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Saving for a big event: 6 strategies to stay on budget

What we'll cover

  • How to budget for big events

  • Saving strategies to put into practice

  • How to stay motivated when saving

Looking forward to something big? Whether it's a major concert (hello to the Swifties and the Beyhive!), sports game or any other big-ticket happening, budgeting for all of the related expenses is essential. After all, concert ticket prices have doubled in the past five years, averaging $252 in 2023, while a single NFL ticket averages $377. Despite the costs, these tips can help ensure that these memorable events make it onto your calendar while staying within your budget.

Start early

The sooner you begin saving, the more money you'll have at your disposal. Once you buy the tickets or know the date of your event, start putting extra money aside. With Ally Bank's savings buckets  – a feature of Ally Bank’s Savings Account – you can earmark funds specifically for the event in your savings account. As you watch your balance grow, it can help keep you motivated.

Budget for everything

Most events include multiple expenses that add up well beyond the price of admission. In addition to concert or sports tickets, for example, don't forget to factor in travel costs, parking and food and drink, as well as any swag or merch you may want to purchase. Create a comprehensive budget to ensure you have enough money for all these costs, then add a little extra cushion for any unexpected expenses or splurge items that may pop up.

With Ally Bank's savings buckets, you can earmark funds specifically for your event in your savings account.

Use cost-cutting strategies

Once you have expenses mapped out, look for deals and ways to save. If your event involves travel, consider using rewards or miles to save on airfare or accommodations. Be on the lookout for special discounts or offers related to your event like parking vouchers or seat upgrades.

Read more: Smart resources to help you save

Boost savings

Cutting back on spending to save more doesn't have to be painful. It's all about balance and priorities. By using spending and savings buckets together , you can both optimize your expenses and save strategically for your event at the same time. Use spending buckets – a feature of Ally Bank's Spending Account – to find areas where you could spend less, and then put that extra money in your savings bucket. Utilize boosters like recurring transfers to make saving automatic and round-ups, which round your purchases to the nearest dollar and deposit the difference in your savings account. Over a 12-month period, people using our smart savings tools grow their Savings Account balances two times more, on average, than those who don’t. (This is based on the average balance growth of accounts opened since we launched our smart savings tools.)

Keep your eye on the prize

While it's fun to have something to look forward to, it's easy to be distracted from your savings goals. Temptations are all around! If you need a little extra push, try visualization . Picture yourself cheering on your favorite driver at an F1 race to keep morale up.

Make saving a group affair

In-person events are experiences that will make memories to last a lifetime. If you're attending the event with family or friends, consider getting them involved in the saving and budgeting process too. When it comes to money management, there's definitely strength in numbers. Help each other stay motivated, then enjoy each other's company as you sing along to your favorite bop.

Fund your dream event

From the championship game to the year's hottest concert tour, it seems that everyone has a big-ticket event on their bucket list. These savvy spending and saving strategies can help make yours a reality.

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