How to Budget for Big Expenses


40% of Canadians are finding themselves pulling money from previously untouchable savings accounts due to the rise in the cost of living.

Saving for large expenses seems tougher than ever. If you have a large expense coming up, you need to learn how to budget for it. The financial experts at King Cash are here to help.

Read on to learn all about budgeting for large expenses. 

Determine the Exact Expense

When you’re trying to create a budget for a large expense, it’s helpful to know how large the expense is actually going to be. If you can’t get an exact figure, get as close as possible. And if you’re estimating, always over-estimate—this way, you may have money left over, but you aren’t likely to go under. 

Sometimes you can know the exact expense. For example, perhaps you know that you’re going to be paying $10,000 toward tuition because the university has already given you that number. That’s helpful!

Other times, you may not be sure. You may want to buy a home, and you know the homes in your area are around $500,000, but rising. You’ll want to save for a 5% down payment of $25,000 with a few thousand extra to account for a slightly higher price. 

Get as close to the final cost as possible.  

Determine Your Timeline

How long do you have to save for your expense? This lets you know how much money you have to save every week or month in order to meet your goal. 

Often, timelines are flexible. Let’s say you know you want to buy a home, but you’re able to comfortably live in your current home, so you’re not in a rush. You may give yourself five years to save that much money (though, you should consider rising housing costs). 

Other large expense timelines are less flexible. Perhaps you’ve already set a wedding date and you know you need $45,000 for it. You only have a finite amount of time between the current date and the wedding date. 

Once you have your date and expense figured out, divide the amount of money by the number of months (or weeks) until the endpoint (or ideal endpoint, if the date isn’t firm). That’s how much money you need to be contributing. 

Look at Your Current Expenses

So how much are you spending now? Many people are living paycheck to paycheck, and if that sounds familiar, you need to make some changes.

Look at your current wants, needs, and savings contributions. Your “needs” are the things that you simply can’t live without (bills, necessary food, toiletries, and other similar things).

Your “wants” are the things you enjoy, but you could do without. These are things like fun activities, snacks, nights out, fancy clothes, and so on. 

Your current saving goals may be retirement, emergency funds, and other long-term things. 

In most cases, taking money out of the “needs” category is tough. It’s time to start cutting back on the “wants,” and perhaps, the “savings.” 

Where Can You Make Room? 

So where can you make room in your budget so you can start saving for your large expense? 

Take a look at your “wants” first. You don’t have to give up all of the “extra” things that you enjoy, but you can certainly cut back. Perhaps for the finite time between now and the time when you need to make your large purchase, you don’t get takeout anymore or you cancel one of your streaming services. 

Small changes can add up.

You may be able to cut back on your “needs” as well, but this is harder. You could change internet providers if you’re not using the most affordable option, start shopping at more affordable grocery stores, and look for discounts and coupons for necessary items if you’re not already doing so. 

When it comes to your savings, you may want to pause or minimize savings contributions to one goal while you work on the time-sensitive one. Perhaps while you’re saving for college tuition, you stop putting money toward a new home. 

It can be tough to make these decisions, and you may find yourself re-adjusting every month. That’s okay!

Set Money Aside in a Safe Place

When you start saving for your goal, set that money aside somewhere safe! It’s helpful to create a separate savings account (or a specific section within your pre-existing savings account, if your bank allows for that) for your goal. 

Make sure that, outside of absolute emergencies, you only ever put money into that account. You never remove it.

Be diligent. Every month, no matter what (again, outside of emergencies), put money toward that goal. 

Consider Additional Income If Possible

Perhaps you’re looking at your time limit and your large expense and you’re realizing that there’s no feasible way, with your current income, to meet your goal.

That’s okay. You may have to try to make more money, at least short term. You have options.

If you’ve been with your current job for a long time, now might be the time to ask for a raise. The worst they can say is no. If you’re an hourly employee, you could also ask for more hours. 

You may also want to look for a new job to replace your current one. This is a good time to refresh your resume. You can also use a new job offer as leverage for a raise with your current job. 

You could take on a side hustle. You can be a delivery driver, a dog walker,  a writer, and so on. There are many tasks that people will pay for, so put your talents to use.

You could also look into online loans. Getting no credit check loans is accessible and easy, and it may help you meet your goal. 

That’s How to Budget for a Large Expense

Learning how to budget for big expenses isn’t easy, especially if you’re already on a tight budget. These tips should help you get started. Try to start budgeting as soon as possible so you have plenty of time to reach your goal. 

At, we’re the experts in fast loans in Canada. Whether you’re looking for more financial advice or a quick loan, Kingcash has you covered.

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