Life is full of firsts. Some of them - your first steps, your first kiss, your first car – are worth holding onto forever. But there are other firsts - like debt, default and bankruptcy - that are best left undone. Unfortunately, a recent poll TD Canada Trust found that people are increasingly paying for some of life’s firsts with debt, rather than cash. And while the big moments in life can indeed last a lifetime, that doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of your life paying for them. With that in mind, here are a few major milestones Canadians are financing with debt, and why you should make saving up for them your first priority...1) Your first car The average cost of a car in Canada is $33,000, and more than half of Canadians are comfortable financing this purchase with debt. But while you may have dreams of a brand new, luxury car, the vehicles that most entry-level salaries can truly buy don’t include leather seats and German engineering. A car is a depreciating asset, which means the bigger your loan, the more you’re paying for something that’s quickly becoming less valuable. When you need a car, save a sizable down payment and buy one that meets your needs without blowing your budget. Everyone wants a sweet ride, but do you really want to empty your bank account every month for the next five years just for the privilege of getting to work?2) Your wedding It’s no wonder brides-to-be often transform into “bridezillas” as the big day approaches. At an average cost of $20,000, a wedding is major pressure! According to TD Canada Trust, 14 percent of couples resort to a loan or line of credit, and 12 percent say “I do” with plastic. A wedding is (or should be) about a lot more than pretty dresses and party favours. If you can save the cash for a blowout wedding, have at it, but remember that the cost can still put a drag on your future plans. Be honest with yourself about what matters and chances are you’ll be able to find ways to get the job done – and have a great party - for a whole lot less.3) Your first home Although most people rely on a significant mortgage to buy their first home, it’s often a great investment. Not only do you get to live in a place that’s all your own, but you also get to build equity as you pay for that home over time. If you’re lucky, the market may even kick in a few percentage points. Unfortunately, a home is not worth having at any cost, and many people may be stretching themselves too thin to become owners. The TD poll found that more than one-third of Canadians would rely on a loan for a down payment. That’ll get you into a home of your own, but if you don’t have the money-saving skills to come up with a sizeable down payment, you probably aren’t ready to be a homeowner. After all, home ownership is full of unexpected (and often large) expenses. Pay them all with debt and you’ll soon find yourself not in your dream home, but (yikes!) in the poorhouse. 4) Your first babyIf you’ve ever crossed the threshold of Babies R Us, you might be amazed at the huge list of things a tiny baneeds. According to the TD poll, a new baracks up expenses to the tune of $10,000 in its first year - and the costs just keep on coming for the next couple of decades.If you’re already rolling in debt from that first car, wedding and new home, there may not be much financial room for a bato grow. Maybe that’s why nearly half of Canadians (46 percent) said they’d use debt to finance a new addition to the family. Avoding this trap is easy: If couples keep the other “firsts” in check, this one will be much easier to afford, even when one parent ditches a paying job in favour of diapers and sleep deprivation.Forget paying it off, pay upfrontAccording to TD Canada Trust, 41 percent of Canadians have a hard time balancing their debts and saving for the future while still getting on with the big moments that life brings. Even if you’re not yet ready to tackle some of these milestones, think of the future today and plan for how you’ll pay for the big ticket items upfront. Years from now, you’ll still be able to enjoy some of life’s most precious rewards. The only difference is you won’t still be working to pay them off.