Saving For Your Big Purchase

By Doug Nordman, author of "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement" and founder of The-Military-Guide.com

When you start your career, you'll find plenty of advice on handling your money. Thousands of personal finance sites will press upon you to create your first budget, set aside an emergency fund, pay off your debt, and build your investments. Even the media tells you to save for retirement. But how can you do that when you have a life to live right now

Once you set up the basic finances, then what about that new car, or a house, or that big trip? Not to worry:  everyone finds their own path to financial independence. A high savings rate might get you there faster, but you also have to enjoy the journey. You might decide to live frugally, but that doesn’t mean depriving yourself. Just like saving for retirement and other routine expenses, you'll use your same financial skills to save for those big purchases.

Before you spend a big chunk of your net worth on something, ask yourself these questions:

Ask those questions for every major purchase. Live the life that you're willing to work for. You will reach your financial independence, but you'll also enjoy yourself. When you figure out the answers to your questions, you'll know whether it's the right decision at the right time.