Wish Farm Prioritization Methods?
I kind of can't believe I get to start 2019 with no non-mortgage debt (well, kind of "start." My student loans will be paid off this weekend if signing papers goes well today for house-buying and house-selling).
Like any good YNABer I then made a wish list with the things I'd like to get/do for the new house, and a wish farm with a small, medium, and large item from the list. All of my wish list items (including those in the wish farm) currently have goal amounts with no end date.
My question is for anyone who has used a wish farm: how do you prioritize for it? Do you fund all of a small goal, then work on the medium, then a large? Put a certain amount toward each level?
I know there's no right answer here, but I'd love to hear how people prioritize wants. So much of my YNAB use has been making ends meet. Minmaxing and letting our money do fun things for us is new to me, and almost as overwhelming as it was to get used to YNAB in the beginning (way less stressful, but just as much of a mindset shift).
I have a WISH FARM category where I have one small, one medium and one large item which are currently being funded (well they should be but January is looking tight). I then have a HOME OF UNFUNDED DREAMS category where I list all the other things I want to fund at some point.
Deciding which items get promoted to the WISH FARM category requires me to really reflect which is either more important to me and/or more urgent. Deciding which wish farm item gets the funds if there's not enough is harder and I'm still finding my way around that. It's the same reflection process really so I may eventually stop funding all three and just move things up to the wish farm when I can fund them.
I used different strategies over the last year, but the one that I've stuck with the longest so far is decide on a reasonable monthly wish farm amount for my budget (€50 at this point - I am more focused on reducing debt and this amount seems to work well for me on balance) and allocate according to how soon I want the thing / how I want to prioritise the item. The L wish is a couple of years away. I got through a few S wishes, and two M wishes I think. I fund all 3 wishes in parallel, and replace completed ones with a new wish. I also redirect "extra" money to the wish farm, like stuff I manage to sell online (running out now though!) or adding another €20-€50 if I got a bonus in work or something, or leftover groceries money. At the moment I seem to put €30 toward the L wish and divide the remaining €20 between the S and M wishes depending on how soon I want to do something with it (I've had seasonal wishes with soft deadlines, like "this must be done before winter.")
Now you mention having just bought a house... I found YNAB about 2 months after getting the house (well, really, I found it because of the state of my finances after buying and furnishing it!) and I don't think I would have used the Wish Farm for all the immediate / nearly immediate needs like getting a couch and hoover, painting and getting flooring, etc... I think I would have tried to work out the costs and save in regular categories to prepare and try to prevent things from getting too wild. If it's truly about not immediately necessary things though (I have a "kitchen remodel" L wish I plan to start saving for when I'm done with the debt, in another 12 years or so probably 🙃), deciding on a reasonable amount for funding and evaluating the wish priorities every month may work, if you're concerned about avoiding splurges?
Let us know what you try and end up with too!! I'm always curious about wish farm strategies as well.