When it comes to your budget there are usually things that you can do to reduce it whether you realize it or not. There are things that everyone needs and then there are things that everyone wants. Sometimes there is trouble distinguishing between the two. Some of the things we see as need are things that others have learned to live without. There are still areas of the world without power after all. We’re not going that far when it comes to identifying between wants and needs in the budget.
The roof over your head, food, and clothing are all among the needs. Even in these needs are things that you don’t actually need. Are steak, frozen food and wine really all needed on the grocery list? What about designer clothing? Unless you work for a fortune five hundred company or are married to a millionaire you don’t need designer labels. Are you spending a fortune for fake nails and hair coloring? These are wants, not needs.
The roof over your head is a necessity but you might be paying too much for it. Are you in a position to move to a home with a lower rent or can you refinance your mortgage for a lower rate? Transportation is part of your budget but how much are you spending on it. Is a car a need or a want? Do you live in an area where you can do without a car? Is it time to replace your car if you live in an area that you can’t get by without one in?
While you may want a new car the actual car payment and insurance rates on a new car may not be something that you need in your budget. Can you manage to save enough to pay cash for a car? Repairs on your vehicle will be needed at some point so you have to figure them into the budget.
What else could you have in your budget that you want instead of actually needing? Are you including going out to eat a couple times a week in the budget? While you might enjoy going out to eat it’s not a necessity and easily be cut out of the budget once you realize that it’s actually a need. There are things such as cable television and Internet that are strictly wants (unless you work from home) that can be done without.
When you make the attempt to identify which things in your budget are needs and which things are wants there is one simple question that you have to ask yourself. The question is whether or not you can survive without them. When the answer is yes than it a want that you can eliminate from your budget should the need to do so arise.