Some of us have issues determining want or need in terms of tangible items. This may not be an issue for some, but for others it can cause a myriad of issues, such as financial, storage that leads to clutter issues, relationships, mental health, etc.
Sometimes just one purchase that you want, and not need, can hit all of these issues listed above. This is when establishing priorities comes into the picture. A priority is not necessarily a need. A priority just means that something else takes precedence.
This is not to say that you should never buy anything you want and not need. It’s just a way of helping you make smart decisions about your purchases. Take a look at the strategies listed below to help you determine if a purchase is a want or need.
- Impulse: Don’t act on impulse. Consider your state of mind when you see something you want to buy. Stop what you’re doing and really think about the action you’re about to take-is this item something you want or need? Mental clarity is a must when you’re making decisions.
- Necessity: Is this item on your list of necessities? If not, then is it something you didn’t realize you needed? Be careful not to rationalize here, it could be your state of mind, see bullet point above.
- Priorities: Everyone has, or should think about priorities; is buying this item a priority? If it isn’t a priority, then it may be a want and not a need.
- Discuss: Talk this through with someone that can be objective, a spouse may not be the best choice. A family member or friend that has no stake in the outcome of the decision may be your best bet. Sometimes just talking it through with someone can help you understand if this is something you want or need.
- Practicality: Think about it practically. Do you have adequate storage for this item? Is it in your budget? If you don’t have the space to store it, it could cause clutter issues and that could determine if it is a want or need. Moving other items into a storage unit to provide space for this new item could cause 2 issues, financial, as well as relationship issues.