Do You WANT It or NEED It?

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I come from good shopping genes. Finding a great deal probably ranks in the top five “I LOVE MY LIFE” moments in the Sulik household. However, even good deals can add up to unnecessary spending. Online shopping has further complicated the accessibility and sometimes obsession, with having more.

While I consider myself rather budget conscience and carry no debt with the exception of my mortgage, I sometimes still find myself slipping into the buying frenzy. It can happen with clothes, food or even those coupon offers that are delivered to my inbox each day. Whenever I need to do a gut check and get my spending under control, I ask myself one simple question before making any purchase.

Do I WANT it or do I NEED it?

Most of the time I determine that it is not a need but a want and I put back the shirt or log off the website. This one simple question is enough to get me back on track.

But like with any good tool, sometimes I even break my own rule. For example, in early fall I was killing some time at an Outlet Mall in between a wedding ceremony and reception. I came across a pair of brand name, white shorts. I am a particular fan of this brand, the shorts fit very well and were marked down from $68 to $3.

Did I WANT the shorts or did I NEED the shorts?

Technically I WANTED the shorts as I live in Ohio and would not have an opportunity to wear the shorts for 8+ months. However, $3 for a $68 pair of shorts was too good of a deal to pass up. I bought the shorts.

If you are struggling with a budget you may want to set very strict Want=Put Back and Need=Buying Rules for yourself. Once your spending is under control you may be able to venture away from being overly strict and buy the great deal, even if it is not a need.

Just for the record, I do understand that you do NEED food and drink. However, lobster and craft beer are not truly needs, those are wants.

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