How to separate wants from needs.

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Putting your wants on a wait list so you can end up with something much better. Time.

By Brad Beckstrom

Have you ever purchased something then regretted it later? I think we all have at some point. I look at all the stuff I’ve been getting rid of over the last few years and there’s some regret there. The regret may be less about what I spent on an item and more about the fact that I purchased something and didn’t use it much. Maybe there is some regret over the time I spent researching, purchasing, storing, and now getting rid of the stuff I didn’t use. Regret that the time involved in all that could’ve been spent much better elsewhere.  If you have a family, you can often multiply this frustration times each family member. You could be spending time having fun together, versus managing stuff in closets, plastic storage bins, basements, and garages.

The Wait List

So, if you want to avoid wasting this time in the future, maybe there’s a new way to go about this.  This stuff problem, this impulse purchase problem. Have you ever walked into a restaurant and been told there’s over an hour wait.  Many of us, instead, use that time to find somewhere else to eat and we often stumble upon something better. That wait list made us think about how we wanted to spend the next hour.

I hear about kids getting wait listed for universities. The university is saying we’re interested in you, but not as much as we’re interested in some of these folks we’ve extended offers to. Those are the people we really want. If those don’t work out, we will get back to you. You’ve been wait listed.

While working, if there’s a lot on your plate, you keep a few to do lists going, prioritize some things each morning and let the less important items fall to the bottom, often fall off the list completely.

In these examples lies the secret to creating a wait list. Your own wait list. So instead of a to do list, or wish list, create a wait list. Wherever you keep your lists, whether that be an app on your phone, notebook or your computer, create a new one and call it wait list.

Whenever you feel like making an impulse purchase, no problem, put that item on the wait list. You just used your impulse to take action. Every couple of weeks take a look at that list see if that item is still something you really need.

If even one of those items looks less appealing after a week or two and you don’t purchase it, then the wait list is doing its job. If something really needs to be replaced then it will eventually rise to the top of the list.

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I can hear the FOMO (fear of missing out) folks chiming in. But what if it’s on sale?  What if Costco never has another sale on blenders? This is such a great price we should take advantage of it, right? Nope, wait list it.  With the ability to purchase most items online, or at your local dying mall, things will always be on sale.  If something needs to be replaced, pull it off the wait list and put it into a price watch list like Price Zombie will track your item at over 100 online retailers and let you know if it’s a good time to buy. Who knows, by the time you get around to making that online list you may figure out you don’t really need it at all.

Tell yourself “I don’t buy on impulse, I already know something better will come along.

The Frug

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