Cars that seemed just fine now seem old fashioned. Then there are children and their mobiles. Only a few years ago it would’ve seemed outlandish for 14-year-olds to need one at all, let alone the latest iPhone.
Achieving clarity about the difference between our needs and wants remains one of the biggest challenges in personal finance and a tremendous source of potential conflict within families. While simple in theory, the calculation is much more complex in practice.
One of the most discouraging parts of modern life seems to be this never-ending sense that we should want more. While this may not be true for everyone, it does seem like it’s become more difficult to be content with what we have. Whether it’s the media, our friends or even our family, it can be a challenge to separate real needs from wants. So here are a few things to think about:
- What if financial happiness is not about getting more but about wanting less?
- What if you can never really get enough of something that you don’t need?
- Will this want take away from my real needs?
It may seem strange that we are discussing this issue considering our role in our client’s lives is to assist them to ensure their needs are taken care of and in the process of developing their financial road map identify and plan towards their wants.
The key is to define clearly what the difference is between a want and need. To be prepared to exercise delayed gratification if required. And lastly to be content with what you do have instead of always striving for what you thought you what.
Steve Lowry CFP, DFP, AIMM – Executive Director