Money pays our bills, offers retirement opportunities, and helps us with emergencies. Unfortunately, it's easy to get so focused on work and expenses that we forget to save. However, there are some things that are worth saving up for. In this article, we go over 55 of those things that you can start planning towards!
Why save money?
Although purchasing whatever you want without considering what you can afford is a bad habit, saving up for something you need or will use often is a great way to think ahead. As a result of having money saved, you can also avoid taking on unnecessary debt. That being said, saving money is always a good idea.
55 Smart things to save up for
There's a lot you can do with the money you save. Some of the ideas here are practical, others are just fun, but all of them are worth buying.
1. Down payment on a house
A house is probably one of the most expensive things you will ever buy. But it can be an investment if you purchase at a good time for a reasonable price, plus it's a place to call home. Typically, you'll want to save 10-20% of the price for your home down payment.
Saving for a vacation is usually easy because motivation is high. In addition, it's a great feeling to go somewhere and know that you can afford it. Locations that are further away usually cost more, so you'll want to begin saving up to a year in advance. For a quicker, local trip, a month or two may suffice.
3. Used car
Finding a reliable used car is a great thing to save money for. It will get you where you need to go, and buying something practical like this is valuable long-term. Expect to spend several thousand at least.
4. Emergency fund
Emergency savings are a necessity for every household. Saving up a few months of expenses keeps you from getting into financial trouble and can put your mind at ease. A comfortable range for most people is between three to six months of expenses, though the actual amount will vary with your income and expenses.
5. Index funds or ETFs
Investing is a great thing to save money for. You can add small amounts into a brokerage account and then invest on a recurring basis. Index funds and ETFs are a great way to do this. Since investing produces good results over many years, it's high on the list of things to save up for.
6. New phone
If your phone is old, it may be time for an upgrade, but they usually aren't cheap. On the other hand, saving up for a phone can be a great purchase if you like technology and will get a lot of use out of it.
If you work from home a lot, it's a good idea to have a laptop. It can be helpful for work, writing, and working on side projects. These range in price quite a bit, so do some research about the model you like before setting your savings goal.
8. Apps that make your life better
Some apps have a yearly or monthly fee. However, it can be worth it if you will use it frequently. For example, you might find an app related to fitness, sleep, or budgeting that helps you with your everyday life.
Along the same lines, sometimes subscriptions are worth it. For example, if you get a lot of value from your weekly meal delivery service or a TV streaming service, you can save up for it and pay for a year at a time.
10. Sustainable clothing
Instead of buying clothes every season, why not save up for more sustainable, high-quality products? You can also upcycle your clothing. Of course, it costs a bit more upfront, but you will own these items for much longer. Plus, you'll help the environment and others.
11. Good shoes
Shoes with excellent quality will last you many years. Again, the price tag may seem hefty, but you can save up over time, and you'll end up with a collection of beautiful shoes that you can wear throughout your life without needing replacements often.
12. Mental health day
Sometimes the routine of work, home, and other obligations can wear us down. To combat fatigue, save up for a mental health day. If you feel a mental overload, it may be time to take a day for yourself. Decide what activities you want to work into the day and save up for it.
Experiences are one of the fun things to save money for. It might be a wine tasting, a day to ride ATVs or river rafting. Choose something you'll enjoy, and bring friends if you want. This can also help with the cost if you split it.
14. Finance courses
Learning about money is well worth it. Find out what type of classes there are in your area, or take one online. Choose something you're interested in, be it budgeting, day trading, investing, or something else, and learn all you can. We have over 30 completely free personal finance courses here at Clever Girl Finance.
A high-quality pair of headphones is something most people use daily. Take the time to research brands and features to make a good decision for a reliable pair that will last you.
16. Real estate investments
You might start researching REITs or save up for a rental property. It will allow you to make passive income in the future and is one of the things to save up for that will pay you back over time.
17. Artwork as an investment
Do you appreciate painting, drawing, and photography? If you're familiar with different styles and what makes a piece of art great, this may be worth saving your money for.
