Wants vs Needs (Why You Should Focus On Your Needs)

Wants vs needs - focus on your needs

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!

Wants vs Needs - Just Focus On Your Needs

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). However, understanding the difference between needs and wants is essential for effective financial management. 

Needs are essential for our survival and maintaining a basic standard of living. These are the things we require to meet our fundamental physical, emotional, and psychological needs.

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

Wants however are items or experiences that are not necessary for our survival but can enhance our quality of life. These are things we desire but 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

Focus on wanting less

To differentiate between 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?

By critically evaluating your purchases and being honest about your true needs and wants, you can avoid impulsive spending and allocate your resources more effectively.

Will it bring me lasting satisfaction, or is it a fleeting desire? It's important to note that the line between needs and wants can sometimes be blurred, and everyone's circumstances and priorities may differ. What may be a want for one person could be a need for another. It's essential to evaluate your own situation, values, and financial goals when making spending decisions.

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. By consciously distinguishing between needs and wants and prioritising your spending accordingly, you can achieve greater financial stability and work towards a more secure future.

Wants vs Needs FAQ:

What is the difference between wants and needs? 

Wants are desires or preferences that are not essential for survival or well-being, while needs are necessities that are required for basic survival and well-being.

Can wants ever become needs? 

Yes, in some cases, wants can become needs if they are essential for survival or well-being. For example, access to clean water was once a want but is now considered a basic need.

How do wants and needs affect our decision-making? 

Wants and needs play a significant role in decision-making. When making choices, people often prioritize their needs over their wants to ensure their basic requirements are met before fulfilling their desires.

Can wants be more important than needs?

In certain situations, wants can be perceived as more important than needs. This can occur when individuals prioritize personal satisfaction or happiness over basic necessities.

How can we differentiate between wants and needs? 

Differentiating between wants and needs requires considering the essential nature of an item or service. Needs are typically things required for survival, such as food, water, shelter, and healthcare. Wants, on the other hand, are non-essential desires that enhance quality of life but are not necessary for basic survival.

How can understanding the difference between wants and needs help with financial management? 

Understanding the difference between wants and needs is crucial for effective financial management. It helps individuals prioritize their spending, distinguish between essential and non-essential expenses, and make informed decisions about budgeting and saving. By focusing on needs first, individuals can ensure their basic necessities are met before allocating resources towards wants.

Just remember, always prioritise ice cream, if you take nothing else from this blog, just take that.