Your Wishlist and Your Budget

We’ve all been there. Looking at a long list of “wants” that seem far away and totally out of reach. Sigh. I’m a big “Wishlist” person. I keep a list of items/activities that I want in my phone so that if I have some leftover spending money or when Holidays are coming up, I can refer to the wishlist of things that I’ve been wanting  but just haven’t scraped together enough spending money outside of my budget to pull the trigger on a purchase.


Here are a few things that I do to keep my urge to shop for all the items on my wishlist and feelings of constant sacrifice at bay:

  • Narrow it Down. Edit your wishlist if it’s getting too long. It’s likely that there are several items on your list that you no longer want or you can push down toward the bottom. I go through my wishlist about once a month and I delete at LEAST one item from the list every time I check it.
  • Upcoming Holidays. Look ahead to see what holidays are coming soon. Christmas, Birthday’s, etc? Typically things on our wishlists are just “wants”, so it’s likely that we can wait a couple (or seven) months to get it as a gift and save ourselves from totally smashing our budget.
  • It Just HAS to Happen. What if you need it sooner? What if it’s something you can’t pass up? Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do I have money for it? 

2. Will I go into debt to get this?

3. Is this purchase worth decreasing the amount I can put toward debt this month?

If you answered “yes” for #1 & 3 and “no” for #2, maybe last minute tickets to a concert that a friend offered you won’t bust your financial plans or maybe your running shoes are so worn out that you slip on the gym floor and can see your socks through your shoes. Try not to make a habit of spending outside of your budget on wishlist items, but random events are materials may be worth if every once in a while.

If you answered “yes” for #2, STAY AWAY! SAY NO! Do not go into debt for wishlist purchases. Just plain old “NO”! Debt is not worth whatever it is that’s on  your wishlist. Start putting together a Christmas list and counting down the days!

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What’s on your wishlist? How do you keep your wishlist expenses in check? Let us know and leave a comment!

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5 thoughts on “Your Wishlist and Your Budget

  1. Toni @ Debt Free Divas

    A new dryer. I don’t do a lot of shopping and really focus on being content. I replace as needed, but generally like to use what I have as opposed to constantly buying more. That’s a helpful way to keep my budget in order. But my dryer is was a dude when we bought the place six months ago. I need to get on the ball before it dies completely.
    Toni @ Debt Free Divas recently posted…Holiday Survival Guide: Frugal, Festive and FabulousMy Profile

  2. Melissa @ Sunburnt Saver

    I think it’s a great idea to have a running list of wishlist items! My Mom recently asked what I wanted for Christmas. Luckily, I have a small running wishlist in my head, so I asked her for something that I really needed/wanted, and she was really happy I had a good answer for her (instead of last year’s ‘I don’t know…’). It’s awesome to have a running wishlist – some people really do want to get you something for holidays or birthdays, and ‘I don’t know’ (or something CRAZY expensive) is never a good answer :)
    Melissa @ Sunburnt Saver recently posted…How to Choose the Right Rewards Credit CardMy Profile

    1. Brittany Post author


      I totally agree and have found the same thing! Family members love it when I actually have ideas of things that I want instead of “I don’t know” or “I don’t need anything”. Especially since most of the items on my wishlist are things like “salad spinner” or “running socks”. :-) Thanks for reading! -Sam

  3. Mel

    One way I like to look at wish lists is that I’ve sort of “saved” the item. I’m not going to forget about it. It’ll still be there when I have cash. Lots of times that’s good enough for me and then I’m happy to wait till the holidays or my birthday and when my mom asks what I want, I just send her the link to my silly Pinterest wish list I’ve been amassing all year.
    Mel recently posted…Financially Savvy Saturdays #61My Profile

    1. Brittany Post author

      I totally agree! It definitely makes “stuff” more valuable when you work hard to get it or wait a long time. See ya later instant gratification (and I’m OK with that)! Thanks for reading! -Sam


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