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Budgeting for big-ticket items

Updated: Jun 4

Buying a car
After your house, purchasing a new vehicle is often the second most expensive asset you will buy

NRMA Living Well 22nd April 2015

So what's the best strategy to ensure we're not caught short when these items need unexpected or urgent replacement?

Does it make sense to upgrade your wheels, white goods and home furnishings before you retire and are still earning in the hope of enjoying several trouble-free years with your new kit? Or does setting aside funds specifically for major purchases as they're needed make better sense financially?

The latter, says financial adviser and SMARTadvice founder Peter Horsfield.

He advocates having a healthy cash cushion on hand before downing tools. Think a minimum year's worth of living expenses in cash or easily accessible term deposits, plus an additional three months' of emergency funds.

Meanwhile, "don't trouble trouble until it troubles you," Horsfield counsels.

"Don't buy a whole lot of new stuff just before you retire - think more about the opportunity you have to de-clutter," he says.

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