You'd think it would be simple- need means you can't live without it, and want means you can live without it but may not want to. Sometimes that line gets blurred and we find wants turning into needs.
We want a lot of stuff, but we don't need a lot of stuff. The wants become needs when we feel the want is needed and the needs we really need don't get needed as much as we want because we think we need what we actually want even though it's a want and not truly a need at all....well, you get the idea.
So let me make things perfectly clear. Sometimes a want can become a need, but a need will never become a want. And this is how you can tell the difference.
Basic needs are this- food (so we don't die), clothing (so we don't get arrested), and shelter (so we don't get sick and die from exposure to the elements). Supplemental needs would be work (so we can eat, have clothing, and shelter) and play (so we gain social skills and have relationships). However, if we are doing something that is supplemental, but is denying us the basics, that is a want, and not a true need.
You have an online business. The computer is a need because it provides work so you can have the basics. But if you're playing Facebook games all the time and forget to cook for the family (or go shopping, or eat lunch), then the computer becomes a want. Don't ask me how I know this.
Ask yourself: Do I need this to live? At first you might say yes (especially if it's chocolate related), but take a good long look at it. Is it a true need or a real want? You might be surprised.
Let's look at another subject. Clothing. There's nothing wrong with wearing nice things, but if that dress you 'need' will make you dip into your mortgage to afford it, you might want to put it back and look at the clearance rack. You can still look good in a Wal-mart T-shirt instead of designer wear that costs you your first child at the register. Especially if you have a nice kid. Go for the T-shirt. Seriously.
What brought on this epiphany? I have to declutter my house and sell the stuff I don't need. And as I look upon book-filled shelves that would make a librarian faint, I'm thinking that I can get rid of one or two...hundred. Maybe. It's a want thing, not a need thing, and I know it. And this is going to be one heck of a yard sale!
I'm even looking at my *GASP!* kitchen gadgets. I don't care that I haven't used it in three years (okay...decades), you know the second I get rid of it I'll need it for something! Kind of like alligator repellent. You know it works because you've never see one on your house. In the city. On the second floor. So why get rid of it?
Well, I am getting rid if it. I hate to admit it, but I do love to collect gadgets and never use them. So this week and the next will be huge clean out, and then we're going to have our first ever yard sale in twelve years. There's a lot of want we don't need.
Take a look around your house. Is there something you can donate to a thrift shop that you never use? Or is there a lot of stuff that you could hold a yard sale and get rid of it all? You might be surprised- I know I was!