Developing your 2011 “Wants” vs. “Needs” list

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Hard to believe that 2010 is almost over and 2011 is quickly upon us.  But now makes a great time to start preparing to save for your big 2011 purchases, before the Holidays.  Preparing ahead of time for what you want to save for gives you a goal and prioritizes your wants.  In addition, if you are married, it helps communication and getting on the same page with your spouse.  Below are a few tips on how to make a list of big purchases.

First, make a list of everything that you can think of that you would like to purchase for the year.  Then break it down the list between “wants” and “needs”.  After looking at the list a few will pop out as “needs” while others will be simply “wants”. 

Next, rank your “needs” in order from most important to least important.  If you are married, this is where you combine your list with your spouse’s, and where you will have some give and take.  It will also align your priorities together and you will determine what is really important for your family to purchase throughout the year.

Finally, after making your “need” list, calculate the price of everything on your list, take your monthly budgeted amount and multiply that by 12 to determine the yearly amount you will spend on your list.  Then go down as far as you can on your list until you reach your yearly budgeted amount and throughout the year when you have the money saved, purchase what is on your list and enjoy it!

By setting up a big purchase list before the year begins, it gives you a long-term mindset when it comes to your savings and purchases.  In addition, if you are married, this will create fewer arguments if you get any unexpected money like an inheritance or a bonus because you will already have your big purchases planned out and agreed upon beforehand.  So if you are all out of debt except your mortgage and are ready to make some big purchases in 2011, put your purchases on paper today and enjoy purchasing them once you have the money!

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About Jon White

Giving people hope and seeing them win with their finances is something I have a strong passion for. Because of this passion I started JW’s Financial Coaching in the summer of 2010. Financial coaching has allowed me to combine my passions of finances, teaching, and helping others by helping people get on the right track financially. I'm interested in hearing your story so please do not hesitate to interact with me through social media.
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