Weekly Roundup – What Big Thing(s) Are You Saving For?

I’d like to find out what kinds of things people are saving for these days – beyond a rainy day. Remember, I advocate saving for sunny days, too!

What’s something you’d like to own, or like to experience, in the next couple years, but aren’t willing to go in debt for it? I’ll go first.

Wolfden at Home by Redwolf Journeys on Flickr

I want to buy an RV. A travel trailer to be more accurate. I did a lot of frugal camping with my grandfather growing up and I want to create some of those same memories with my kids. I also like that a trailer or RV could double as a bug-out vehicle if things really hit the fan. I’ve got a small, dedicated savings account started and I’m watching the prices of late model, used trailers.

Your turn.

The Frugal Roundup

Save Money by Trading Down Your Home. We are quite content in our home now, and instead of trading up, we’ve decided to stay put and downsize when the kids head off to college.

Budget Protests and the Financial Impact on Our Family. A first-person account from a fellow blogger dealing with fallout from the Wisconsin protests (and budget crisis).

Eight Minutes to Financial Success – Minute #4: Minimize Electronic Temptations. This reminds me that Amazon Prime is one of the best things I ever signed up for and the worst thing I ever signed up for.

What Frugality REALLY Means: It’s Not About Being Cheap. Amen! So many people assume frugal people are cheap. I’ve found that to be quite the opposite.

Craft the Life You Want: Setting Up Shop or The Importance of Where You Live. My wife and I used to dream of life in the Pacific northwest, with cooler temperatures and proximity to the mountains and the ocean. But for now, we’re quite content to stay put.

The Worthlessness of Net Worth. Net worth is a horrible measuring stick for comparing wealth, because often those with the highest net worth’s are only that way on paper.

Best of the Rest

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  1. Saving for our son’s honeymoon. Yes, we are old fashion. Parents of the bride get the wedding and we get to give them a week to remember:>)

  2. I have a dedicated savings account to buy a home outright. I do not want a mortgage. I am almost there.

  3. While you are saving up for that RV you better have a sister account for something to tow it with. You can’t just hook this up to some medium-sized family sedan and head on down the road.

  4. We want to travel a lot of grand places (some I went in the miltiary and now wish to take my spouse back to), so our “vacation” fund is always a large want we save for. Europe, Hawaii, the caribbean, all on our list to slowly work on. But, an RV is a second thought we have had, to enjoy travelling this country.

  5. Private Pilots Certificate. I’d love to get the income to where this could include membership in a local club (approx $100/month + flight time) as well as the initial $8-10K for training. There is a chance we’ll go the travel trailer route first though.

    • CeridianMN: I’ll share a story with you. My grandfather was a Marine pilot (jets and helicopters), and when he retired after 29 years of service he considered joining a local flying club to keep up his love of flying. He declined, as it was costly, and I think he always lamented not getting to fly again.

      I’d urge you to hang onto this goal, be frugal in other areas, and try to make room for it if it is something you truly love and doesn’t cause hardship elsewhere.

  6. We, like Amanda, save for our vacation fund. We love to travel. In a month we are headed to Asia and next year we are talking about Africa. We also love to camp and kayak so topping up our tenting and camping gear is second on our list. Now that I think of it we are also saving for some house renos: new floors, finishing the fence and finishing the patio.

    I say, save for what matters to you and be frugal about the rest.

  7. We, like Amanda are saving for our vacation fund. In a month we are headed to Asia and next year we are thinking about Africa. We also like to camp so topping up our gear is also a goal. We are also saving for some house renos: new floors, finishing the fence, and finishing the patio.

    I say save for what matters to you and be frugal with the rest.

  8. We’re saving for 20% down on a house, and also a second vehicle. I think we’ll be able to hit those goals soon. I’m concerned that our credit scores aren’t high enough to get the best interest rates for a mortgage (they’re 710) so we will talk with a lender soon to see if they have suggestions for us.

  9. A travel trailer is a great idea! We saved up for one a few years ago, and absouletly love it. All of our meals on the road are in the camper. We have even cooked a pizza at a rest area inside the camper for lunch – frugal!

    Our next item we are saving up for is a generator for the camper! It’s a great addition to camping, and helpful if we even need to use the camper to Bug Out.

  10. We are saving to put new siding on our home – nothing exciting, but it beats going in debt for it.

  11. Just sold my travel trailer…. sorry…. and just paid cash for the new house, which is in Paradise, so I don’t need the travel trailer any more 🙂 lol…

    Saving up for a large dwarf fruit orchard and a riding lawn mower with a rototiller attachment 🙂

    Have everything else I could possibly ever need 🙂 Have enough….

    Have a kid graduating from college next year tho – maybe a special trip for her and her kids for all they have sacrificed family-wise while she is having to commute weekends home from college….

