How to save and budget for a motorcycle
Table of Contents
Research What You Need Vs What You Want
When introducing yourself to motorcycle ownership, enter near the bottom of the market and work your way up. Riding a motorcycle is a skill that’s learnt over time, so start as soon as possible as the journey isn’t a short one. If money wasn’t an issue, we would all want to start with a brand new motorcycle and the latest fashionable gear, but we need to be realistic about what we can afford. With a stable job, you may be tempted to secure a loan for a brand new motorcycle, but keep in mind that this purchase is usually not a necessity, so going into debt to purchase a liability may come back to hurt you. Also keep in mind that a new rider with a brand new Ducati is almost guaranteed to drop it.
- Research what type of motorcycle fits your personality such as a Supersport or Tourer for example. Then you can work out the style of gear you will need for protection such as helmet, jacket, pants, gloves and boots.
- Once you know the style of motorcycle, find the brand you like the most and pick the model/style within that brand. Now you can start with the newest motorcycle and work your way down the years to the oldest bike that’s acceptable.
- Now you have a list of motorcycles that you like, with a range of prices starting from the oldest/cheapest bikes that are acceptable, all the way up to the newest most expensive bikes
- Repeat step 3 with motorcycle gear. Find the style and brands you like, list from cheapest to most expensive to create a list of gear to purchase.
Now you have a list of motorcycles and gear that you like from cheapest to most expensive.
Use SMART Goals To Help You Save
Normal goal example – I want to purchase a motorcycle to start learning how to ride soon.
SMART goal example- I want to purchase a Honda cbr250rr in 6 months time, saving $500 a month, $2000 for a second hand bike, $1000 for basic helmet, jacket, pants and boots.
I can speed this up by selling some random stuff on Craigslist/Gumtree or cutting some expenses from my budget.
The normal goal is basically useless, there’s no plan on what and when to buy, or how long it may take. The SMART goal listed above is way more specific…the goal is measurable with time and money, there’s an end date goal with the option to speed it up if you get excited or impatient.
Is your goal to start riding as soon as possible, or are you happy to wait longer and save for the newer model motorcycle with some better gear?
A beginner rider should start on a smaller cc motorcycle to maximise learning and minimise mistakes. Smaller bikes are cheaper, and keep in mind its possible mistakes will be made, such as dropping the bike, so maybe it’s better to start with a used motorcycle that already has some bumps and bruises. Research these cheaper bikes to figure out the resale value, and upgrade as you go. Older bikes usually hold their value better, as they have done most of their depreciation. Maybe your preferences will change as you learn and you will want to switch to a different style of motorcycle in the future.
Timeline – How Much Do You Need To Save And How Long Will It Take?
Now that you have a list of motorcycles and motorcycle gear (leather/textile/wet weather) with a variety of prices from low to high, make a decision on how long you are willing to wait to make a purchase and start riding. This will depend on your budget – how long will it take to save the required amount?
Lets create a budget so we can maximise our savings. This will give us a range of how much we can save depending on what we are prepared to reduce or sacrifice. You can also save more by increasing your income with overtime, a side hustle or selling some things on Craigslist/Gumtree. It can be difficult to increase your income, but everyone can find something to cut back on to save some extra money.
Create A Budget
The best way to find out how much you can save is to create a budget. A budget helps you keep track of your money to maximise your savings. Here’s 5 steps to help you create a budget:
- Calculate your net income – take home pay. This is how much money you have after taxes, insurances and retirement plans etc.
- Keep track of your spending – money coming in and going out. List your fixed expenses such as rent, utilities, loan payments etc. List your variable expenses such as groceries, fuel, entertainment etc.
- Record your daily spending – Use a budgeting app, spreadsheet or template. Make recording your daily expenses as easy as possible. Look through your bank statements to figure out your fixed expenses, then estimate the average of your variable expenses
- Create a budget – Use this information above to create a realistic budget you can stick to. Now you know what you spend. There are fixed costs that cant be avoided such as rent and bills, and variable costs that can be changed, such as groceries, fuel and entertainment.
- Use your budget to maximise your savings to get to your SMART goals. Cut out unnecessary spending such as streaming services, morning coffees or going out on the weekends. Its important to be realistic about this process – this isn’t punishment, it’s important to live the life you want, we are just prioritising whats important. Are your saving goals more important than that morning coffee or Netflix subscription?
Budgeting Made Easy – Use An App
The easiest way to keep track of your spending and plan future spending is to use an app. Everything is made for you, all that needs to be done is to enter your spending information into the correct areas. You can install the app on all your devices so it’s accessible at all times.
The best budgeting apps will connect to your bank to make life much easier when tracking your spending, but this comes with a monthly fee. Because we are trying our best to save as much money as possible to get to our goals, let’s use a free app. EveryDollar is a great budgeting app created by Dave Ramsey. There is a paid version that connects to your bank, but I would advise starting with the free version first.
Budget App – EveryDollar
Take the guesswork out of managing your money. Easy to plan, spend and track you money with features like:
- Personalisation – Drag, drop, rename and organise everything your way
- Savings goals – Helps plan ahead for big purchases
- Due dates – Setting these dates makes planning easier
- Split transactions – Split up long recipes across multiple categories and expenses
- Keep your budget consistent – Copy and paste your budget from month to month
- Make notes within budgets – Leave notes to remember particular expenses
Reviews – 4.8 on the App store…4.2 on Google Play
Create A New Savings Account For Your Motorcycle
Open up a new savings account for your motorcycle. The easiest way to help grow this savings account is to automate it. Now that you have a budget, you can calculate a weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment that automatically goes into your savings account without you having to do anything. Simply set up a recurring automatic transfer from your main account to your savings account
Saving money can be quite difficult with the busy and complicated lifestyles we lead. Money comes and goes without us really knowing where it’s all going month to month. Money is the most valuable resource we have, so it’s very important to manage it the best we can. Starting with a simple budget for each month will show us where it’s all going, what bills are necessary and what can be cut back on or eliminated. Keep in mind that once you buy the motorcycle and gear, there are plenty of other costs to consider (average motorcycle ownership costs), but we can set another goal when we get there.