Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Saving Strategies (or, the I Want It List)

Abbie Cornish as Wally in W./E. Her Ray-Bans ended up on my I Want It list.

One way I discovered last year to save money was the “I Want It” list and now I create one nearly every month. It really helps to control impulse spending of any kind but you have to be disciplined!

Here’s how it works:

1. From beauty products to clothes to accessories, if you are at all compelled to buy it, it goes on the list but you do not purchase the item. I liked the brattiness of naming it the “I Want It” list, which made it sound like I could have anything I wanted. It has worked in a reverse psychology way—I put down items that are mid-priced, but also very inexpensive. The whole goal is to make myself think about every purchase.

This YSL Volupté Sheer Candy (in #5) was a Planned Purchase in December.

2. You do not buy anything off the list until the following month! I found that by then plenty of the things I “wanted” I actually forgot about, which proved they were nothing but impulse buys all along. Sometimes I go check out the item in person and learn it doesn’t look good on me, like the vintage-style Ray-Bans above. So lovely on Abbie Cornish (as she wore them in W./E.), so terrible on me! If I do want something, obsess over it, and know it won’t be around the next month that’s when it gets tough. Sometimes I’ve regretted not making the purchase, but most of the time I don’t. And sometimes, like with the leopard clutch below, it was $10 and I knew it wouldn’t be around the following month in Sheree’s shop at It’s Not That Deep, so I went for it. No regrets!

I bought these without putting them on the list. So bad!

The “I Want It” list has been helpful in making almost everything I buy a Planned Purchase, even mascara! Because I don’t know about you, but it’s been buying too many little things, from Essie nail polishes to J. Crew cardigans—things that aren’t too expensive—that sometimes make it hard to save for something big.

Washington’s Carriage 70cm scarf by Hermès, also a Planned Purchase!

Do you have any tricks you use to help you plan your purchases and reduce impulse buys? I would love to hear about them!

12 comments:

silkpathdiary said...

Thank you for this post! I really like your strategy and try to make a list but the hardest part is sticking to it! At the start of the year, I identified certain missing items but it's an ongoing process to keep focus on the overall goals. Sometimes I can compromise with another similar item that I already have or perhaps trade off one item for the sake of another but it's still a major challenge. Still, we're nearly at the end of the first quarter of the year and I haven't done as badly as I feared.

I love the colours of your nail varnish and scarf and your clutch was a true bargain and closet staple.

Judy C said...

Your post came along at just the right time for me. I need discipline but even more I need focus. I'm not into running around and checking prices and when I see something terrific I want to get it. There needs to be a method to this madness and I think you have found it.

Serene McEntyre said...

What a great idea!! I do a shorter version of this while thrifting (A LOT of money can be wasted thrifting because the low costs are so seductive)...I will walk around the store with something. After about a half hour, I often just put it back. Also, if I don't LOVE it and KNOW I love it, it doesn't go home with me. I've gotten so tired of having a closet full of "Meh?!" and decided I was going to have a closet full of "Be still my heart!!" Hugs to you girly!! Serene

Sheree said...

I don't have a strategy but I need to incorporate this one..it is genius and you are so right..most things you would end up forgetting about. I have to say that not going "out" shopping helps a lot for me..that is when I tend to impulse buy, I don't really online. I went shopping a lot when my kids were babies now that they are older and I never want to take them to a store..for risk of having a breakdown ;)so it helps a lot!
sheree xxx

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I also need a strategy...just not sure what it will be. I also need discipline...if I can walk away at least once then I know if I really want something or not. Good post, Jill!

PinkCheetahVintage said...

I have an I WANT list, too!!!
Love it,
Becky :)

Jan Graham-McMillen said...

I usually start listing-up in kind of a pre-season way. I'm not a window shopper, and tend to go on quest for specific items. I keep the Seasonal Want List on my Evernote app so it is easy to add elements to and is always available to consult and to edit.
Here in rural Bumfuzzle, ironically I have wider, longer windows of opportunity to acquire items I want. We don't get much, only a few pieces, for the season. Then we start getting "trickle down" items from *real* places later in the season. It's a very good thing that I don't have the need to be absolutely current, huh?

gracefully50 said...

Oh boy! I'm such an impulse shopper. One of my resolutions this year is to stop this BAD habit. I think "the list" is a super idea!

triskelos said...

Oh, it's such a great idea to save money! Thank you for sharing)

emilyatheart said...

I've been doing a list like this since high school. A shrink I worked with told me once that corporations spend big bucks to send ppl to school to learn how to do this. When something makes my list, I completely relax about it. Usually, somehow, I get what's on my list but it's a planned purchase. Sometimes, I find I don't really want it at all and it gets crossed off. At the end of each season I add the things I wished I had had. For example I just wrote "black cloche" on my list and I will look for one at a bargain from now until fall. If it makes my list, it's as good as done, and I find the "wants" go away. I buy things on MY terms not the "Wants" terms.

Emily
alovelyinconsequence.blogspot

Coulda shoulda woulda said...

I never buy starbucks or coffee from a highstreet branch - I put that money and divert it automatically to another account.
Believe me that adds up to about 100 pounds a month so that makes an easy 1200 each year which is a sizable amount towards something special...

And then everytime I don't buy a simple non essential I top up that account with the money I would have spent. Really works...

Monica said...

An "I Want It!" list is indeed a great way to acknowledge your wants and let off steam without making a purchase. Whenever I want something, I save it as a memo on my phone. In a year, I've made over 100 memos... oh dear! However, I've purchased very few of these items - after careful thought - and no longer want the majority of them. I'm sure that listing wants in this way has saved me a decent sum of money.