How do you balance your needs and wants? If I shift to far to the want side I may slip into frustration. If my balance sways more to the need side is over weight, I may find myself just as frustrated (Though with a lot more money).

To me needs are supplying the basics of life: Food, shelter, clothes, transportation and communication. Once those are supplied in a basic amount, the next step is determining my limit for wants or “extras”.

If a phone is essential to communicate, do I get a landline or cell, do I need the extras?
Since clothing is a basic need, how many pairs of jeans do I need for it to cross the line into a want?
Since shelter is a basic need, what size home qualifies as a need and how large of a home is it a want?
Transportation is a need for job security, but would a bike, scooter, bus or car be the answer to the need?

Other times I look at people in developing countries and I think that perhaps even some my needs might be wants. It’s not that I envy their (involuntary) simplistic life, but rather am blessed with so much, that I wonder if my life could be just as complete with less.

The line between needs and wants is a fuzzy line. There is also the line between want and extravagance as well. But that is another post for another time. I do get an occasional email or read a post about this site pushing people to become “cheap” or that such frugal options just make one out to be a “loser” and “You only live once, live it up”

Though these comments don’t bother me, it does make me wonder: Am I limiting myself? Have I found the proper balance of Need and Want?

How about you?


  1. Dual Income No Kids // Saturday, February 14, 2009 12:12:00 AM  

    Love that picture.

  2. melyn // Saturday, February 14, 2009 3:05:00 AM  

    Interesting post. For so long I have been living with only my "basic needs" and then not totally meeting those "needs." It is a constant struggle, especially in today's economy. I imagine like a teeter tauter, and someday I want it to be balanced out.