How to Identify needs vs wants when Reorganizing Costs

In an age where convenience and self-gratification seems to have become the status quo for many, the once definitive line distinguishing the difference between wants versus needs has become more blurred than ever. The need to decipher between the two, however, is important if financial responsibilities are to be met, and excessive debt is avoided.

In an era long gone, a car was once a want. People still got to work, did the grocery shopping, and gathered for communal time without one. It could be well argued that the automobile has now become a need.

People travel longer distances to work, and many of the local Ma and Pa stores that were, for so long, located just around the corner have now been replaced with big box retailers that are sometimes miles away. While this is true, the question arises, is there a need to own the latest model, luxury vehicle complete with all the bells and whistles, when a basic car is more than adequate enough for these purposes?

Next, let’s look at the television. While it’s not a necessity for the majority, for some, it’s the only way to stay in touch with the world around them, both near and far. The real questions is do you need a 50 inch plasma? How about the digital cable or the premium channel packages?

Deciphering the difference between a want and a need isn’t always black and white.

Obviously, clothing is a necessity. If you’re not clothed you just might find yourself spending some time in a drafty little 5 by 5 cell. But, what sort of clothing do you need?

It would be nice to walk down the street with an imported hand bag over your shoulder, a diamond laden bracelet adorning your wrist, and a pair of couture shoes strapped to your feet, but those are exaggerated needs.

Having a roof over your head is a need, but having one with droves of living space, complimenting it with the latest home fashions, and multiple electronics isn’t a need; nor is landscaping the yard as if it were being photographed for Better Homes and Gardens.

You don’t have to settle for a run-down two room shack, nor do you have to restrict yourself to the barest of furnishings. But, if you’re facing a financial struggle, rethink the extent of your needs. Often times we satisfy our needs in such a way, they quickly become exaggerated wants.

An adequate amount of exercise is important for your health also. But, you don’t have to invest in a pricey gym membership or purchase expensive work-out equipment. You can just as easily go for walks, do calisthenics or ride your bike.

If you’re self-employed or work from home, chances are you need a computer; but probably not the extra programs and games.

Practically speaking, take a look at what you think you need, and honestly ask yourself if you could live without it. If you can, then it’s a want, not a need.

As the price of oil, dairy products, wheat and corn continue to escalate; making ends meet becomes harder with each passing month. Take a critical account of your spending habits. Earmark your earnings for your needs, and save those wants for a rainy day.

You’ll be better able to meet your financial obligations during this economical crunch.