Nothing screams adulting more than reading a blog post about things to save up for. So, welcome fellow adult aiming to strike a balance between the boredom of adulthood planning and still having some fun.
That’s where having a budget and savings plan comes in. You can always rack up charges on your credit card taking advantage of fun opportunities as they arise and forgetting to plan for common adulthood expenses, but, in the end, that comes with a higher price tag, more stress and way less fun.
That’s why we’re here with a helpful list of things to save up for to help you enjoy life more and worry about money less.
Larger Recurring Expenses
These are cyclical, and likely don’t occur each month. Some examples of larger recurring expenses include car insurance premiums, car registration/renewal fees, and income and property taxes. Rather than dip into savings to pay for these, plan for and save for them instead. Some car insurance companies give discounts for paying your premium annually or every six months, rather than monthly, but that can be a big chunk of change to hand over. Set up a Name Your Savings account for your car insurance premiums and automatically transfer funds every week or month to save up throughout the year so you have the money when you need it (and you save a few bucks by doing a bi-annual payment plan with your car insurance provider too). The same goes for any major expense—set up a savings account and a portion of your paycheck to plan for the expense now, rather than be surprised by it later.
No matter how great of a planner you are, things always come up. Whether it’s a sump pump that goes out in the middle of heavy rains, a sudden loss of income, unexpected car repairs, a medical emergency or something else entirely, surprise expenses are our least favorite type of surprise. That’s where building an emergency fund comes in. While aiming for three to six months of living expenses is ideal, we recommend starting small by setting aside a few dollars each week, eventually working your way up to setting aside more. Saving $5 a week ($260/year plus dividends) can make a difference over time.
Whether you’re setting aside funds for a down payment or saving money to take care of a much-needed home remodel project, housing is a big expense and should therefore also be a major consideration in your savings plan. You can save money on housing expenses by setting up a separate savings account for home-related expenses. This will put you in charge—not home repair companies or improvement stores with less-than-ideal financing options—as you will be able to make choices based on the money you have set aside, or at least help offset expenses as they arise.
Whether it’s continuing education on a professional or personal level, or paying for college for your kids, saving money for education helps reduce the amount of debt you or your children will need to take on. Whether you put money into a kids’ savings account, a 529, savings bond or another method of saving, don’t wait to start saving for future educational expenses.
Maybe you have fewer than 10 years left until you plan to retire, or perhaps you are just getting settled into your career. No matter where you are at in your journey to retirement, setting aside money—and reviewing your plan frequently—is crucial to get to your end goal of happily retiring.
Paying Down Debt
The more you are paying in interest, the less money you have available to put toward your savings goals. Debt is something that many Americans have, but don’t want. For many, taking on debt is a necessary step to finance educations, homes and vehicles. Consolidating debt and paying down credit cards or loans can give you more wiggle room in your budget, as well as free up more of your income to set aside for one of your savings goals.
Vehicle Repairs and Replacement
Transportation is necessary for those traveling to and from work, and if you don’t have public transportation available, owning or leasing a vehicle comes with additional expenses. Planned expenses include regular maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations, and other, less frequent expenses include new tires, brake replacements, etc. Creating a savings account just for vehicle repairs will take the sticker shock off the cost of some of those repairs.
While you are getting your ducks in a row and mastering adulthood by tackling your savings goals, don’t forget to set aside money for fun. While some hobbies are more expensive than others, taking time to save money for things that bring you joy—such as traveling, fishing or collecting records—will help you stay motivated to save for some of the less fun items on your savings list.
Activities with Family and Friends
Whether it’s a trip to the local beach or zoo, or attending a baby or bridal shower party, don’t forget to factor in all the fun activities that have expenses associated with them. These expenses could include gas money, extra food costs, the cost of a gift, etc. If you know that many of your activities with friends and family happen over the summer months, consider setting up a Pick Your Payout savings account. You’ll earn more dividends, and your funds are “locked up,” making it harder to tap into for things other than what you’ve planned for.
From setting up the nursery to buying new clothes and shoes as they grow to child care and educational expenses, it’s no secret that starting a family and raising kids is expensive. Take time to review expenses related to your family and then determine which expenses make sense to finance and which ones you would be better served by saving up for.
Now that you know 10 common things to save up for, review your budget and add new savings goals to your plans. If you’re not quite ready to set aside more for your savings goals, consider adding Verve’s RoundUp to your account. We’ll round up your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and add the change/difference to your savings account. Talk about a no-effort way to add a few cents to your savings account. Or, use the budgeting feature in online banking to set a budget, categorize spending and keep an eye on how your purchases are tracking against your goals.
Want more details on how to build your savings? Check out our monthly blog posts for more.