Know the Difference Between a Need or a Want

We all probably have different meanings of what a “Need” or a “Want” is to each of us. We have tried to get our boys in the habit of looking at things as a Need or Want when they want to buy something.

Of course, it would be nice to buy only Needs until we are Financially Free but that is not the real world. I am not saying it isn’t possible but I don’t know of anyone that hasn’t bought a want sometime in their lifetime.

In life every thing we strive to be in balance even though it is hard to achieve. When we get out of balance in one area then another area suffers. Same goes with buying too many Wants versus Needs. If we spend too much on Wants then maybe our Budget is out of whack, we could get in debt or take longer to reach our Financial Freedom goals.

Basic needs we need is a roof over our head at night when we go to bed, Food for our body to have energy for the day, Water to drink for our body and Air to breathe. We also need Money to purchase those items.

To find money for the basic needs we have we need a source of income either from Savings, Investments, Job or other outside sources. If we have a job, we would have some more needs and if we have kids, we have even more needs.

Some Needs we possibly have are;

  • Clothes for Work.
  • Clothes for Home.
  • Insurance for Health and Asset Protection. Term Life, Health, Disability. and Auto if you have a car.
  • Investments – Savings Acct, Brokerage Acct, Retirement Acct, Emergency Savings and other investments that can appreciate in value.

Some Wants some people have are;

  • V Bucks for Fortnite Video Game to buy skins. Our Son buys these.
  • Going to the Movies.
  • Cigarettes.
  • Beer to other alcohol beverages.
  • Cars to Trucks. Because most of them depreciate.
  • Travel for fun. Vacations can get expensive.
  • Gym Memberships. You can work out at home or at a park for free.
  • Basically, anything you buy that normally doesn’t appreciate in value.
  • Internet.
  • Cell Phones.
  • Apple Watches.
  • Concert Tickets.
  • Sporting Tickets.
  • Golfing with friends.
  • Bowling leagues.
  • Cable TV.
  • Pop.
  • Eating out.
  • Christmas Decorations to any Holiday Decorations.
  • Gifts for others.
  • Lottery to Casinos.
  • Lawn Service to Housekeepers.
  • Going to the Movies.
  • Big Screen TVs to Sound Bar systems.
  • Gaming Systems or Gaming Subscriptions.
  • Two or more cars if you are married.
  • Boats.
  • Motorcycles to four-wheeler.
  • Camper.
  • Camera to video camera.
  • Kids Allowance to College. Both are optional. Parents need to take care of themselves first.
  • Pets. From Dogs, Cats to fish. They are wants and expensive.
  • Snow Skiing to other activities.
  • Traveling Sports for the kids instead of inhouse school sports league.

When you look around your place or look at the expenses you had last month how many show up on the above wants list? You may be saying that you want to enjoy life. People enjoy life without going broke. I have known people that re really happy and enjoying life that made $20,000 a year. I also worked with a guy who made over $400,000 a year and was unhappy because they were drowning in debt. They just couldn’t get their expenses in line.

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If money is tight though we can always buy needs at a discount. Here are some examples;

  • Clothes for work and home – we could buy clothes at Goodwill or a Garage Sale. We don’t need to go buy expensive clothes from a custom tailor.
  • Car – If you aren’t able to walk to work or ride a bike to work maybe use Public Transportation, Lift or Uber? If you need a Car why not buy a cheap used car that you can pay cash for.
  • Housing – If you don’t have money to buy a house maybe rent a room from someone to a small cheap apartment to start with?
  • Food – We need food to eat but we don’t need to eat out or eat name brand items that aren’t on sale. Think of cheap meals to make and compare store brand prices against name brand prices.
  • Water – Yes, we need water but not the expensive name brand waters. Why not water out of the tap like the old days or store brand gallon water to store brand 24 pack bottle water when it is on sale.
  • Exercise – Exercise is good for our health if approved by our Doctor of course. But we don’t need to have a Gym membership. I know people that are in really good shape and they do all their workouts either at home or at a park. Walking is free. There are many excercises you can do for strength that doesn’t need weights except your body weight. Just google them or go to the library for books on excercises like that.
  • House Phones – Some people still have them. Time to cut the cord. Especially if you have a cell phone. Our Cell Plan is cheaper than having a house phone line.
  • Cell Phones – If you need one for work get a cheap phone and a cheap plan if you are paying for it. We switched to Cricket Wireless ourselves and saved over $110 a month. We payed cash for our cheap phones and they work just fine.
  • Cable TV – Cut the cord if you don’t have the money. It is a want and not a need. We cut our cable cord two years ago and we are doing fine. We also enjoy not paying that cable bill every month.
  • Streaming Net Flix or other channels – Those are wants and not needs. If you don’t have the budget then you don’t have to have them.
  • Internet – Is a want. If you need Internet then go use free internet at the Library.

Basically any “Want” is something that you don’t need to live on. You can live without a “Want” and still survive. Even though some of may disagree with me and that is fine. I tell it as it is and here to help people who want to be Debt Free to reaching Financial Freedom someday.

This list could go on and on and I don’t want to bore you. We tell the boys if they make $80,000 out of College, they should live like they make $40,000 a year and bury the excess money into savings towards Financial Freedom.

Choices and Consequences, we all face every day. I am not saying for you to not have any fun. I am saying that it is important to stay on track of your financial goals you have and to stay with in your budget.

There is so much temptation and influences on social media saying we need to spend money on this or that to be having fun. They make it seem like you are not living your life to the fullest if you don’t buy those items, go out on the town or travel. That is all BS, you can have fun with in a budget.

There is a lot of low-cost fun things you can do from going for walks, hikes to playing cards at home. I could list hundreds of items you could do for under $20.

Positive Quotes


Here are two positive quotes I like; “There is no way to happiness; happiness is the Path.” By Buddha

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” By Peter Drucker

“Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life” by Wayne W. Dyer

Let me know your thoughts about this blog and let me know of others you would like me to do in the future. I feel we can all learn from each other. That is why I am in the helping people retire early, enjoy life more and be more successful. Also, please see my Disclaimer page.

Don’t give up on your dreams; don’t let others talk you out of your dreams. Make your dreams happen. Make it happen today.

Visit my Podcast at www.Live4.Club on Anchor.fm, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Breaker Audio, Google Podcasts, Radio Public, i-tunes, Apple Podcast and more. If you would like to be a guest on my Podcast drop me an email at bruce@millsway.com or text me at 480-389-6224

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Sources and Resources from Podcast (Available in Show Notes)

  1. Spend Smart Book by Bill Keenan
  2. The Millionaire Next Door Book by Thomas J Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D.
  3. The Do’s and Don’t of Money Book by Suze Orman

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