Wants and Needs…What’s the Difference?
Growing up, my parents tried to teach me some basic money management tools. I remember hearing the question “Is that a want or a need?” over and over. Eventually, I grew up and had to make that decision on my own. I think their lesson sunk in!
I Want it Now!
Have you ever seen the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? It’s a favorite childhood memory of mine. Throughout the movie you see children exhibiting various awful behaviors, mostly related to greed. One of the children is especially impatient and wants everything right away. This attitude is common regarding wants. The first tip that you might be wanting something rather than needing it is the feeling of excitement that acquiring something brings. In my case, I have a fondness for shoes, but not buying a new pair won’t leave me barefoot. Shoes are a want for me, not a need.
Another way of looking at wants is to really consider why you are thinking about spending money. Is it vital that you have all the cable options or the newest version of a phone? Or will you be just fine with basic cable and a phone that is reliable but maybe just a few years old?
But I Need This!
Of course, there are things we need. At the most basic level, we need food and shelter and a way to pay for them. Living near where you work can be a need in many cases. I happen to be lucky enough to work at home, so I have a need for reliable internet and a comfy office chair. I also need to be able to clothe myself but having the most current fashion isn’t vital for existence. In fact, many very well-off people adopt a uniform of sorts to save money as well as making every day dressing easier. Think about Steve Jobs, he rarely deviated from black turtlenecks and jeans. He realized his look was part of his brand, but also a money-saver.
Other actual needs are less tangible, such as a need for friendship. My friends are a huge part of my life and for the most part, don’t cost me money. My friendship expenditure is measured in time.
Needs Before Wants
I’m not trying to tell you that you should never indulge yourself with a want. I’m just trying to get you to think (thanks, mom and dad) before you spend. Build that fun money into your budget and go ahead and buy that Pinterest outfit or subscribe to a premium channel! Just do it after your basic needs are covered.
Do You Need a Little Help?
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