  12. Happy Friday, everyone!

    My wife and I have quite a few things we are saving up for right now. Some of them will happen this year and some in the years to come.

    For this year:
    1. We purchased my grandparents’ 5th wheel travel trailer for quite a bargain last year and we are now saving for our first big road trip with it. We’re planning for a two-and-a-half-week trip in August to go visit my wife’s grandma and cousins in eastern Washington state.

    For next year:
    1. We are planning to move into a new rental. Right now, our house is just a little over 600 square feet, which is adequate for two adults and a newborn, but we’re planning to have baby #2 next year and will need more room. Although we are pushing around the idea of staying put, making do, and putting our “moving” fund all towards our down payment fund. We shall see. The nice thing about living in a small space is that it forces you to live a more simplified life.

    2. As mentioned above, we’re hoping for baby #2 next year and will need to save up a reserve to cover the costs of OB appointments and labor and delivery. This will be an ongoing savings goal for the next few years until we are done with having kids.

    3. Bump up our emergency fund to cover three months worth of expenses. I know this techniclaly falls under the “save for a rainy day” category, but it’s still worth mentioning.

    About five years from now:
    1. Replace my wife’s minivan with another “five to ten year” vehicle. Her current minivan is still running like a champ, but it will likely be worn out in five years. If it turns out the van can go longer than five years, horray horray; but we are not going to assume that.

    2. 20 to 50% downpayment on a house: My wife and I both have a desire to put down roots and provide a home where we can raise our family. Depending on whether or not we stay in the area will dictate if our downpayment will be closer to 20% or 50%. Either way, we definitely want to avoid PMI and we are planning to pay off our mortgage ASAP.

    About ten years from now:
    1. Replace my car: My car is only 3.5 years old right now and has under 50K miles on it. We’re planning to have the funds ready to replace it in ten years or so. Again, if the car lasts longer, horray horray!

    2. Replace my wife’s car again, but with an “almost new” car. One that will last 10+ years.


    • Thomas, I have no doubt you will be successful because you are thinking ahead and planning your financial future. So many people react to negative financial situations rather than plan for the inevitable (cars eventually wearing out, people getting sick, the need to find a larger home as family grows, etc.).

      Remember: “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.”

      • AMEN, Jason! Thank you for the reassuring words.

        Let me also add this: It is much harder to plan ahead when you are in debt. My wife and I achieved debt freedom in December 2010 and have since noticed a huge change in the flexibility of our budget. It truly is a life changing experience to become debt free. Makes you never want to go back; hence the strong desire to plan ahead. We know we will probably need to take on a mortgage when we buy our house, but we are going to do our best to put down as much as possible and pay off the balance as soon as possible. This may mean that we need to relocate to an area with a lower cost of living.

        So I guess one more longer-term goal I could have listed would be: no mortgage and no rent so we can focus more on raising our family and less on earning money.

  13. My husband and I are saving for a baby 🙂 We have private insurance with no maternity coverage so all costs will be out of pocket.

      • hehe babies don’t have to be expensive!!

        if you go the no nappies and simple natural ways, and get cool retro/2nd hand stuff from relatives or friends (or online…) they can be both eco-friendly and ‘affordable’…
        I mean people have had’em in deserts with no money etc!!

        and babies can help clean up and save or bring in money when they grow up, puppies just… uhm, poop 🙂

        both are cute tho 🙂

        • I fully agree with you, Layla. My wife and I have saved so much money by acquiring our baby items through hand-me-downs (free), goodwill (cheap), and yard sales (even cheaper)! It takes work, but it really pays off in the cost savings.

          There are a few things that we weren’t willing to buy used, one of them being a car seat. But even that was acquired using a coupon so we saved $60.

          Now that the baby is here, I can honestly say that you don’t **need** that much to raise a baby. When the weather warms up, we are going to dig out our baby stuff and see what we can pair down and/or just get rid of.

  14. I am currently saving up to buy myself a new computer ($500-600). While getting paid less than minimum wage, it is taking a while to get there.. but I’m going to make it someday soon!

  15. My being 12, kind of puts your big stuff on a much larger scale. However, I am saving for a Nintendo 3DS, that is $265. I have al most all of it! W00T!

  16. Not saving at all! Have only one goal at this time – get rid of the mortgage as soon as we can. Whatever is left at the end of the month goes towards extra payment on the mortgage. Hopefully, we will be done in four years!

  17. I’m saving to fill a dream. To buy an old AirStream and a very small plot of land. I plan on rehabbing the AirStream into a skeeball lounge as a get away.

  18. You spend more time than most thinking about this bug out scenario. At least if the zombies come, you’ll be all set. 😛

    Do you have a truck to pull it with?

