Is This a Need or a Want?

Is This a Need or a Want?


Understanding needs vs. wants could save you massive amounts per month depending on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go.  Let’s define what needs and wants are.


Webster defines a need as:
  •  a situation in which someone or something must do or have something

  • something that a person must have : something that is needed in order to live or succeed or be happy

  • a strong feeling that you must have or do something


Webster defines a want as:
  •  to desire or wish for (something)

  • to need (something)

  • to be without (something needed)


What did you notice between the two definitions?  The word need is used to define want.   Also, if you look up the word "need" want is one of its synonyms.  The opposite is true with the word "want".  Need does not show up as a synonym for want.  That means you can not have a want without a need.  I know I am getting philosophical here but stay with me.  The definition for need did not use the word want but it did repeatedly use "must" or "must have".  This means that needs must be taken care of because of necessity.  The question to ask now is what are our "must haves" to live?  Humans need air, water, and food to continue living.  We also must have healthy relationships to maintain happiness but the reality is we could live for a while without being happy.  Of course being unhappy is not recommended.  So what does this all mean?  You guessed it.  Everything else is just a want.

Trust me, I know that this is being oversimplified but it is for a good purpose.  The purpose is it to get you to think about what is essential in life and what is extra that is weighing you down.  For every additional want that you add to your life, it needs additional things to keep it in your life.  This can become very heavy baggage if we continue to accumulate without weighing the costs.  In our society, we need many expensive things to function in it.  This causes us to work very hard to maintain it.  On top of all the hard work, the reality is that we are constantly under attack by marketers to buy more "wants".  The best way that I have found to help me win this battle is to ask myself “is this a need or a want” before every purchase.  Many times I have placed the item in my cart to then turn around and put it right back on the shelf.  Or I have thought about buying something big to then talk myself out of it by just asking a simple question.

To sum it all up.  Do not make it harder than it already is to function within our society.  Before you buy, take a breath and ask yourself "is this a need or a want" and save yourself tons of money along with less stress in your life.