Needs vs. Wants

Needs vs. Wants

Jim and I have been through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, and even helped facilitate one.  I “follow” Dave on social media and often re-post his stuff.  I shared this the other day…

I often ask people if what they are thinking of buying is a “want or a need.”

If you are doing well, financially, and have extra disposable income, and your purchase is within your means – if you want it, buy it.

HOWEVER, if you are struggling to make ends meet, have more month than you have money, and what you are thinking of purchasing is not a necessity… walk away – no… RUN away from it.

I know too many people that can barely pay their bills and put food on the table, and yet whatever they are thinking of spending money on is not a need!

First and foremost –

  • ·         Food
  • ·         Clothing
  • ·         Shelter

These are NEEDS. Understand… they don’t need to be top of the line brand name items!  When you don’t have extra money, Walmart has great food prices, you can buy decent clothes at a thrift shop, you don’t need to live in a mansion.  Basic needs are a must – once you have some extra funds, then you can upgrade.

Next, I suppose a cell phone would be a need, in our society these days.  A basic cell phone that makes and receives calls – NOT a smart phone!

In today’s day and age, we travel to get to work.  Transportation could be a bus pass, a bike, or a car.  A car that get’s you from one place to another – not the top of the line coolest care out there.  Again, basic needs – upgrades come when you can comfortably afford it.

 If you are struggling with money – BE WISE!  Ask yourself if what you are thinking of buying is a want or a need.  Be honest with yourself.  If it is not a need – don’t buy it!

 As Dave says, “Live like no one else, so you can live like no one else.”  Translation: be frugal now so you can have extra money to blow later – grin.


*Pam Horton is a life coach in the Raleigh/Durham area.  Contact her if you need help managing your personal finances.*




4 Responses

  1. Dawn says:

    Great advice! In the past 3 years when my husband’s employment was transitional as he was finishing a college degree & moving into a different career, we learned a LOT about need -vs- want. While those years where tough.. I am GRATEFUL for the lessons we learned.
    Now that things aren’t so tight, it is nice to see that we are continuing to live out those lessons(for the most part 😉 — still not using “cheetahs’ )

    The toughest lessons are often the ones that STICK!! 😀

  2. Crumrine says:

    Thank you! I always wanted to write on my web site something like that. Can I contain a portion of your post to my site?

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