Thursday, June 16, 2011

Need Vs. Want

For years now -well, since my kids were old enough to -hopefully -be able to comprehend the difference between things they wanted and things they needed, that has always been a principle I tried -and tried -to teach them.

Now, I find myself beginning down that instructional road pertaining to that principle again but with a small child AND with an adult who both need to learn -or re-learn -that theory.

These days, the small child I am beginning to try to explain this idea to is Miss Maya -my seven-year-old granddaughter.

Granted, she is a bit young to understand this concept but I figure if I try to start in with teaching her this now, by the time she hits her teenage years, maybe, just maybe, it will be clarified in her mind.

When my kids were being taught this theory by me, the argument they frequently gave me about how much they NEEDED a particular item -which inevitably I had already told them there was no money available for purchases that were for want only; that there had to be a genuine need for whatever it was they were requesting -they would try to point out to me all the various reasons they could think of to explain why they really, really, really needed this item. And I would counter then too with all the many reasons -mainly that I didn't have money available for this -and it was too bad, so sad, sorry for your luck, Kid.

Then usually if it was one of my girls wanting something they would tell me but it's available in MY size, in just the right color, etc., and I'd counter that with a wait till it goes on sale. Which of course, they would then respond with a "But by then, that size or color will be gone." And to that, I had the final answer of "Well if that's the case, then you really didn't need it after all, I guess."

I thought all along I had the argument sewn up then. I thought too that my logic about want vs. need was a darned good idea to teach my kids about financial responsibility and such.

Well, in theory, I still think it's a valid piece of logic, however -and don't you just hate when there's a "however" tossed into the mix -as I mentioned above, I'm now faced with using that argument, that logic, about want vs. need not just with my granddaughter but also with an adult who really needs help -a refresher course -you could say I suppose.

Who is the adult in this little dilemma, you ask?

Well unfortunately -it's me!

Now I know when I say I want a Winnebago Wagon RV, that still comes under the header of the want category as I definitely don't need one of those. But I do really still WANT one anyway. But I definitely will never, ever be able to afford something like that if my only income from until the end of my days is just my Social Security check!

Then I think about other things I want -a new car, for openers -and that one, well it's still a big want, but it does have shades of need involved. But again, it takes a back seat too based on my income level -which is way too low to be considering such a purchase at this point in time.

Other things I want too -the ability to pay off my medical bills; the ability to be assured we will have adequate funds available to buy fuel oil for the furnace so we can heat this house during next winter; the ability to be able to afford to purchase gas for whatever vehicle is still running too for the next year -as well as groceries and such -now those are all legitimate wants AND needs and those things have to come first before even thinking at all about any other purchases.

But you know what, there is something else I have figured out too that not only do I want this but I really, really do need it and that's a way to make money fast!

Now if I could do that, it would definitely solve all my wants and needs, wouldn't it?

Well, maybe not for the Winnebago Wagon RV, but I'm not trying to be greedy here, ya know!


Maggie May said...

My youngest granddaughter has a nick name..... Little Miss Want! Every time an advert for a new toy on TV comes on, when we go round the shops, she says, "I want......"
At least we are able to realise that we probably won't get what WE want! (Not all the time.)
We can but dream.....!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

TechnoBabe said...

That is a life lesson all young people should be taught. No matter how much money in a family, it is not a good thing to give in to every whim of a young person. So many times we have things pulling on us that are not what we need. Learning how to make that distinction between need and want is easier learned when young and not when we are older. Nice post and gives us something to think about no matter how well we think we have learned this lesson.

Sandee said...

It's a great lesson you taught your children. So important to budget and not spend beyond your earnings. A lot of our financial woes are those that used their homes as ATM machines. Greed was the norm and see where we are now. Hopefully most are in the saving mode now.

Have a terrific day and weekend. Hugs

Linda said...

Well, I wish you'd come and teach me the need vs want lesson as I've always had problems with that one myself no matter how many times I tell myself that just because I want something doesn't mean that I need it and vice versa when you get right down to it!

Sometimes I think we never really grow up, do we?

terri said...

I think we've all got a little bit of that want vs. need syndrome. Yes, the key is to learn to remember the difference! Not easy for any of us!