Wants vs Needs : 4 Questions To Ask Yourself

Needs are essential for your living

Buying stuff we don't actually need and can't really afford is something we are all guilty of. I remember back in the day spending my rent money on a new computer, not the best decision I have ever made. And looking back, was probably the last major stupid decision I made. Apart from starting this blog with the amount of times it takes up!

It is all to easy to fall into the trap of overspending on your wants rather than focusing on fulfilling your genuine needs. (Like I did above). 

Needs are, literally needed for our survival and maintaining a basic standard of living for ourselves. These are the things we require to meet our fundamental physical, emotional, and psychological needs in everyday life

Your Needs

Examples of needs include:

  • Food: a sufficient and nutritious diet to sustain our health

  • Shelter: A safe and comfortable place to live

  • Clothing: Basic clothing suitable for weather conditions and modesty

  • Healthcare: access to necessary medical care and treatments

  • Education: Basic education and skills to thrive in society

  • Utilities: essential services like electricity, water, and heating

  • Transportation: reliable means of transportation for work or essential activities

On the other hand, wants are items or experiences that are not necessary for our survival but can enhance our quality of life. These are things we desire but actually can live without.

Your Wants

Examples of wants include:

  • Entertainment: Activities like going to the movies, concerts, or sporting events

  • Dining out: Eating at restaurants or ordering takeout

  • Travel: Vacations and exploring new destinations

  • Fashion: Designer clothing and accessories

  • Electronics: Upgrading to the latest gadgets and devices

  • Hobbies: Pursuing recreational activities and hobbies

Differentiating Between The Two

Now, to differentiate between your needs and wants, ask yourself the following questions:

Is it necessary for my survival or well-being?

Can I live without it?

Does it align with my long-term goals and priorities?

Will it bring me lasting satisfaction, or is it a fleeting desire?

When you start evaluating your purchases and being honest about your true needs and wants, you can and will avoid impulsive spending and be able to allocate your resources more effectively.

The line between needs and wants can sometimes be blurred of course, and everyone's circumstances and priorities differ. What may be a want for one person could be a need for another, but you need to just evaluate your own situation, values, and financial goals.

Remember, prioritising your spending is a continuous process. As your financial situation and goals evolve, your priorities may change as well. Be flexible and adaptable in your approach, and don't hesitate to make adjustments when necessary, and before long, your money mindset will hopefully have changed for the better.

And remember, always ask those questions I said above before making a decision.

Thanks for reading.

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