Wants verses Needs

by - January 25, 2020

Which would you rather have? 


$25 Restaurant Meal 
or
 $25 Worth of Groceries 

We need food to survive, but it doesn't have to be a restaurant meal, so a restaurant meal can easily turn into a want. If I had my choice I might pick the restaurant meal, but if I'm looking to save money that I would choose the $25 worth of groceries. 

If you look at the food spending of an average American family you'll see that eating outside the home is one of the most common items to break the budget. 

Many Americans knowingly spend more than they can afford on dining out. Of course we say it all the time here, but one of the best ways to save money in this category is to eat at home. 

Wants verses needs. How do we decide? In the end it comes down to personal choices and lucky for us we have the freedom to choose what's right for us. 

If we are looking to save money how do we decide which is better for our budget? Let's take a look at some examples of basic needs turning into wants.

Water- To stay hydrated, all you need is water. However, this need can turn into a want with things like bottled water or fancier seltzer waters. Fiji water is a natural artesian water that has minerals that are good for you, but of course that makes it more expensive too.

The water that comes out of our faucets is cleaner than much of the water in third world countries. They have it so much harder than we do and so I'm grateful for the clean water we have.

Food - Food can come in many forms, and the healthier the better. But, going out to eat all the time turns this need into a want and can cause you to spend more than necessary.

Several of the frugal/personal finance people write about not eating out. Amy Dacyczyn of the Tightwad Gazette, Jaspreet Singh from Minority Mindset along with several others state that they do not eat out at all.

Food is a necessity and while a restaurant meal might be something we would like to have, we don't need it to survive. If you're careful, $25 worth of groceries can stretch much farther than a $25 restaurant meal.

Shelter - The place you decide to live doesn’t have to break your budget. You can rent a room from someone, live in an apartment, a tiny home, a mobile home, etc. But this need can become a want if you overspend or buy something above your means.

Clothing - Clothing needs include such things as pants, shirts, shoes and undergarments. You can get affordable clothing by shopping for items you know will fit within your budget.

This spending category can easily turn into a want, however. Expensive clothing and shoes can easily end up costing you thousands of dollars, and those things are not needed in order to survive.

Learning to differentiate between wants and needs will help you stay out of debt, which can help you reach financial freedom sooner. 

Belinda 
~ Living within our Means ~

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