Want vs Need
When it comes to owning or acquiring certain things, people would often use the terms ‘want’ and ‘need’ interchangeably. In many cases, the manner in which people would use these two terms can lead one to perceive that these two have similar meanings, if not mean absolutely just the same thing. But actually, these two economic terminologies are very different from each other.
A need is generally referred to, in economics, as something that is extremely necessary for a person to survive. If a need is not met, it would lead to the onset of disease, the inability to function effectively and efficiently in society, and even death. Needs are categorized into two groups. There are the objective or physical needs, and the subjective needs. Objective needs are those that are met through tangible things, or things that could be measured. Examples of these include food, water, shelter and even air. On the other hand, subjective needs are those that are often seen to ensure our mental health. Examples of these are self-esteem, a sense of security and approval. A political professor, named Ian Gough, enumerated eleven distinct needs that must be met by each and every human being in order to function well in society, and to survive. The inability of meeting these needs can lead to a person suffering from illness (either physically or mentally), or even death.
On the other hand, a want is something that a person desires, either immediately or in the future. Unlike needs, wants are those that differ from one person to another. For example, one person may want to own a car, while another may want to travel to an exotic country. Each person has his or her own list of wants, each with a varying level of importance. Furthermore, wants can change over a period of time. This is in contrast to needs, which remain constant throughout the lifetime of the person.
The grey area between these two, is when the desire to obtain a particular thing is so extremely great, that a person may misinterpret a want, and see it more as a need. In order to know whether what you desire for is a want or a need, is to basically ask one fundamental question: “Have you been able to survive without this?” If your answer is ‘yes’, then what you desire for is a want, no matter how much you crave for it right now.
1. Wants and needs are economic terminologies.
2. A need is something that is necessary for a person to survive. On the other hand, a want refers to something that a person desires, either right now or in the future.
3. Wants are desires that are optional, meaning that you will still be able to go on living, even if the want is not met. On the other hand, if a particular need is not met, it could lead to a person suffering from illness, or even death.
Manisha Kumar. "Difference Between a Want and a Need." DifferenceBetween.net. June 8, 2016 < http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-a-want-and-a-need/ >.
Distinguishing Between Wants and Needs
Learn the Difference to Live a Happy, Fulfilled, and Frugal Life
The trick to investing, saving money, and reaching your financial goals is to make sure you’re wisely balancing your long-term needs and your short-term wants to allow you live well, but frugally, and find joy and contentment in life. There is no formula for that as only you can determine which trade-offs you are willing to make
The difference between a need and a want is pretty simple—until you set yourself loose in a store.
Double chocolate chip ice cream? It's a food, so mark it as a need. That designer T-shirt that fits you perfectly? Well, you need more shirts, so why shouldn’t it count as a need, too. It's easy to mix up wants and needs, break your budget, and lose sight of your goal to live frugally. Read on to learn how to easily distinguish between the two and avoid falling into this financial trap.
The difference between wants and needs is quite simple, at least on the surface:
- Need: something you have to have
- Want: something you would like to have
Tally up the damage caused by a few justifications like those mentioned previously, and suddenly you've spent far more than you intended. What's the solution? Start with an understanding of what a need really is and when something is a want.
Understanding Needs vs. Wants
In actuality, you only need four things to survive:
- A roof over your head
- Enough food and water to maintain your health
- Basic health care and hygiene products
- Clothing (just what you need to remain comfortable and appropriately dressed)
Everything that goes beyond this—a big house, name-brand clothes, fancy foods and drinks, and a new car—is a want.
Does that mean that you should only buy the things that you need? Not at all.
Life is meant to be lived, not survived. Treat yourself to some wants along the way, but do so when you can afford to, and enjoy those wants as the extras that they are.
Appreciate What You Have
Once you become better at differentiating between wants and needs, you'll probably see that you've been able to fulfill more of your wants over the years than you realized. And that can be a major turning point. When you find things that you want to buy or do that you currently can't afford, it becomes all too easy to focus on those things to the point of overlooking all the many possessions that you do have. Don't trick yourself into feeling deprived when you aren't.
Take time to reflect on all the ways that you've been blessed. Then, decide what's really important to you, and go after it. So many people talk about wanting to do this or that, but they never actually try to make it happen. Be the person who makes it happen.
Create a Budget Plan
Come up with a plan, and act on it. Even if it takes you a really long time, just working toward a goal is empowering. It makes you feel capable, instead of deprived; it makes it easier to tune out all those things you don't need , and it puts you in charge of your where you'll go next.
Use a financial goals worksheet to note your goals on paper. Then, learn how to fit your big dreams into a small budget.