Do you have a wish list?
If not, I suggest you get one and keep it up to date.
We are living in an age where thrift is valued little, where gratification is rarely delayed and where consumers are bombarded with messages of why we need everything now. For this reason, I am often telling folks to slow down, get their financial lives in order and then think before they spend. It’s about being intentional and balanced.
In days gone by, they called this “thrift.”
Unfortunately, some have misunderstood that message as me saying, “spending is always bad” and “saving money is always good.” Not so.
I’ve said it before: all money gets spent at some time by someone on something. So, if it’s your money, you might as well be the one to make those decisions about how it’s spent.
What is thrift? Thrift is using a little self-denial now so that I can create the opportunity for a lot of self-indulgence later. But if the tomorrow for which you are sacrificing today is not bigger and brighter than the price you are paying today, why do it?
That’s where the wish list comes in. Most of us need a motivational north star. A wish list is an inventory of things you want (either to have or to do) in your lifetime.
What should go on your wish list?
Something small. I suggest that you put an item high up on your wish list that shows… you can do this! It may be a vacation, a new car, an item of clothing or a gift for someone. This should generally be doable in six to twelve months.
Something fun. If your wish list is full of things like “get out of debt” and “get the roof repaired,” you’ll feel little motivational pull. So, make sure there are at least a few items on the wish list that give you goose bumps and make you smile just to read them.
Something unique. Your list doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s. What could you put on your wish list that no one else would ever have? Something very you?
Something meaningful. What means a lot to you? What would you be willing to sacrifice, and maybe die for? You’ll find a deep, soul-ful sense of motivation when you put something meaningful, even transcendent, on your wish list.
Something long-range. We need short range goals to keep us going, but don’t be afraid to put something long-range on your wish list (something more specific than “retirement”). “Own a second home in Ashville, North Carolina” is more like it.
Something that’s a home run. Home runs are relatively rare and equally valuable. They also make you stand up and cheer. And they score points! What does that for you?
Well, that ought to at least give you a few ideas to get you going. Share your wish list with someone you care about. It will make it real and give it life.
So…what’s on your wish list?