Saturday, August 6, 2011

For $5 I Could Need That.

I'm in the habit of jokingly saying about sale items - I could need that for... (insert price here). But as I've made my new goals and many of them have a financial element I've had to really look hard at my budget and where I can make cuts. As I was talking this through with Aubs we both came to the same conclusion - to get ahead you have to take a long, hard look at needs v. wants.

This was probably one of my favorite things about Suze Orman v. Dave Ramsey. I felt like she really had a way of making you buckle down in your finances without sucking the fun out of life all at once. Dave isn't necessarily bad at that either - I just liked the way Suze presented it. It's important not to wait til your old and rich to have fun. I'm 25, fun is an important part of my life. I love my life. And I worked hard to get this far so I could live in my second favorite state (Hawaii wasn't really an option at the time) and live a life I love.

That being said, I recognize that your 20s are the perfect time to kick butt so that you can reap the benefits of your hard work farther down the road. I'm extremely motivated by the future. I have so many things left that I want to do, be, conquer, try, explore, and learn - I'm willing to go without a few designer cardigans and Las Vegas batchelorette parties to get there.

So I've spent some time over the last few weeks really getting to the heart of needs. We all have basic needs: clothes, food, water, air, shelter, sunscreen (hey, I live in Florida after all). And we all have an even longer list of wants. Some of these are totally reasonable - I want to have enough clothes to not have to do laundry every 3 days. I want to have a gym membership so I can get in shape. I want to have a car so I don't want to ride the bus to work. Those are reasonable wants - some people would consider them needs although it could be argued I wouldn't die without them so they're probably just practical wants, not real needs.

It's fair that after you make sure you take care of the needs, you address some of the wants. Here's the challenge though - not allowing instant gratification to to keep you from getting some of your bigger wants later down the road. I may reeeeally want a new handbag right.this.minute. but I also want a grill (for my house, not my teeth) - which would require saving up some money now to get a 'want' later. This is how you have to look at things like houses, right? You may want a brand new benz right now but it may make more sense in the long run to drive a practical, used car now and save to own instead of rent a house, yes?

There's not really a way to wrap this entry up with a neat bow. It's just been on my mind lately as I think about getting from point A (now) to point B (future goals and dreams). How do you all evaluate needs v. wants?



Kendra said...

I'm only 20 but I do pay for a lot for myself..I live at home instead of at college so I don't pay rent, but I pay for everything else I do, and also try to help out with my mom every once in a while. I also work a horribly paid job, so needs v. wants is big in my book. I usually take out $60 out of my check for personal wants for the week.. included in that is $45 for actually $15 dollars is for coffee's and if I want to get lunch out on day..the rest is a struggle to spend. I can't be wasting money. I don't have enough to do that.

Lindsey @ Running Down A Dream said...

You're doing such a great job! It's hard to budget!

Domesticated-Bliss said...

It really is hard to budget! If it weren't for my husband we'd have zero savings! He's a huge Dave Ramsey fan and we watch a good deal of Suze Orman too :)

We live in Florida too! It's cool to see another FL blogger sometimes it seems like Texas is the only state with blogging as an extracurricular sport LOL! We're in Jacksonville - what part of the Sunshine State do you hail from?