Needs versus Wants…do you know the difference?

I am becoming convinced that America’s general inability to tell the difference between a need and a want is what  ultimately played a large role in the economic demise of this nation. Check this story  out, now my fellow blogger Big Man did a great piece on this today but as someone who personally grapples with deciding what is it that I truly need versus what I want, I figured I would add my two cents.

According to the NY Times piece, it seems there is no way the masters of the universe (aka, the motherfuckers who helped fuck America) could truly live off a mere $500,000 a year. It seems when you are a high roller you need a lot of accoutrments to live your life well. Heaven forbid the wife of one of these jokers actually watch her own kid even  though she doesn’t work. Nope, gotta have a nanny which costs a mere 45G’s a year, gotta have a driver, spare house, personal trainer and so on.

On one level I don’t want to be a Grinch and begrudge folks their wants but in these hard economic times I think we all can use a lesson in what the fuck a need is versus a want. Look, what we really need is a roof over our heads, some clothes on our backs, some grub on the table and some access to health-care. These are all the things I consider needs, admittedly we are sparse on the health-care once again thanks to my asshole ex-client but I do have access to a clinic to meet my needs, so while its not ideal, my needs are met.

Up until this month, a daily drink at Starbucks was also a need of mine, however with my income once again taking a hit, I have discovered that for $3 a box, I can have 20 drinks thanks to Celestial Seasonings tea. When I feel in the mood for chocolate I have hot cocoa fixings here at home and since my preferred drink of choice is $4 a the Bux, right now my pockets and bank account are feeling a tad better.

Truth is though I had thought I was doing an alright job of being frugal in past months, the reality is there was still too much fat in the budget and it needs to go. Right now if I stick to the plan, we actually might be able to take a weekend get away this summer and call it a vacation.

My point is when I stopped justifying that daily $4 drink among a few other things, I realized they were not true needs, most days I don’t even miss the drink, it was just a habit. I suspect for the more monied they too have many things they see as needs that are actually just wants and if they got rid of them, eventually they will be ok.

Let me share a secret, an active toddler or preschooler works well in place of a personal trainer. I control my weight by watching what I eat and playing with my kid and let me tell you, some days I want her to sit down amd watch tv so I can catch my breath.

As for the rich folks in that article, sorry to tell you but when you have folks raising families on $50,000 or less its a little hard to get sympathy from us average joes….as for the rest of us, the sooner we all figure out our true needs versus wants I suspect we will all be doing a tad better financially.

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