One of my guilty pleasures is “online window shopping.” No, not looking to buy windows, but rather, browsing websites just to look at things that I know I can’t afford and don’t need – at least not right now. Sometimes I look at furniture, other times it’s fun jewelry, sometimes it’s art, and sometimes it’s just anything at all.
This week, I discovered the website Kaboodle, a site where you can make your own wishlists from any shopping site around the web. You can visit others’ wishlists as well, if you want, but I admit that’s a feature that I haven’t checked out yet. One thing that I like about the site is that you can set up multiple lists, and you can make them public or private. So I can make a list of things that I would like for Christmas (a requirement in my family). But I can also make a private list of books I’d like to check out at the library or on one of the bookswap sites, which has been fairly useful when I’m spending a few minutes browsing through Amazon.
It’s also a good tool if you’re thinking about buying something slightly more expensive. Make it sit there for a while. I’m always surprised at how quickly something that I thought I had to have becomes something that might be nice to have but that I don’t really need at all.
My favorite list though, is called “If I Had a Million Dollars,” one of the default Kaboodle lists. Of course, my list isn’t really what I’d buy if I had that much money, but it’s just pricier items that I like but can’t afford or don’t need – a pretty barrister’s bookcase and an Amazon Kindle, among other things. Sometimes it’s fun to just look at those things that are out of reach right now, and think about how my frugal living and money saving tactics might mean that sometime in the future, I will be able to afford those things.
What would you put on your “If I Had a Million Dollars” list?
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.