Wednesday, October 10, 2012

31 Days to Financial Freedom, Day 11: Wants vs. Needs

We've probably all had conversations with our children regarding "wants" versus "needs".  I always find that those conversations happen at the grocery store.  "Mommy, I neeeeeeeed cookies!"  "No, you want cookies, there's a difference." 

Have we had that conversation with ourselves? 

I know Pen and I never did.  Wants and needs were always one-in-the-same.  And, for the most part, my children's wants and needs (except really when it comes to junk food) were one-in-the-same, too.  My son is not spoiled rotten, but he is spoiled.  I present to you, Piglet 1's (and Piglet 2, but mostly Piglet 1) toy room:

Also, just yesterday I added a second bookshelf between the shelf of tubs and the other book case which is already filled up with toys. 

My closet isn't any better.  Neither is my husband's "man cave". Or my craft table.  Or our bookshelves.  Or my daughter's dresser.  I could go on and on really.  We are a family of no wants, only needs.  My son doesn't need another Lego set.  My daughter does not need another pair of tight pants to wear with her cutie patootie boots.  My husband does not need another RPG book or set of dice.  I do not need . . . anything really.

Separating our "wants" from our "needs" is a complicated, difficult task.  This isn't just something we're applying to our spending now, but also the items already in our house.  This journey we're on isn't just about our spending, it's about simplifying our lives overall. 

We're not talking out all "wants" from our lives.  We still have a decent satellite program with DVR, I have an iPhone, and we're buying my son a DSi for Christmas.  But my children are still playing with the blown up balloons from Piglet 1's birthday party two weeks ago.  My husband looks at the majority of his books online.  I wear the same outfits to work every week because I have five favorites.  What do we really need? 

So we're making conscious decisions about what we bring into the house, and conscious decisions of what we keep in our house. By saving money on useless crap-ola, we can make memories with our children (and make more babies!), and provide them security and comfort in ways that we haven't been able to previously.

I want to teach my children that less is more.  I want them to see the beauty in everyday things.  I want them to drive down Riverside Drive in our town and notice the trees in full bloom during the spring, and leaves changing colors during the fall.  I want them to see the awesome-ness in making a truly epic snow man, or a really yummy dinner.  I want my children to be surrounded by love and light; happiness and laughter.  How can I do that if their vision is clouded with "stuff"? 


  1. I just sat down and read your all of your 31 posts. I must say I am impressed with your transparency on all of this. I am a SAHM finally trying to live on a budget

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Leslie! Being this transparent has really helped us stick with our goals. At the end of the month, I post all our expenses with a goal of showing everyone it really is possible to not eat out, or go shopping. I hope you'll continue to follow me on this journey!