I need this and I want this are two drastically different mentalities. It can mean the difference between broke or living paycheck to paycheck and having investments, retirement funds, and savings. Things you need are the things you have to have to survive or get by. Things you want are the things that are nice to have for your enjoyment, for your convenience, to satisfy a craving, or a pleasure. It’s the need vs want battle.
Knowing what you need and what you want can determine how your hard earned money is being spent. What you need to live are things like food, housing, and clothing. What you want are things like the latest phone, a newer car, alcohol, more shoes than you need, and other things that make life enjoyable, convenient, satisfying, or pleasurable.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t buy anything that we want. What I’m focused on is to evaluate where your money is being spent…prioritizing your spending. There absolutely are things you want to spend on like date nights, paying for kids activities, internet, vacations, and so on. You need to identify what is a priority for you.
I made a lifestyle change, changed my priorities, and determined what I needed and what I wanted. Here are some of the changes I’ve made
- I decided that I will bring lunch to work majority of the time and not spend on buying lunch.
- I decided that I would cut cable tv and use an HD antenna.
- I decided that I will not buy a new car until my 13 year old car dies.
- I decided to cook more at home instead of eating out as much.
- I decided to get healthy so I don’t have to visit as many doctors and take any medications.
- I decided that generic is sometimes as good as name brand
- I decided to cut down on alcohol
- I decided to brew my own coffee instead of buying it
I realized that the things I was spending money on were just temporary meaning it gave me happiness but only for a short period of time. It was a hard lesson because I constantly try to justify why I need to buy something that’s cool or the latest and greatest. When I list the reasons why I should buy it and the reasons why I shouldn’t buy it, most times the reasons why I shouldn’t buy it is longer. Again, there are things that you want which are justifiable. Only you can say whether it was worth the money or not. Distinguish between the needs and wants. It will help you save financially. If you are interested in following my journey, email subscribe to get alerts of latest posts or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
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