My biggest want in life is to be able to pay for all of my needs while living beneath my monetary means.
However, I still find myself wanting a few things such as new clothes, a pretty purse, and a vacation to Rome.
Wants are tough. Everyday we are exposed to ads, T.V. shows, movies, and other people who make us feel like if we just got what we wanted we would somehow feel better about ourselves.
Just yesterday I was at my spin class and I kept seeing all these cute workout outfits. At that moment I really wanted to go shopping. But I can live with 2 pair of spin pants and 2 pair of yoga pants, I don’t really need more, I just want more. In new colors. For spring.
The easiest way for me to save money is to periodically take inventory of what I need vs. what I want. I also have to talk my needs out with my husband (wow, that sounds dirty… seriously, I am talking money). Sometimes when I hear myself saying, “I need….”, I realize that I don’t actually need it, I just want it.
So here are my needs vs. my wants.
- A gym membership. I love yoga and I won’t do it unless someone is telling me what to do. I wish I could be the type of person to run for exercise, but I hate it. I spin twice a week because I know it is good cardio, not because I like it. Kudos to all of you who find various ways to workout- it is a NEED!
- Water, electricity, food, and shelter. But I don’t need to go out to eat or buy a house outside of my price range (even if I want to).
- Books, but I also need to get better about getting them from the library. I can actually use my Kindle to check out library books. I have a bad habit of buying too much on my Kindle.
- Clothes, but I don’t need to spend a lot. I don’t need designer clothes or a Micheal Kors bag. The thrift store, T.J. Maxx and Target all work fine for me.
- My dogs! I also need to feed them. But I don’t need to pay for a kennel every time we travel. I can take them with me or see if a friend will watch them.
- Fun times with my friends. But I don’t need to go out to bars or restaurants. Pot lucks, game nights and Friday afternoons at home are all suitable options.
- I want to go to several out-of-town weddings for friends that I really don’t talk to that much (not you, Mary). Instead I need to save up for the one wedding that I do care about (yes you, Mary).
- New jewelry. I wanted new jewelry so bad, that I just bought some. But I got some free and some half off… still I could have lived without.
- Fancy food products, like that truffle butter from Fresh Market. Instead I am investing in fresh fruits and veggies. But I may find an excuse for the truffle butter one day (cross your fingers for a Fresh Market coupon).
- A new computer, but the one I am using works just fine.
- More flowers for my front yard. definitely not a need…
- A new hubcap for my car. I lost one about 2 years ago and never replaced it. Does that make me trashy?
So there it is. I feel like a big weight has been lifted. It feels good to get that all out.
Now, I just have to keep referring to this list. It helps to have a goal. Tom and I are really excited about two weekend trips we have in April: my friend, Mary, is getting married and we are going to Atlanta and Tom is having his high school reunion in Mississippi. Every time I want to buy something I need to remind myself how we are saving for those trips… and the massive amount of students loans we are paying!
Do you make lists to prioritize your spending, eating, time or anything else?