Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wish Listing

I am trying to get everything ready to go since we will only be in Atlanta for another couple of weeks. Even though I didn't bring much, it seems like my stuff has multiplied--where it all came from I have no idea! So I am sending a bag of stuff back to Seattle with my sister-in-law who will be working there next week and I am also sending a box of clothes to a niece. Now I have to replenish my stuff and make it "Vegas appropriate" (most of the stuff I brought here was for lounging not for going out dancing!).

Of course my dilemma is the rather small amount of money I have for doing this. If I had a lot of money, it would be really easy to just hit the mall and start shopping but I have a super tight budget. Since I only use cash, there is no charging things and paying for it later. Since I want to save as much cash as possible, I need to stretch my meager funds as much as possible. In order to do this, I do what I call "wish listing".

I am a "listy" person anyway. If I don't write things down I will immediately forget it so it is just a habit to write down stuff I want, stuff I need to do, stuff I need to get at the grocery store, etc. With wish listing, I write down everything I want and need in my notebook. I add as much detail as possible to each item so I can have a clear picture in my mind of what I want. Then I prioritize my list by how much/how soon I need the item.

This is what my wish list looked like yesterday:

  • Tennis shoes. Asics. (I like this brand but they are usually on the expensive side--$60-$100 a pair).

  • A cute tote bag for carrying my netbook, small purse, and jacket. Coach. (I have a vision of a big Coach carry-all type of bag. I also have a vision of it being very expensive).

I have other things on the list like a book for my brother in law and a new battery for my netbook but these things can wait a week or so, and I have had some things on my wish list for ages but when it comes to prioritizing the items, they always end up at the bottom (for example, I would like a new North Face rain coat but I already have two perfectly good NF jackets so this isn't a priority). I also need some cute clothes but I figure I will pick these up as I see them come on sale. Plus, I want to check the Goodwill and Value Village for pants and shirts because while I like new, name brand shoes and bags, I don't mind buying used clothes (I even think they feel more comfortable than new clothes!).

So I headed to Ross and TJ Maxx yesterday hoping to find the purse and tennis shoes that I wanted but had no luck. Then I went to the mall not expecting to find much because it is usually way more expensive at the mall than Ross and TJ Maxx. At the last store that I checked at the mall, I found the perfect pair of pink Asics tennis shoes. They were on sale for $39.95 but when I went to the register they rang up for $34 so that was an extra little bonus.

I still didn't know what to do about the Coach bag. Did I really really want a new bag? Yes, of course. Did I think there was absolutely no way I could find the bag for under $200? Unfortunately, yes. So, even while I may have a specific bag on my wish list, sometimes reality takes over and then I have to consider a compromise. If I was to get the bag, that would leave me with much less money for the other things I need to get.

Fortunately, I came across a cute bag at H&M just as the hubby came to meet me at the mall (note: it saves me quite a bit of money shopping with the hubby trailing along behind me saying "you don't need that! Annoying, but money saving). He pointed out a lot of reasons why I should get this bag instead of spending a lot of money on the Coach bag that I wanted, namely, it only cost $25, I go through bags--name brand or not--with amazing speed (and then I either give them away or Ebay them), that if he wins in Vegas he will give me the cash to buy a new bag, that this way I would still have money left over for clothes instead of taking my old clothes with me to Vegas, and that this bag was the perfect size for what I needed it for and stylish too (the hubby knows more about designer purses and stylish clothes than I do!). So I bought the bag (above) and am happy with it.

The moral of the story is that my wish list worked just as it always does. I found the things I wanted, on sale no less, and with a little compromise, I am really happy with how this shopping trip turned out!


  1. My BFF is a COACH lover too... and my mom. I prefer one of a kind Etsy bags and will use 'em forever & ever! lol! I think it's great that you got the cheaper bag to save $$! Here's hoping hubby wins cash in Vegas so you can get your bag!! :)

  2. Well done! I'm glad you didn't get the Coach bag. I really love what you chose instead!
    I've gotten to the point that shopping in malls is no longer fun because I've convinced myself (and rightfully so) that I don't need anything. I'm totally into buying "certain" things at flea markets and estate sales that I can sell on Ebay. My new thoughts are now, "How much do I think I can SELL this for?" My shopping = income now. As my hubby and I like to say, "It's more gooder." :)

  3. The bag is adorable. LIke clamco, I'm at the point now where even if I love it and may use it, I want to know its reseale value. This is the first time Im at your blog-Im about to post about summer garage sale wants and needs list on my blog, I hope you don't mind if I refer back to this one.

  4. It's good to have a wish list. I've had Asics tennis shoes before and liked them too. I've never had a Coach bag though. You can keep that on your "someday" wish list, but in the meantime, you got some good deals.

  5. Thank you all for the support! It's nice to know that other people are supportive of you because by yourself you can talk youself into all kinds of financial trouble!
    Carla--I love Etsy too--so much unique, cute stuff!
    Lorraine--The mall is my nemesis, while I like mall walking, there is so much temptation to buy buy buy!
    Barb--I'm on the same wavelength as far as resale value goes. Ever since we sold nearly all we owned for pennies on the dollar, I put a "CraigsList" price on nearly everything I want to buy (about 10% of the retail price!).
    Jan--Yep a Coach bag is a nice to have but it really is an expensive extravagance (I just looked online today and can get a round trip airline ticket for our trip to New York this fall for less than the cost of a purse! yikes!)