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How to Buy What You Want

Wish Farm Wants & Dollar Job Dreams

“Good things come to those who wait.” Ugh. Yeah. No one wants to hear it. So cliché. So annoying. And, unfortunately (because waiting is boring!), so true.

When it comes to spending, most of us know what we should do, but what we should do seems like no fun at all. We want stuff, and we want it now. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we’ll figure it all out later, or, with a dash of defeat and a dose of self-discipline, decide we just can’t have the stuff we want.

However, what if we changed our perspective and embraced the accomplishment of perseverance? What if we acknowledged that anticipation and excitement have some overlap? I know—it still doesn’t make waiting fun. But regret isn’t fun either. Guilt is not a good time. The high of an impulse buy is usually followed by the gnawing shame of knowing better, especially if Buy Now Pay Later or credit card payments haunt you later.

At this point, you may be saying, “Okay, yes, but I still want to buy what I want.” I hear you, my friend, I want stuff too. So much stuff, actually. And planting a Wish Farm is the best way to get it.

What’s a Wish Farm?

A Wish Farm is a fun YNAB budgeting trick that enables you to get the stuff you want without the guilt or regret.

Essentially, you create a Wish Farm category group in your budget and add one small want, one medium want, and one large want to start saving towards. Check out Dave’s Wish Farm how-to or watch Hannah explain it in more detail.

Rule One of the YNAB Method is to Give Every Dollar a Job. The act of assigning every dollar you have to a specific purpose brings clarity to your spending and forces you to prioritize your expenses.

The best part? You know when you have extra dollars and there’s no guilt in giving them a fun job, like working together to eventually make a wish of yours come true. Those Wish Farm dollars are like your Fairy Godmother, Spenderella. You work hard for your money and you can spend it however you’d like!

A screenshot of a Wish Farm budget category set up that enables you to buy what you want without the guilt
Everyone’s Wish Farm looks a little different. Here’s Dave’s!

What’s on YNABers’ Wish Farms?

What are your wishes? In the interest of providing inspiration (and because we’re nosy), we asked our social media community what they’ve planted on their Wish Farms. Take a look and do some brainstorming and seed planting of your own.

  • Stick shift driving lessons
  • Hot tub
  • A greenhouse
  • Blackstone
  • Fuzzy winter boots
  • Broadway Musical
  • A new bed
  • PS5 games
  • Honeymoon
  • A guitar
  • Tattoo
  • Travel backpack
  • Dyson Airwrap
  • Wind-tunnel skydiving classes
  • Bigger diamond for my wife
  • Cows
  • New camera
  • A fence
  • A toaster oven
  • New bike
  • Fun haircut and color
  • Trip to Disneyland
  • 8 inch Miyabi Chef Knife
  • Rowing Machine
  • Living room rug
  • An infrared sauna
  • Bike rack
  • Upgraded coffee table
  • Olive wood salad bowl
  • Pool
  • A Vitamix
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Fire pit
  • Lash lift
  • Video games
  • King size bed
  • Retro-looking bike with a basket
  • An iPad
  • Under the desk treadmill
  • Solar panels
  • Zip line for the backyard
  • Flower wallpaper
  • Quartz countertop
  • Commission a painting from my favorite artists
  • Apple watch
  • Leather jacket
  • Stand mixer

It’s always fun to see what people want and it’s even more fun to celebrate their eventual spending successes.

Ready to give your dollars jobs and plant a Wish Farm of your own? Good news—there’s no waiting necessary. Try YNAB for free for 34 days (no credit card or commitment required) and say goodbye to spending guilt for good.

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