Lately I started to question my urges to get something more often. Sometimes it is a small thing like "It is hot today, I want to have some ice cream", other times I'm wishing for a new server setup as my home server is starting to make some noise and my hard disks are filled up with data.
The urge behind wishes
Wishes can come in various ways, most often they include at least a part of improvement in our life. But not always.
Let's take some example wishes:
- Going on a far away trip to Bali
- Being a parent
- Buying a new pair of shoes
- Drinking a tea
The reason behind those wishes might vary on a very wide scale and sometimes wishes aren't that important. So let's dig into those example wishes a bit.
A trip to Bali
This might sound like vacation, right? Right! For me, that would definitely be vacation, I never was in Bali and it sounds nice. I heard there is Oceanmimic doing some beach clean up as well, I'm pro environement.
For someone else this far away trip might be more of a wish to visit the parents living there and see them again, as that person decided to go abroad into the wide world, now working in Europe maybe.
Back to myself: Bali sounds like a nice place, but flying there is using a long time and probably isn't that good for the environment. Maybe I'll better go to the next lake from my town and enjoy the warm summer there instead.
Being a parent
This one might be a controverse topic. A friend of mine is a father since a year now. He once told me a child is giving you purpose in life. I like the ring of that. Some people do not want to be a parent but ended up being one nonetheless.
I for my part was thinking about being a father when I was very young. I dreamed of going to Japan once, planting a tree and having 2 children. I called it the big 3 wishes.
Up to now I was to Japan twice (and I love to go there again), did not plant a tree and children is not that important currently.
Did I fail or did I betray my past self? No way! Priorities change, life is not running in a straight line.
The pair of shoes
Ah, shoes... This one is easy right? I buy shoes because my old ones are starting to fall apart.
Wait what? You buy shoes because you love shoes? You got 300 pairs and do only wear 3 of them regularly? People are different! Let's talk about my growing boardgame collection... Some of us, like me, are a bit of the hoarding-type.
Why would someone wish to drink tea, that is not a real wish... Isn't it?
Might be it is incredibly cold and you just wish for a warm cup of anything. Ha! See there, it is a wish.
Maybe you are sick and the doctor told you to drink some tea. Okay, that might not be a wish, it sounds more like something necessary. The wish behind this is to get better I would guess.
As a child I had loved it to grab all those magazines, cut out stuff from them and glue those snippets to my christmas wish list.
Thinking back to those days it was so much fun to gather all the fancy things.
For my parents it probably was nice to have some quieter time, while we kids were gathering stuff, sticking it to paper.
Well at least until they had to make a choice what to put beneath the christmas tree...
Guess what, I rarely got anything from my wish list! As a child I did not understand why my parents put some socks beneath the tree when I obviously wished for that Nintendo 64!
Looking back, having a Nintendo 64 would have been nice, but actually it isn't that important.
The three steps of making your wishes come true
We have seen that wishes can have different reasons, but now let's see how we can make wishes come true.
For the past 3 years I have regularly told my wife, that a new server setup would be nice. I wished for a more modern setup with a lot of fancy gimmicks like access to my movie database, backing up all our machines, vpn and stuff.
At any point in the past it would have been possible to just buy that new server, set it up and be happy. At least until the next bigger bill would have come and I would hate myself for not having foresight.
Step 1: Consciousness
First thing to make sure when you get the urge of something you must have is to consider if it is really that important or just a "mood".
For sure you can directly buy those awesome looking jeans when you see them in the store, but is it more important than XZ?
That pair of jeans is obviously nice, but probably it makes more sense to put the $50 into your dream of your own garden for example?
Make your spendings conscious! This will help to spend your money for the things that are important in the long run.
Step 2: Plan for it
Bigger wishes should be planned, so one does not have to struggle with all the things that are inevitable.
I am using YNAB for tracking and planning my money. One way of dealing with wishes is to add a category called "Wish List" where I add all those wishes and mark them by size.
My wish for a new server would cost me around $2000, in this case the "size" of the wish would be "M". Up to $1000 is "S", above $10k is "L".
Another category is called "Wish Farm", in here we plant our wishes and grow them. For each size my wife and I pick an item of the wish list. If a wish is completed, a new one will be picked from the wish list with the same size.
With each salary my wife and I get, we assign the money to our regular categories like Groceries. Whatever is left is then put to our "Wish Farm". Most often we split the money in thirds and assign it to the wishes, so the long-term wishes get their fair share as well.
This month I finally have accumulated enough to buy my server!
Step 3: Make it come true
Now there is enough money to make my wish come true. I saved for it a long time, this gave me enough time to think about my wish as well. Is it really that important? Why do I want it "so badly"?
I look through the other "M" wishes from the wish list and currently it does not make sense to change the wish.
Yeah, you might change the wish, if something makes more sense! If not: Get what you wanted, you earned it.
Saving can be difficult, blasting the money out for something that seems important right now is not that hard.
From my past I can recommend you to make your spendings more conscious and think about the future. If you still think something is important after a bit of time (talking weeks here, not seconds), then go for it.
How do you reach your goals and make your wishes come true? And what was your latest bigger wish that you made come true?