How to Tackle Saving for These 6 Major Life Expenses

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Several times throughout our lives — when we get married, buy a house, have kids — we face mountainous expenses that require us to really double down on saving money.

Spending thousands of dollars in one swoop requires a different savings strategy than just skipping your daily lattes for a couple of months.

Here’s what to keep in mind when you’re facing expensive life events.

Purchasing a Car

Buying a new car can set you back between $20,000 and $55,000, depending on if you’re going for a compact car or a luxury vehicle. Even if you’re purchasing a used car, you may need several thousand saved up.

These steps to saving for a car will prepare you to buy your next set of wheels: figuring out how much to save for a down payment and what related expenses you need to budget for.

Buying a House

Talk about expensive life events.

Housing typically accounts for a large portion of everyone’s budget. Saving to own a home is a financial feat that can require tens of thousands of dollars upfront, not including the ongoing payments over the life of a standard 30-year mortgage.

Our guide to saving for a home while you’re still paying rent is designed to get you closer to your homeownership dreams.

Splitting expenses with a roommate can allow you to squirrel away more for a down payment, and qualifying for a first-time home buyer assistance program can reduce your initial out-of-pocket expenses.

Getting Married

Last year, the average American wedding cost nearly $34,000. That’s a lot of cash to spend on a one-day celebration — even for one you’ll cherish forever.

To help you avoid starting your marriage with extra debt, we’ve compiled 90 smart ways to save money on your dream wedding. Renting your wedding gown and going with used wedding decor could knock thousands off your expenses.

Budget-conscious couples can glean a few tips from these frugal love birds who planned their weddings under $10,000.

Having Children

Oh baby, having kids is expensive. Like, six-figures expensive, according to the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture

Although it’s estimated parents will spend over $200,000 raising a child to adulthood, many new parents are stunned at all the costs that crop up in the first few years — the hospital delivery, diapers, formula, child care and more.

Cut costs when they’re young with these 31 ways to save money on new baby expenses and these creative solutions to affordable care.

Once they get older and you’re swapping Mommy and Me sessions for competitive sports, continue on your money-saving journey with these 13 ways to reduce children’s expenses after the baby years.

Paying for Your Kid’s College Education

Every parent wants the best for their child’s future. Having a college degree can open up doors to well-paying job opportunities and career advancement.

When it comes to funding your child’s education, starting early gives you the best advantage. This breakdown of five common ways to save for college will help you decide the best option for your family.

Taking advantage of financial aid packages can be a lifesaver. Make sure you fill out the FAFSA before each collegiate academic year to determine your estimated family contribution.


Saving for retirement is another expensive life event that’s best to contribute to way earlier than you think you should. The magic of compound interest works best when you allow more time for your money to grow.

Figure out how much money you’ll need in retirement, educate yourself on ways to build your retirement savings and open a 401(k), IRA or investment account, if you haven’t done so already.

And if you’re past your 20s, 30s and even 40s and don’t have anything saved for your golden years, here’s advice on how to catch up on retirement savings.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.