Every parent has heard their child whine, “I want ….” By the time the child is a pre-teen, the chant turns into “But, I need it!” By the time he or she becomes a teenager, the demand becomes “You don’t understand–everyone has one!”
Many of us continue this behavior into adulthood. We have trouble distinguishing between our “wants” and our “needs.” This oversight can affect our relationships, career success, financial stability, and, according to the credit counselors at Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions, even our finances.
“Needs” are those items we cannot live without – food, shelter, clothing, utilities, insurance and other necessities.
“Wants” are things we would like to have (electronics, jewelry, toys, cell phones, movies, cosmetics, computers, cars, furniture, etc.), but could definitely live without. At the very least, we could certainly wait until our budget was in better shape.
One sure way to drain your budget is to shop with too little forethought. It’s equally dangerous to make purchases based on too much emotion. In either case, you risk letting your “wants” take charge of your wallet.
To avoid falling into the “I gotta have it” trap, take some time to think while you shop. Ask yourself, am I deciding to purchase this product because:
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you are probably getting ready to indulge a “want.” You are veering toward making an unnecessary, emotional purchase.
If that is the case, and you plan to persist with the purchase, consider these questions.
We all buy on impulse now and then. It is only human. The important thing is to keep those impulses in check when your financial situation is less than ideal. If you don’t, you could end up depleting your bank account or assuming too much debt.
If you’re finding it difficult to curb or control your “wants,” seek the assistance of a certified consumer credit counselor. Counselors at Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions will evaluate your financial situation and work with you to develop smart spending and saving strategies. Call 800.750.2227 (CCCS) to make an appointment for a free credit counseling session or get started now online.