Saving For Life's Special Events

By Victor Villegas, Union Bank, N.A., Senior Vice President and Regional Manager

Sharing special events with family and friends is important and such events and occasions often come with a hefty price tag.  Whether you want to save money for an around-the-world vacation, milestone birthdays, a wedding or baby, take some time to establish a savings plan for financing these special moments so it won’t cost you more in the long run.

Develop a course of action after you've considered these steps to help you start saving for year-round expenses and special events:

Set a savings goal and deadline

Determine which events in the foreseeable future will require extra money, and then spend some time determining how much you will need to set aside to pay for them.  For back to school items or holiday expenses, review last year’s statements to get an idea of how much you spent on these items the previous year.  If you are planning on taking a vacation this summer, start looking into airfare and hotel rates now.  Larger, more costly events, such as a wedding or the birth of a child, may require more time to plan and save, so determine how aggressively you’ll need to save based on your timeline and try to give yourself as much time as possible to put money aside.

Budget and prioritize

Once you know how much you need to save, determine how much you must set aside each month in order to reach your savings goal by your deadline.  Establish a budget that includes a line item for the occasion you are saving for and pay into it as if it were a credit card or other important bill.  Consider setting up a targeted account in which to stash money for your special occasion.  You might find it helpful to set up an automatic transfer or have part of your paycheck deposited into the account every pay period or monthly.

If you find that you don’t have extra money to set aside toward your goal, it may be time to review your priorities.  Look for ways to cut back on your regular spending, or look for opportunities to bring in some additional cash.  If you are saving for a honeymoon, put any monetary gifts toward your goal.  If you are expecting a baby, consider asking family and friends to contribute to a 529 savings plan to kick start a college fund in lieu of baby clothes or toys.  If you are still coming up short, then perhaps you can scale back on the amount you originally budgeted to spend on the event or occasion.

Grow your Money

The most important ally you have in reaching your goals is time, and money put away in high-yield savings accounts or invested in stocks and bonds can grow and compound over time.  Shop interest rates to find the highest yield for savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs) or money market funds.  The type of account to best meet your needs will depend on the length of time you have to reach your financial goal, so make an appointment with your banker or financial advisor and seek guidance about how to invest and save money.

The foregoing article is intended to provide general information about saving for seasonal and life events and is not considered financial or tax advice from Union Bank.  Please consult your financial advisor.

This post was originally published on the America Saves blog in March 2013. 

Take the Pledge

Savers who make a plan are twice as likely to save successfully. 

Take the America Saves Pledge

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Administrator2 | January 15, 2014

    Are you looking for an effective way to establish a budget? Beginning on the first day of a new month, get a receipt for everything you purchase. Stack and review receipts at the end of the month, and you will clearly be able to see where your money is going. http://ow.ly/sj972

Saver Tips and Stories View all »

Taking Back Control Over Finances

Written by Virginia Saves | August 5, 2015

After becoming a Virginia Saver and getting help from BankOn classes and coaching, Nadine Bialo took back control over her financial affairs.

Read more...

Transforming “I Can’t Save” to “I Will Save”

Written by Guest Blogger | January 13, 2016

You will not believe what it took to completely change my life. About three years ago, the HR Administrator of the corporation where I worked (as a temp with no benefits) forwarded an email to me. Fifteen seconds. One small act of kindness. That's it - that's all it took!

Read more...

Saving With My Boys

Written by | September 2, 2019

When Kelly was a kid, she loved the picture book A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams. In the story, a little girl lives in an apartment with her mother and grandmother. The little girl’s mother is a waitress and sole provider for their family. Together the family saves money by putting their change in a giant jar every day. They are saving for a big cushy chair for the little girl’s hard-working mother. Together with patience and diligence, they buy the mother a very comfy chair.

Read more...

Receive Updates

Take the Pledge

Written by Super User | September 16, 2013

Start Saving

Receive Texts

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | July 15, 2014

Learn More

Partner News & Updates

Written by Katie Bryan | October 18, 2013

Sign Up