Understanding the difference between “needs and wants” isn’t always as clear cut as you might think.  It is, however, a crucial part of making progress in your financial life.  In Karen McCall’s book, Financial Recovery – developing a healthy relationship with money, she states:

“I’ve come to feel that a need is best defined by the person who feels it.  But learning to ask ourselves and actually discern what our needs are is anything but black-and-white.  It’s subtle, nuanced, and highly individualistic.  Sorting wants from needs and beginning to make decisions about them is more of an ongoing conversation with yourself than a checklist.  It’s a deep inner dialogue through which you come to understand yourself, your deepest longing, and your impulses.  It involves reflection.”

If you are unsure of where to begin with your needs and wants, it may help to think of it like this:

  • A need, when filled, sustains
  • A want, when filled, entertains
  • Attempting to substitute wants for needs eventually drains

So take the time to get to know yourself a little better.  Think through what you really want versus what you really need.  Learning how to separate and prioritize the two will make a lasting impact on your finances. And if you get stuck, just remember the following statements and keep in mind that I am always available for support!

  • You can never get enough of what you don’t need
  • And if you’ve gotta have it NOW, then it’s probably a want

Good luck and happy sorting!