Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


The Art Of Deciding Between Wants And Needs

laptop on desk
IgorTishenko on Deposit Photos.

Image result for i need this i really want this

Being an adult is far from easy. And one of the hardest things to do, by far, is realizing when a want is not a need. That’s why, like all things related to personal growth, acting like a grownup requires a lot of patience and practice. Needless to say, the art of maturity is a difficult one to master.

The “needs” that are really “wants”

In budgeting worksheets, some people object to separate categories for items in the “wants” category. Home internet, for example, is classified as a want and not as a need. But if you do not work from a home office (in which case your home internet is a business expense), there’s a good chance that home internet is a want (because let’s face it, you’re probably using it primarily to check Facebook and watch YouTube videos).

And the same is true for your cable television — your Netflix subscription and your iPhone as well. It also goes for your hair dye … These are all wants and not needs. You totally can do without these things, if you were forced to. They’re not necessary to live, as painful as it might be to lose them.

Cross-category needs and wants

Of course, wants and needs, sometimes, don’t fit into neat, distinctive categories. It’s too simplistic, for instance, to say that your grocery store spending is a need. Your entire grocery bill is a combination of wants and needs. Bread, milk, eggs, and whole fruits and vegetables can be classified as a need.

But, on the other hand, chips and cookies are most certainly not a need. Fruit juice is a want, especially if it is of that upscale variety. Milk is a need, but organic milk is a want. And so is the whole grain, organic honey-infused bread.

A lesson that can apply to your life

The 50/30/20 budget says that 50 percent of your after-tax income should be spent on “needs,” 30 percent should go to “wants,” and 20 percent should go to savings and debt reduction. That means there’s nothing wrong with buying fancy bread and milk or subscribing to Netflix. The 50-30-20 budgeting rule of thumb allows you to spend 30 percent of your take-home pay on things you want. The key is to separate your wants from your needs so that you’re more self-aware of how you’re spending money.


Distinguishing “wants” from “needs” will truly help you realize how much power and control you have over your own budget. If you’re choosing to spend money on wants, you easily can choose those items and re-direct your money elsewhere. After all, budgeting, at its very core, is not always about crunching numbers. Budgeting is the art of aligning your spending with your values.

Have something to add to this story? Comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. SwiftChat Live Chat App

    July 5, 2021 at 8:02 am

    Spending within your means is essential if you want to avoid unneeded stress in your life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

2016 president election

In a political climate dominated by a two-party system, Libertarians are constantly confused as off-brand Republicans. Although the two groups sometimes align on issues,...


What is the gap between culture and technology? According to Damas, entertainers have passions that brands and companies may not be aware of, and...


And the winner is (drumroll please): Holland, Michigan! Never heard of it? Well, it’s a four-hour drive from Milwaukee, and it is populated by...


When starting college and choosing a major, it’s important to know which college degrees will make you the most money. Since last year’s quarantine,...

Copyright © 2020 GenBiz. GenBiz is owned and operated by GenBiz Inc. a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.