Preparing to make a big purchase can be both an exciting and daunting experience. You may be wondering about saving for your big purchase and how to budget for something like a new car or new house (for example). There are a few strategies to try that could help you save for your big expense and ensure you’re equipped to handle any ongoing maintenance or expenses associated with your big purchase.

Set up an emergency fund

Before you launch into saving for your big purchase, it’s a good idea to consider setting up an emergency fund. Why is it worth starting an emergency fund before you consider spending money on a big expense?

Everyone has heard the saying that ‘life is full of surprises’, so ensuring you’re as prepared as possible for when these surprises crop up is always a good idea. Starting an emergency fund is one way you can cover yourself financially for any unexpected expenses1. This also prevents you from dipping into your big purchase savings and ensuring that money is squared away solely for that purchase1.

When it comes to setting up an emergency fund, it’s important to transfer a set amount of money into your fund at regular intervals1. For example, if you get paid fortnightly, you may wish to deposit money into your emergency fund each fortnight. Whatever frequency you choose (e.g. weekly, fortnightly or monthly), make sure you stick to it1.

Once you have your emergency fund set up and it’s starting to grow quite considerably, you could start dedicating some of your income towards saving for your big purchase.

Review your budget

While you’re saving for your big expense, you may like to review your budget to ensure you’re accurately capturing your savings goals.

Reflect on your budget to see how your income balances out against your expenses and factor in whether you need to adapt your budget to accommodate for your big purchase savings1. You may find there are areas where you need to cut down on expenses to allow more of your income to be put towards budgeting for your big purchase. Perhaps you may choose to start off depositing smaller amounts into your big purchase savings until your income and expenses balance out better1.

While you’re reviewing your budget, you may also like to look into automating your savings. You could have an automatic transfer set up to put aside certain portions of your income towards both your emergency fund and your savings for your big expense2. This would ensure you’re continuously putting money towards both of these savings accounts. Plus, automating your savings could help you keep on track with your budget2.

How to plan for a big purchase

Now that you’ve got the preparation side of things underway, it’s time to start planning for your big purchase.

Before you get too far underway with saving for your big purchase, a good place to start your planning is by setting a timeline. Start considering when you are hoping to make your big purchase and work your timeline backwards to set savings goals2. When setting your timeline, make sure to factor in the cost of your big purchase and set reasonable savings goals for yourself – the review you did on your budget will help here2.

Once you have your timeline in place, it’s a good idea to develop a spending plan and budget that is specific to your big expense. A spending plan could help you develop a larger picture of the types of expenses associated with your big purchase and how these fit into your overarching budget2. It could also offer some insight into your current spending habits and how these may need to change when you finally make that big purchase. Keep in mind that there may be ongoing costs incurred by making your big purchase – these would also need to be factored into your budget2. For example, for something like a new car or new house, there could be ongoing loan repayments and maintenance costs to account for in your budget. If you are looking at a big purchase that requires some form of financial support to help you achieve the purchase, Queensland Country Bank has a variety of personal loans that could help*.

Factoring each of these elements into both your specific big purchase budget as well as your overarching budget could help give you the oversight you need to manage your financial situation.

Saving for a big purchase

Just like with any purchase, your budget will be affected by this new expense, so it’s important to adapt your budget as necessary and ensure you’re sticking to your savings goals. Make sure you’re also confident in your financial situation and ability to save for a specific purchase before committing to it.


*Terms and conditions of Queensland Country Bank’s personal loans apply. View the relevant TMDs available at Normal lending criteria, terms, conditions and fees apply and are available on request.

General Advice Warning: This information is intended to be general in nature and is not personal financial advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided. In particular, you should seek independent financial advice.


1Ramsey Solutions, 2023, How to save for emergencies, big purchases and retirement,

2Edward Jones, 2023, How to save for big purchases,