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Wants Versus Needs


By Nikki Willhite

It is said that we spend the first half of our life accumulating possessions, and the second half giving them away. This is true for most people.

Why do we have to have so many things? Why do we buy things only to turn around and sell them for a fraction of the cost we paid for them at a garage sale?

We not only buy too much, but we often go into debt doing so. Self control when it comes to money is at an all time low. Our children seem to think that they should have everything that we have, ignoring the fact that some of our possessions have taken years to accumulate or to be able to afford.

Have you ever found yourself jealous of something someone else owns? How about a house, a car, clothes, jewelry, tools, appliances, furniture, a big screen television, computer, etc. etc. etc.

Do you have some preconceived notions that you just have to have a certain item (whether you need it or not) just because your family had it? When we were first married my husband use to stop and look at every Grandfather clock he saw. He said hed always wanted one.

Yes, they are lovely. However, a simple wrist watch accomplishes the same task of telling you the time. If we had a LOT of money, then we would have perhaps purchased one. With our finances, it would be an unaffordable luxury.

All families are different. Some have one television, some have half a dozen. Same have many computers and cars. We all spend our money in different ways. Some people have to have the latest- whatever it is. Their clothes must be new, they consider their furniture old in 5 years, they replace their cars often.

If you want to live like this, you will have a lot of help! Every newspaper ad, magazine, billboard and television commercial will urge you to act on these impulses. If, however, you wish to live frugally, you will be walking alone.

When you pay cash for an item at the mall, you will be asked if you have a credit card and urged to apply for one with the promise of a discount on your purchase. Mail will be in your mailbox often urging you to take out credit cards and home equity loans. You will not find any role models on television either. You are on your own.

Only you can decide what is important for you to own. When you get older you realize that when you have so much, it is just more to worry about; things break and things are stolen. It is more work having to keep things clean. You learn when you are older to choose your things more carefully.

Decide what you need to make you comfortable. Learn to distinguish between your "wants" and your "needs". Dont be so strict that you take all the fun out of life. Everyone should have a few things that they just love, even if they are not practical. Just try and develop simple tastes!

Learn to live with less. Learn to shun envy. Appreciate what you have.
If you have less, you will appreciate what you have more.

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Category:  Money

Related Links | BudgetingCreditDebt |
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| Investing | Retirement |

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