Needs vs Wants

If there is one lesson that I’ve learned time and time again, it’s that buying things won’t make me long term happy. 90% of those impulse, gotta have items typically end up in the donate pile within a years time, either due to lack of use or I just grew out of it, or I simply forgot about it because of all the other things I have or bought shortly after because I was convinced making said purchase would change my life.

So if I have demonstrated proof that I can’t buy my happiness, why then, do I have this obsessive yearning for things, things, things. As of right now, the following are crowding up my Wants:

  • new mattress cover and sleeping pillows
  • lightweight summer blanket
  • stand mixer with defined speeds and detachable paddles
  • new staples for my summer clothes
  • new staples for my work clothes
  • like those green pants that are 30% off right now
  • or that red high waist skirt with pockets that’s 70% off right now
  • new sofa
  • sewing machine
  • calligraphy pens
  • that perfect shade of orange cotton bed sheets
  • storage unit for the study
  • that golden piggy bank I saw in the MCA gift shop
  • real baking fit out: mixing bowls, spatulas, wire cookie cooling rack and flat baking sheets
  • everything from here
  • and here
  • and here
  • and of course, here
  • this foot stool
  • 2 inch curling rod or 2 inch flat iron
  • goldenrod colored throw blanket
  • new cutting boards
  • blender
  • these salt and pepper shakers (I have these back in the States, but they’re packed away with all my kitchen stuff)
  • all the glade cinnamon apple candles (all of them. I am obsessed)

Ok, so some of those are more frivolous than others. But you get my drift.

It’s disturbing how many of my thoughts trail back to “oh, I’ll just buy ____ and that’ll be AWESOME.” even though I know buying that will only lead to guilt, anxiety, feelings of shame, and getting to 10 days before payday and I only having $30 in my bank account.

In the Needs category, however, I have the following pawing at me:

  • rent
  • groceries
  • transportation funds
  • student loans (oh how I can’t wait for the Australian dollar to get stronger)
  • utilities
  • deodorant that doesn’t smell like ripe celery the moment I get slightly sweaty (whoooaaa did I make a bad purchase)
  • internet (priorities)

So, yeah. And after going over September’s allotted budget today, it looks like those Wants are going to be well, wanting, for a little while longer. I’ve read about people who go a whole month without making an unnecessary purchase. I know that saying “I’ll not do this / I will do this” for a whole month just sets me up for failure, but maybe I’ll take it a week at a time. Or maybe I’ll give myself like $40 in “do whatever you want” cash. I’m interested in trying it, because I’m definitely interested in training myself out of wanting things all the goddamn time.

How about it? Has anyone been successful in not spending unnecessary money for a month?

3 thoughts on “Needs vs Wants

  1. Ooh, we have this problem, too. One thing we did that’s been working great is giving ourselves an allowance. We each have $20/week to spend on nonessentials. To us, nonessentials means fast food, going out to eat, clothes, booze, that diet coke I buy every time I walk into a store, more bathing suits for Matilda (why are they so cute?). We actually make envelopes and put cash into them at the beginning of the month. It’s been pretty great, and it makes me value the things I do buy.

  2. My friend tried a “fiscal fast” for a month once and did pretty well. Only necessities. I need to try it. Sadly, I have a really hard time with need vs want. I just love THINGS. And then I, like you, feel guilty and am overwhelmed with said things! Ugh. Sick in the head!

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