Weekly $ Tip #21
One of the reader requests for money savings tips was to help decipher a want vs a need when it comes to spending money/saving money for her husband. I thought it was a good one, and one that we ALL need to keep in mind.
Earning money is hard, spending money is all too easy. The fact that everything seems attainable nowadays sure doesn’t help the budget either. And when I say everything seems attainable I mean that just because we can have whatever we want, does not mean we can afford it.
Luxury items are not really luxury items anymore. ANYONE can buy them.
That is where want vs need comes in. Especially with raising kids, it is so hard to separate a want from a need.
The problem with nothing being out of reach is that we think we “deserve” everything we want. And because it’s over at the mall down the street, we can head over there on payday and buy it. If we don’t have cash in the bank, we just use a credit card or open a new store card. WRONG-O!
If you do not have the cash left after paying your bills to buy something, even if it is just a pair of jeans, you cannot afford them.
It is tough to change the mindset of “I want and I CAN get because I have a credit card” to “I want, but I cannot afford”.
Speaking from experience this is one of the harder things in life to do. But it only takes about two months to get in this habit. It is a hard two months, but after that two months is up those cravings and those “must have up-to-date gadgets” and those emotional purchases will be a thing of the past. If you are going to become financially “free” they HAVE TO BE a thing of the past.
You may even experience a fresh emotion called buyers remorse. I wrote a post about buyers remorse over here. Check it out. It’s important to know what it is, AND how to deal with it.
The other piece of this is emotional. Emotional spending is a terrible black hole. We want nice, expensive things because they make us FEEL important and respected. We don’t say no when friends ask us to go to dinner even if we don’t have the money because we don’t want to feel inferior, or like a loser. But you’re wrong. Chances are that someone in the group is in the same position but doesn’t want to fess up to it.
First of all, the emotional piece is inside you and cannot be fixed with anything tangible. No car, no purse, no shoes, no Xbox is going to fix it. So start saying NO. Saying no is your first step. Say no to yourself. Say no to your friends. Say no to your family. You cannot be something you truly cannot be. What I’m saying is, you can’t be a millionaire by acting like one unless you actually have millions. So stop spending money like you are a millionaire.
You have to stick with your budget. And the #1 rule of budgeting is BILLS GET PAID FIRST!
I have overcome the WANT vs NEED issue by being budget-minded. I am all budget, all the time. In this, I have found that I don’t really have to compromise what I want. What I have to compromise how I get it. I have to use coupons, I shop at TJ Maxx… but I get what I want and am still able to feel like a million bucks.
Do you struggle with want vs need? Do you have any tips on how to overcome it?