Monday, April 29, 2013

The Budget View- Part 1- Needs vs Wants

OK we are all adults here, right?

I am willing to bet most of my savings account that the audience here does not consist of two-year old toddlers who kick and scream every time they do not get their way.

I also believe it's a safe bet that we all have had a case of "BBLS": Big Bottom Lip Syndrome. Typically this BBLS rears its ugly head when we have either figured out we don't have enough money for something we want or we have been told by someone(who probably loves us) that we do not need to make a certain purchase at this particular time.

I know you probably thought I was going to jump right into the tools(materials) you need to make a budget successful...
I actually think knowing the difference between real needs and wants can be the most important tool to learn how to use in a household budget. Everything else comes secondary.
In my very humble opinion our society has become a bit, ahem..... immature, lax when it comes to knowing the real definition of  a need.
I have faith that most of us already know this, but some of us may just need a very gentle reminder.

Please allow me do a break down, but first a word of warning..... 

Disclaimer: I am not judging anyone if spending your hard earned money on wants is what you wish to do. Although if you are struggling & stressed trying to make ends meet month to month, live on lines of credit(loans, credit cards, borrowed money) you find difficult to pay off, or have constant arguments in your relationships because of money, take a moment to ask yourself: "Self, do I  need to re-evaluate my true financial needs and wants?"



House:
Need: A roof over our head to keep us warm at night; a place where we are comfortable and safe that we can call home. 
Want: All the latest and greatest bells and whistles in a home that could house 10 people or more(because let's get real, most of us DO NOT have 10 or more people living with us)
Food & Clothes:
Need: Nutrient loaded, non-processed food we can make ourselves at home, and clothes that keep our private parts covered and our bums warm.
Want: Going out to eat and spending 10x's the amount of money we would spend by cooking it ourselves at home. Having 50 pairs of shoes, 20 pairs of jeans, or 10 different purses hanging in our closets.
Life:
Need: Breathing oxygen.... 
Want: The Life of someone else...someone who has a bigger house, a nicer car, a "fairy-tale marriage", someone else's vacation, or someone else's clothes.
Transportation:
Need: A mode of transportation that gets our family to and fro safely.
Want: The next best thing, with a big 'ol car payment.
Beauty:
Need: Usually this category requires an appropriate amount of sleep, exercise, and eating healthy. 
This may sound cliche but this Need can also be met by just "stopping to smell the roses", literally. 
Taking the time to really soak in all the beauty God provides us on a day to day basis.
Want: Warning! This is not a slam against the beauty industry. I use to be part of it as an Esthetician. And it was so much fun! But every last service that is provided by a Cosmetologist, a Nail Tech, an Esthetician, or a Massage Therapist, falls into a Want category: Facials, eyebrow waxing, acrylic nails, pedicures, massages, hair color...you see where I am going here, right?
I know, I know...many of us would hate to even think about living without some of the services mentioned above, Me being one of them! BUT sometimes the truth hurts, ouch!
Water:
Need: Plain, clean drinking water(this may require a filtration system of some kind on your tap)
Want: Any store bought bottled water.
Energy:
Need: Vitamin D from the sun, Fresh air, healthy non processed food, exercise
Want: Energy drinks, Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, Gym memberships & Exercise equipment that is not being used.

Now just one minute before you go all pout-y lip on me. I have been guilty of most of these in my lifetime. And honestly this is just scratching the surface. I am not pointing fingers at anyone, just merely pointing out a few of the differences between Needs and Wants. 
However, at certain stages in my life I have had to prioritize what is really important for myself and my family and our peace of mind when it comes to our finances.

If you are serious about wanting financial peace in your life, I suggest you start right here....figuring out the difference between your basic needs and wants. I know it sounds so boring, and horrifying but I promise if you stay tuned there will be room for the fun stuff...plus taking this step means I won't hear about your episode of Hoarders, because I can't watch that show, it makes my skin crawl.  
Oh Lord have mercy....ain't nobody got time for that!


And remember, that no matter what step you are standing on, take a really good look around you, and show gratitude for everything & everyone you have in your life. And always remember to........

Enjoy the View

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