Friday, June 18, 2010

Wants vs. Needs

I found this post I wrote a while a go, but forgot to put up. It came about due to a program I saw months ago on the TV, how ironic it inspired me so much and now I don't watch it! lol.

I was watching Oprah the other day (month)at my friend’s house and Suze Orman was on. It was a repeat episode from the start of last year but still good to watch. Most of it did not apply to me and I let it go in one ear and out the other. Things such as FICO scores (not relevant to Aus), credit card debt (I don’t have one), their loan system for kid’s college etc... One thing that did get me thinking was to think about what you want and whether it is a need or just a want.

All wants should go until you have paid off your debt. Some people had over $100,000 in credit card debt. One lady had 23 credit cards!!! I have one that is used rarely and paid in full every time we use it.

So many people can’t save or are massively in debt, yet Foxtel/cable is still on, they buy lunches at work, they have the latest mobile phones, computers, furniture, car etc... They use credit to pay for everything and often people will get another credit card to pay for the other card or get a personal loan to cover it, and then end up racking up the credit card again.

This is just plain crazy. If you sat down and looked at everything you spend money on you will quickly realise that those things you think are “needs” are in fact “wants”. You don’t need Foxtel, you don’t need a brand new car (and the loan to get it). You can live simply and save your money instead of keeping up with the Jones.

Looking around I know what we could cut back on. We often go look in the op shops and 9 times out of 10 buy something we do not need. We could plan our trips to Sydney better and not buy take-away. We (I) could stop buying books. I could be more organised and make more of the presents we give. I know we could cut back on our grocery bill further.

You see if you really broke it down and really wanted to get ahead, look at everything in your shopping cart. Junk food is not a need. Ice-cream is not a need. We have cut back on processed food and treats and instead of buying them every week because “We deserve them” we get them occasionally and use them as treats, not something that goes in the weekly shop. We don’t feel deprived either. These treat foods are more special and seem to taste better now that we do not have them week in week out.

Do you really need a second car? Some people do as there is no public transport or car pooling is not an option and the only way for them to get to work is to drive. Also some people’s hours do not work for public transport (My husband is one of them. Buses aren’t running when he needs to leave.) Having said that though, could you ride a bike? If you are a SAHM could you walk the kids to school, plan errands so you could do them on a day the car is at home or do groceries in the evening after your husband finishes work? There are many options if you change your lifestyle a bit.

New clothes are a want. You can buy clothes second hand, but make sure you actually need it, not just want it. Kids normally get given so many toys that buying them more “because they’ll LOVE this one” is a definite WANT not need!

Sit down and re-evaluate your life and spending habits and I am sure you will be able to come up with areas you could save by eliminating the wants and only getting the needs.


  1. This is so cool, and you're absolutely right of course! I'm glad I found your site today.

  2. Thanks Maxabella. I like your blog too.


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