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Why and how can you buy anything but not everything you want?
When planning your finances, the goal should neither be just getting by month by month, nor saving every penny you have without ever buying something you want. The goal is to keep it balanced and get the most out of the money you make. Last week we talked about setting up emergency savings. In this post, you will learn the importance of putting a number on the things you want and how to save consistently to buy what you want.
Prioritize: You can buy anything, but not everything you want
Before we get started you should internalize the principle, that you can (almost) buy anything you want, just not everything you want. At least not at once.
What kind of things are you saving for?
In this category we’re talking about big ticket items you want to purchase or finance within the next 2-3 years. This could be a car, a wedding, a nice vacation, moving houses etc. You can also apply it to smaller items you need to save for like a luxury eyeshadow palette or a designer handbag. Basically anything you need money for and is not covered by your monthly budget or disposable money for want purchases.
Calculate the cost of what you want
Instead of wish thinking that you would like to go on vacation to Hawaii some day or move to a bigger apartment, thinking it’s something to do when you have more money, make it happen for yourself. You won’t ever have money to do these things by accident, except if you win the lottery or get a generous gift. But that’s not something to count on and I’m a firm believer in working towards what you want in life.
So look into the things you want and see how much it would actually cost. You need to know an exact amount or at least a budget to aim at. If it’s 2.000€ for a handbag, it’s 2.000€. 10.000€ vacation? That’s great! Numbers and price tags can be scary sometimes, but you need to know how much to save. Of course you can have multiple saving goals to work towards, there’s no need to just pick one saving goal.
Make it happen for yourself
Now that you have the numbers, think about how much time you want to give yourself to save up the required amount. Sometimes there are other life factors to consider, for example if you’re saving for a wedding. Then of course your time frame and goal should match up. If you want to save 10.000€ within 2 years, that gives you 24 months. You need to save 416, 66€ to reach your goal within that time. 400€ sound a lot more manageable than 10.000€ already, right?
Envision yourself reaching that goal
You got your goal, you got your number and you got your time frame. What else do you need to succeed? Motivation! You need to stay motivated for the next 2 years and possibly do without a few purchases in order to get the big purchase. It’s easy to lose track or feel desperate at the beginning of the journey.
So envision yourself reaching that goal. Paint a nice picture for yourself. Did you save for a 10.000€ vacation? Envision yourself walking along that beach, hear the waves crashing and feel the sunshine on your face. After two years of saving and enough self-discipline you made it! That sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, that could be you on that beach. All you need to do is stay consistent with your financial plan.
Start saving and keep going
So now it’s up to you. Start saving and keep going! Don’t spend the money you save for other smaller items you may fancy on the way. Know what you are saving for and know that you can do it.
If you feel like the amount you save is too high, see where you can cut corners. If you followed along our financial journey, you should have a good overview of your expenses. Maybe there are some non-essential things you keep splurging on, that are not worth it in the end? What’s worth the money you work so hard for, is up to you. Remember, you can have anything, just not every single thing.
If there’s no spending left to be but, increase your income. You could pick up a side hustle or build passive income streams. More info on how to do that will come in the following posts of this series. So stay tuned!
Saving up for big ticket items is not that scary, once you take a look at the numbers and set up a plan. It takes dedication and persistent saving, but if you really want to get something, you will be able to do it.
For an overview of personal finances, you can read the post “Don’t Shop Yourself Broke – Financial Freedom for Beauty Lovers“.
Or learn how to set up your emergency savings.
Do you want to read even more? I recommend this book (link is affiliated):