    We’re not really saving up for anything right now. The things I would want to save up for seem pretty typical, american consumerists… big screen TV with surround etc. 🙁

    • I’m definitely zombie-proofing the household! Although this purchase would be 80% motivated by recreation.

      Yes, I do have a truck to pull the trailer. Any thoughts on a fifth-wheel vs pull behind? For one thing, I’d to reserve the truck bed for bikes, coolers, etc.

      • Having had both….5th wheel pulls a lot easier – you never even know it’s behind you. I think you also feel like you are able to pull more along… cuz it’s not so long in total truck/trailer length as a pull behind is.

        Anything flat can still go in the truck bed – coolers, etc.
        Unless the bikes lay flat enough, you’ll have to put them into the trailer – which is probably safer from theft if you are making stops along the way.

  19. OutdoorMom you might want to rethink that generator. They burn a surprising amount of gasoline…some burn $20 worth in 24 hours. In a bug out situation gasoline…if you can get it…will be very expensive. Just saying.

  20. I’m not having to save up a huge amount, however, to me, who is usually a devout frugalista, it is a huge splurge. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this one . . . a $100.00 haircut, along with probably $75.00 worth of styling products. Usually I dye my hair at home, get $12.00 barbershop haircuts, and buy my styling products when I have coupons at CVS. But I’m turning 49 next week & have decided that I no longer want to spend 1/2 hour straightening my hair & having to contend with the Florida humidity. I want to get my hair styled at Ouidad hair salon that specializes in curly hair & try out their hairstyling products (yes, I have to admit I’m probably getting suckered in by their informercial). The barber says if I go there & get it styled the way I want she can maintain the style in the future, so it’s not like I’ll be getting $100.00 haircuts every month. Not sure if I’ll keep buying the expensive styling products, I’m probably too cheap to keep that up . . . . they would have to be really, really GOOD!!

  21. Big expense…Braces for my oldest boy. Poor lad has my wonky teeth, and I won’t make him suffer the same TMJ pain that I have endured (thanks to my parents not having the money to widen my bite). We got 2 quotes, both of which land at around $8G. He is 13, and they say he’ll be ready for braces at 16… $225/mo should do it. For him, instead of the RESPs we are investing in his oral health…. post-secondary is something he can fund for himself when he is ready with his comfortable smile!

    • This is weird that he is having to wait until ‘later’, many kids start braces when smaller… Have you double-checked all that?
      There are also some very cool books on TMJ, one is on ctds.info – many things are important: also posture and habits and nutrition and such, not just position of teeth…

  22. I am saving for a new queen mattress. The one I have now is 15 years old, has dents in it from where myself and husband lay. Our cat decides which he hole he would like to sleep in the most. I am saving every $5 bill I get, till I have enough for a new mattress.

  23. We’re on Dave Ramsey’s Step 6 (i.e. pay off mortgage). When I someday get to step 7, I’d like to buy a first generation (1948-1950) Ford F1 pickup. I’d, of course, pay cash for it.

  24. Our most immediate savings goal is to pay to remodel my mom’s 110 year old home. It is not an investment as her home was bought during the peak of the market, but I’d like for her to have a nice place for her to spend her golden years.

    • Where are you planning to move? Mind sharing because I have that in mind too. Thanks.

  25. I’m saving to remodel my upstairs bathroom 🙂 When I reach $5000 I will be having it done! Can’t wait, I’m 1/3 of the way there and putting money aside every pay period.

  26. We’re saving for a baby – for us babymaking will cost about $600 a pop until we are lucky enough for things to work out, and we plan to have enough saved up for adoption if that is not successful. (Right now the baby’s cost of living money is going into that account as well).

    The next one will be buying a house, still deciding if we will want to do so and if so whether we will buy outright or with a huge downpayment.

  27. I hate to be the wet blanket here, but babies are the most expensive luxury of your life and the biggest commitment you will ever make. I had my 2 children back in the late 80’s, when the economy was sort of good and my husband had a good job. My children are adults now. They have to still live at home. I am not sure in this economy they will be able to finish their education. My husband lost his job and we lost a lot of their education savings, because he is a 99er. We all have part time jobs, but can’t find full-time jobs. It is hard to pay the bills and get medical insurance. Obama care is not effective. My youngest son has juvenile diabetes. You must think about your children’s future and possible health problems. I am in the sandwich generation as my elderly mother also lives with us, too. Sorry, I hope all works out for young parents or those wishing to be, just a lot to think about.

    • I think what they were referring to above was the cost of things like diapers, toys, cribs, and the like. Medical expenses are a completely different ball of wax. From prenatal, to delivery, to pediatric care, the medical costs can definitely add up; especially if you don’t have insurance. My wife and I just got the bill for our son’s delivery and it was over $35,000! Luckily we have insurance; otherwise, we’d be in a world of hurt.