Have been lingering on your post since you posted but I don’t know how to answer your question…
I do plan ahead, because I save up, but
I don’t plan ahead because I don’t simply think of a ‘thing’ that is bigger than what I can afford right now.
I guess many people have a holiday pot, so it starts from zero and work till a goal and run it down.
I think, in the way of, keep saving with no specific intention. And then whenever I want a holiday (at most £1k) I can simply run it down on the saving. The savings is big enough to cover most of ‘wish’.
This describes me better. Since I know on average how much is my income, and average how much is outgoings. I know (on average) how much I can save a month. Say if one month I did spend an extra £50-£100, next month I will cut it down, so the average monthly savings can be met.
With this, I know how much my balance is today, and I project into the future. I will use 12 months’ goal to say that is the minimum I need to reach.
Example: today I have 1k, every month I save 100, so exactly in 1 year, I need to see 2.2k in my savings. If coming close to the one year time I am short, I will tighten up a lot. If I run over, say I can now easily reach 2.4k, I will readjust my goal for the same date. So only move the goalpost further instead of closer.
So I have this goalpost, roughly for 1 year date and 2 year date. Any longer time frame becomes very unrealistic.