Need vs Want

Want vs Need Apple

I walk into the grocery store and I really want Red Vines. I know I don’t need it, but I want it. My mouth waters at the thought of biting into the corn syrup delight. I pause by the Red Vines. Surely, I need this to calm my nerves. I debate whether or not to grab a bag. My conscience pricks me: I don’t need it. I can do without the calories, so I walk away. I feel disappointed, but I just saved myself a few dollars. If I save enough, I can get something I want even more.

So many items are so enticing that is difficult to determine a need versus a want. Let’s just blame those irksome advertisers. Okay, so it’s our own choice what we decide to indulge in. Really, we need to determine what are needs are.

What are our basic needs? We need water, food, shelter and clothing—and only in moderation. (I don’t advocate going back to cave man standards—though that might be an interesting experiment.)

We spend millions of dollars on food a year. However, so much of that is junk food. Food is only fuel to keep our bodies going. We only need our vegetables, fruits, dairy, grains, and protein to stay healthy. Still, we can enjoy some treats in moderation. Choosing to buy mostly inexpensive healthy food has saved my family about $100 a month.

Water is important since we’d dry up without it. Water is free or fairly cheap coming out of the tap in developed countries. Bottled water can become expensive quickly, so reusable water bottles can save money.

We need shelter and a tent isn’t exactly a great option. Tents aren’t very waterproof and don’t have temperature controls. I prefer the indoors for regular living. We can choose a place to live that is a little smaller than we may want, but it fits our families of one or a dozen.

We don’t need brand name clothing. Thrift stores and bargain shops provide clothing that covers our nakedness as much as brand name clothing. You can still choose clothes that are classic styles. Many fashions are just fads that quickly fade. If you do want brand names, there are still ways to save money on buying them—fashion resale shops, outlet stores, coupons, and sales.

There are needs beyond food and shelter. I classify these as semi-needs. I don’t need a chair and a table, but it is rather convenient so I’m not eating on the floor. I sleep better in a bed than on the floor. Also, technology has helped us to improve our health, to keep in touch, and to educate our minds.

When we save money, we improve our quality of life. We have fewer debts to worry about. We can save for more worthwhile wants like a relaxing vacation. We also have less clutter to bog down our lives. Overall, we fulfill our needs first and fill our wants when we can afford them.

Eileen Davis (Guest Blogger)

Eileen Davis (Guest Blogger)

I'm a crazy redhead. I have three hyperactive boys and a wonderful husband. I earned my BA in English Language from BYU. I grew up in Southeastern Utah in the middle of nowhere. I now reside by a big lake in Utah.
Eileen Davis (Guest Blogger)

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One Response to Need vs Want

  1. Justin says:

    That bottled water tip is so, so true. I spent a lot of time in an area with not-so-nice tap water so we opted to buy bottled water to drink, but it’s really incredible how fast it adds up! A reusable bottle, even the larger reusable containers with taps you can get if you’re in a situation like mine, are such a good idea.

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