18. Starting a business
Start-up costs for a business vary depending on the type, but most need some money to get started. Begin saving up for things like equipment, licenses, and a business emergency fund.
19. Language learning lessons
Language learning gives you more knowledge and opportunities. Learn a new language using an app, program, or tutoring. You'll use this throughout your life, and it's also a great hobby.
20. Computer programs that help you with your job or business
Maybe there are specific programs you purchase annually for your personal computer or business. These can cost quite a bit, so it's one of the more practical things to save money for.
21. Fitness tracker
A fitness tracker can help you keep better track of your health, exercise routines, and more. You can essentially have a personal trainer in your pocket! A lot of people like that these devices remind them to move around and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
22. Digital camera
If you're a photographer or would like to be, a digital camera is a must-have. You can create better photos and level up your skills. Saving up for a little while for a decent camera is a great goal that is also a fun hobby.
23. Running shoes
If you do a lot of running or walking, then investing in a good pair of running shoes is perfect. You'll have more support and comfort while using them, and it could be better for your overall lifestyle.
24. Supplies for hobbies
If you play any sports or have hobbies, you probably purchase supplies occasionally. Be it paint and brushes, a yoga mat, or something else. Save up for some high-quality stuff that will help you be your best.
25. Smart alarm clock
These are great purchases that can also keep you on a consistent routine. As a result, your sleep will be better than ever.
26. High-quality sheets and bedding
Speaking of sleep, why not save up some money to sleep more comfortably? Sheets with a high thread count and good quality bedding may be more expensive, but it's worth it.
27. Good mattress
If you can only make one investment for your lifestyle, a comfortable mattress is a great choice. You'll sleep better, and better sleep equals a better life long-term.
28. Health Savings Account
If you qualify, you can open a Health Savings Account. It can aid you with future medical expenses. This is a good choice for some people, especially if your employer will also add funds.
29. Good book series
If you're a habitual reader, a good book series is worth the money. It provides hours of entertainment and learning, and it's easy to save up for it quickly.
30. Dance lessons
Do you want to learn swing dancing or salsa? You can usually buy multiple dance lessons at once. You can master the basics, and it's a great workout.
31. Martial arts classes
Along a similar line, martial arts classes are one of the great things to save up for. Find the type of martial arts that interests you most and see what a few lessons would cost, or weekly or monthly classes, if you like.
32. College courses
You can buy college courses on a ton of different subjects, whether you're in school and it counts towards a degree, or you're just auditing the class. So if there's a subject of interest to you, you won't regret saving up a bit to learn something new.
33. Nice furniture for your home
Are you tired of the couch you've had since you were 20? Furniture can be pricey, but start saving up, and soon, you'll find that you can afford that new sofa or dining table.
34. Espresso machine or coffee maker
If you're a coffee person who regularly takes time to brew drinks, an espresso machine or high-end coffee maker is the perfect purchase. Of course, these can cost thousands, but it may save you money in the long run if you drink coffee daily.
35. Household appliances
Do you have a dishwasher or refrigerator that is getting old and not working as well? Take some time to save up for a new appliance. That way, when it does eventually stop working, you'll be prepared with cash.
36. Home decor items
Decorating your space can add immense value to your life and make your home more inviting. The key is to save up properly, so you don't go into debt for anything. Paint, art, and other supplies can be costly, so calculate how much you'll need before starting.
37. Gym equipment
If you have a fitness plan to stick to, save up for some home gym equipment. Things like treadmills, stationary bikes, and weights are all excellent items to have to stay healthy.
38. Writing programs
If you have a lot of college assignments or spend a lot of time writing papers, an editing program or something that helps with writing is ideal. Most aren't overly expensive, but they can really pay off.
39. Meal planning service
If you're short on time but enjoy eating well-balanced meals, save up for a meal planning service subscription and try it out. If you enjoy it, you can continue with it long-term.
Jewelry is definitely a splurge, but there's nothing wrong with buying something nice like some pearls or diamonds if you have the money. This is something to save for if you aren't in debt and can pay all your bills without a problem.
