Budgeting for Big Purchases in 2014

tvbudgetOn Tuesday morning, we awoke to find a winter wonderland in progress outside. With the forecast calling for a foot of snow, we quickly realized that we were going to be snowed in.

As I went to turn on the t.v. to check out the local news, I pressed Power on the remote, and a popping sound came out of the speakers, followed by a fizzle.  Not good.

The t.v. is about 20 years old, and it’s been on the fritz for months. It takes several minutes for the picture to show up, and even then you still get some green spots that appear and disappear.

The t.v. served my parents well for many years, so it didn’t exactly come as a surprise that it finally quit. Unfortunately for us, it chose a snow day to do it.

After doing some research online, we went ahead and purchased a shiny new smart t.v. that we are now enjoying. While the television wasn’t necessarily budgeted for, we knew it was a likely purchase for this year. It got me thinking about some of the other big-ticket items that we’re looking at possibly purchasing in the coming months. Now is probably the best time to go over the numbers and get these things worked into our budget. Here’s what we’re preparing for:

A “New” Car

This is our top priority right now. We’re looking to buy a decent used car- nothing fancy-pants, just something reliable and safe that M can use to get back and forth from work. We actually have some money saved up for this already, so hopefully the right vehicle will come along soon.

Plane Tickets

We’re hoping to take a 2 or 3 week trip back to M’s home country in September. Plane tickets to Europe will really take a big chunk out of our budget this year, but you can’t put a price on quality time with loved ones. I’m going to attempt to do some travel hacking to reduce this expense. Plus, we’ll be staying with family, so we won’t have to pay for hotels.


This isn’t a huge cost, but if we’re going to buy bicycles, we want to get good ones that will last. I have a tendency to focus on price when it comes to big items, but I really should focus more on quality. I’m not sure yet whether I’d like a cruiser or a mountain bike, but I’m leaning towards the latter.

Kitchen Appliances

This one probably seems funny, considering that we’ve been married for 3 years, but we don’t have a lot of kitchen stuff! Our wedding was more of an elopement style, so I didn’t have a typical bridal shower party to stock up on the goods.

We also just moved from overseas and only brought 3 suitcases with us, so we’re truly starting with the bare minimum of housewares and “stuff”. We’re slowly but surely accumulating kitchen tools and small appliances as we go along.

I’m sure there will be plenty of other unexpected costs that pop up throughout the year, but these are some of the larger expenses that we can budget for in advance. Aside from the car, these things all fall into the “wants” category, rather than the “needs”.  With the right planning, hopefully we can work them painlessly into the budget.

Do you have any spendy purchases that you’re budgeting for this year?

*image via phanlop88

About Lauren

Lauren May is a freelance writer and full-time mom living her best life on a budget.

8 thoughts on “Budgeting for Big Purchases in 2014

  1. My plan this year is to “trade down” a few of by bigger purchases, by hopefully making them smaller. I’m still planning to travel, but hope to plan ahead more and find ways to cut costs that I didn’t in the past. Also hoping to have the discipline not to make too many purchases from the “want” category! I think you’ll have a chance to save money on your plane tickets to Europe. Just keep an eye on rates, and be a little flexible in travel days. I’ve heard traveling midweek can help save money on long-distance flights. Good luck!

  2. We are budgeting for a new refrigerator (ugg) and probably a new air conditioner. We’ve already had to replace our water heater this year. Not a cheap year for our house, that’s for sure.

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