Needs vs Wants

Can you distinguish the difference between needs vs wants?

A lot of people cannot, and find themselves overspending and living paycheck to paycheck.

When it comes to needs vs wants a lot of people just do not give spending another thought. It is too easy to spend. Just pull out the plastic. There is a disconnect.

It has been surmised that we spend the first half of our lives accumulating possessions, and the second half trying to get rid of them.

This is probably true for most people. I mean, look at the clutter in most people’s houses.

How Far Do We Go?

Do  you long for a higher paying job?

Or wish for a raise.

You think that more money will solve all your problems.

It isn’t about making more money.

It is about making better decisions with the money you do make.

I am blown away when I am told how much money some people make, only to find out they are living paycheck to paycheck.

Maybe we can blame our families. Or society pressures to live a certain way. And let’s not forget the advertising industry.

We were brought up expecting certain things, whether we really needed them or not. The neighbors have it so we have to go get one too.

What message is this sending to our children?

Are they destined to repeat the debt cycle?

In a lot of cases the answer is yes.

For some of us buying things and spending money is filling a void.

We think that this shiny new item is going to make us a better person.

We will be liked more.

We will be happier.

A day or two later and the sensation is gone. And off we go again in search of the item du-jour.

Definition Of A Need

needsvswants The definition of a need is something you must have.

Food for example, or adequate shelter.

The definition of want is something you would like to have.

Hopefully as we get older we can make the distinction between needs vs wants.

Unfortunately for some it is too late.

They have tons of stuff that serves no purpose really and they have put themselves in an amazing amount of debt doing so.

Now I am not suggesting that we all have to adopt a Ghandi-like existence.

It is okay to purchase things for enjoyment or pleasure. Just try to not go overboard with your spending.

So are we powerless to stop ourselves? Of course not. Here are some tips to help you assess if you need to rush out and spend.

  • Mute the television during commercials. They are too loud and they encourage spending, so turn off the volume.
  • For every dollar you spend on a want, put an equal amount in a savings account.
  • Can you do without this precious item? (Whatever it is) Does a friend have one that they don’t need anymore?
  • Ask yourself why it is that you “want” this item. Write the answer down. Wait a few days. The urge will probably pass.
  • If it is a rather expensive item, save for it. Delayed gratification. And you will appreciate it more if and when you do purchase it.

As part of living a minimalist lifestyle I am not spending money on any new item. I really don’t need a thing. And in making that decision I felt free. My life was no longer being controlled by the advertising companies.

The best things in life are free. Love your life.

“Live Simply”


5 thoughts on “You Don’t Need Anything

  1. Delayed gratification in huge. I think it’s key in not spending. So much of our shopping is impulse and not carefully thought out. The more you practice this principle, the less you find you want. You can actually get to the point where money in the bank, just sitting for that rainy day feels better than spending freely. That’s real freedom!

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