Understanding Your Needs vs Your Wants

Understanding your financial needs and wants

Does your money lead you or do you lead your money?. Are you proactive and make intentional decisions about your spending, saving, and investing? If not, then this guide on your needs vs your wants may help. Or it may not, but give it a read anyway.

Wants vs Needs: Understanding Your Spending Behavior

Why do we spend money that we don't have on things that we don't need? It's like our survival instincts take over and convince us that buying that expensive designer jacket or the latest iPhone will somehow make us feel important and fulfilled. 

Let's break down the three common needs that drive our spending habits. First, we have our body needs, the basic necessities for survival like food, water, clothes and shelter. But sometimes, our self-worth needs jump in and demand that we only buy the most expensive, designer versions of these basic items. 

Next, we have our living needs, the things that make our lives a little easier and more enjoyable. Take communication, for example. Our mobile phones have become our lifelines, especially during times of isolation. But when our self-worth needs aren't met in the right way, suddenly, a cheap mobile phone isn't enough. No, no. We need the latest iPhone or a Samsung with a massive screen even though all we do is text and call people and use the odd app.

Lastly, we have our self-worth needs, or the desire to feel loved, valued, and significant.. When our self-worth isn't met in the right way, we start to believe that buying expensive items will fill that void. So, instead of just buying a jacket to keep us warm, we convince ourselves that we need a designer jacket instead. And instead of just buying a mobile phone for communication, we convince ourselves that we need the latest, most expensive model.

But here's the thing: meeting our self-worth needs in the right way means understanding our true value and potential. It means recognizing that we don't need material possessions to define our worth. We are leaders, with the power to make proactive decisions and take control of our finances. We have the ability to write our own stories, without relying on expensive jackets or fancy phones to feel significant.

So, the next time you feel the urge to splurge on something you don't really need, take a moment to pause and ask yourself, "Is this a want or a need? Is this my self-worth needs talking or my body and living needs?" By understanding the underlying motivations behind our spending behavior, we can take back control of our finances and stop wasting money on unnecessary things.

Remember, it's not about the price tag or the brand name. It's about feeding our self-worth in the right way, through self-love, personal growth, and meaningful connections.

Controlling Your Spending and Meeting Your Self-Worth Needs

Who doesn't love spending money they don't have on things they don't need? It's like a hobby, right? But let's try to be a little more responsible and not let our bank accounts cry out in agony. Let's explore some strategies to help us reign in our spending habits and boost our self-worth in healthier ways.

Recognizing the Urge to Spend and Pausing

When you find yourself itching to make an impulse purchase, pause for a moment. Take a deep breath and ask yourself, "Do I really need this? Or is it just my self-worth craving some temporary validation?" By pausing and reflecting, you give yourself the chance to make a more intentional decision about your spending.

Differentiating Between Wants and Needs

Do you really need that designer jacket or fancy phone, or is it just a want driven by your self-worth needs? Take a step back and remind yourself of the basics. Focus on fulfilling your body and living needs first, like food, water, shelter, and basic communication. Once those needs are met, then you can consider indulging in some wants, but only if it aligns with your financial goals.

Questioning Whether the Purchase Aligns with Body or Living Needs

When contemplating a purchase, ask yourself, "Is this purchase aligning with my body or living needs?" For example, do you really need that expensive designer item, or will a regular item do just fine? Will that latest phone truly enhance your communication, or is your current phone sufficient for your needs? By questioning the necessity of the purchase, you can avoid spending money on items that don't truly align with your essential needs.

Questioning Whether the Purchase is Driven by Self-Worth Needs

Are you buying an item because it will make you feel important and valued? Are you seeking external validation through material possessions? Remind yourself that true self-worth comes from within, not from the price tag or brand name of an item. You are already valuable and worthy, regardless of the possessions you own.

Feeding Self-Worth in the Right Way to Avoid Unnecessary Spending

Instead of relying on material possessions to feel significant, let's nurture our self-worth through self-love, personal growth, and meaningful connections. Recognize your strengths, talents, and potential. Take proactive actions that align with your values and goals. Embrace your role as the author of your own life, rather than seeking validation through expensive items. By feeding our self-worth in healthy ways, we can break free from the grip of unnecessary spending and find more fulfillment in our lives.

Creating A Needs vs Wants List

Alright, let's get into the fun part—making the list of all your desires and dreams. 

Step 1: Think about everything you desire or dream of having

Take a moment to imagine all the things you want in life. New gadgets, fancy shoes, a comfortable chair, better lighting, and a standing desk—anything and everything that comes to mind.

Step 2: List all the items without any particular order

Now, write down all those items on your list, without worrying about the order. Don't hold back! Let your imagination run wild and include everything you could ever dream of having.

Example of a personal wants list for reference

Just to give you an idea, here's an example of a personal wants list:

  • New keyboard
  • New mouse
  • New chair
  • Better lighting
  • Additional screens or monitors
  • Standing desk
  • New pillows
  • Clothes
  • Air conditioner
  • House
  • Car

Remember, this list should include things that are realistically achievable if you live modestly, work hard, and save your money.

Factors Influencing Needs and Wants

What are some factors that can influence our needs and wants? 

Personal circumstances and environment affecting needs and wants

Our personal circumstances and environment play a significant role in determining our needs and wants. For example, extreme heat can make an air conditioner go from being a want to a need. Because let's face it, sweating like a pig is not ideal.

Consideration of financial situation and debt

Our financial situation and debt can also influence our needs and wants. When you have debt, your needs may shift to prioritize paying off that debt. You realize that being debt-free is more important than buying fancy shoes or the latest gadgets.

So, while those wants may be tempting, you need to consider your financial situation and focus on eliminating debt before indulging in non-essential items.

Maintaining a realistic and achievable list

Lastly, to differentiate between needs and wants, stick to and maintain the list you made above. Remember to include things that are within your means and align with your financial goals. Don't get carried away with adding extravagant items that you know are not realistically achievable.

Keeping a realistic list will help you prioritize your spending and stay on track to achieve your financial goals.

Remember, make a commitment to lead your money, make conscious financial decisions, and protect your financial well-being. Take control, prioritize needs over wants, and nourish your self-worth in healthy ways. 

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