. With the right tools, the right support, and the right saving strategy, you’ll be able to reach your milestones faster than you can say, “’Til debt do us part.”