41. Traditional IRA or Roth IRA
You can easily open a retirement account even with limited funds. It's a great way to begin investing in your future. There are different options for taxes with both the traditional IRA and Roth IRA accounts, and your employer may offer this for you, as well.
42. Home security system
It's good to have a security system in place for your home. Options range from doorbell systems to lights, motion detectors, and cameras. Cheaper products start at around $100 and go up from there.
43. Musical instrument
If you want to try out a new hobby, save up for a musical instrument like a guitar or a piano. Try out some videos first to make sure you like playing music and will get good use from the item.
44. New television
Technology is fun, and sometimes it's nice to have a new TV, which will typically last you a few years at least. However, do some research before committing to one, and stay within a reasonable budget.
45. New speakers
If you love music or movies, new speakers can be a great purchase. You can find these for a vast range of prices, so take time to figure out what you want and where you will place the speakers first.
46. Car detailing kit
These are great if you enjoy maintaining your car, and they aren't costly. You can find some higher-quality ones for a few hundred or less.
47. Museum, show, or art exhibit
An art exhibit, a show, or a museum are all fun things to save up for that won't take longer than a month or so.
48. Garden supplies
Summer is just around the corner, and it's the gardening season! Gardening supply prices vary depending on what you already have on hand and what you need to buy.
49. Ergonomic office furniture
If you work from home a lot, invest in some office furniture that will keep you from developing aches and pains. Ergonomic office furniture ranges in price, but you'll likely spend at least a few hundred.
50. Cooking class
Want to be a chef or make better meals at home? Try purchasing a cooking class to learn the basics. It's fun to save up for something enjoyable like this that you can use in your everyday life.
51. Invest in a start-up
You can become an investor for a start-up company. This requires some know-how but can potentially make you some cash.
52. High-quality dishes and china
If you like to entertain, purchase some high-quality dishware. Then, you can keep it for special occasions or as an heirloom for your family.
53. Pay insurance for car in advance
Why not save up to get ahead on insurance payments for your car? Having your monthly auto bills paid in advance can lessen money stress.
54. Get ahead on bills and home payments
You can put money aside to ahead on all your payments, like mortgage, internet, and other bills. It's like an emergency fund, and it can help you make more progress financially.
55. Home remodel
If you enjoy remodeling, save up to tackle a room or an addition to your house. These can cost thousands, but with time and research, you should be able to do an excellent job for a reasonable price.
How to save up money
So you've decided that you'd like to buy something from this list or something else you've thought of. But perhaps you feel like saving for these things isn't possible. There can be a lot of reasons for that. Most Americans have trouble putting away more cash due to bills or sometimes other reasons. If you're struggling with saving because you feel that there isn't enough money, or you feel overwhelmed by how to begin saving, read these tips below.
Save a percentage of your income
Some people prefer the percentage approach. That being said, 20% is a good starting place for saving. You can save, say, 10% of what you make from each paycheck towards the item or investment of your choice. You might set this money aside in a separate account to watch it grow. After a while, you'll have enough for whatever you've been working towards, and you can usually start this without too much lifestyle change.
Save all of one side income
This is a more radical approach and is best for when you're saving for something big or significant, such as a down payment or a vehicle. If you can afford to pay all of your bills with one income, start a side hustle or use another income for saving purposes only. Your funds will multiply, but it requires dedication.
Frugal living is a good practice in general, but there may be times when you want to tighten up your budget to save. You'll need to be very self-controlled and remember what you're working towards. Look for any areas in your budget or life where you can spend less or do away with spending entirely. All the money that used to go to those things will now add up in savings. The more focused you are with this approach, the quicker you'll save up.
Things to save up for: Final thoughts
Saving up for something valuable is worth it, and it's essential to have savings goals that you're working towards. Not only does it help you to buy things you want or need, but it also teaches commitment, dedication, and the value of patience. Saving up for something that you will get a lot of use from is totally worth it.