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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Needs Vs Wants- the Challenge

In a blog about frugality, there's got to be at least one post about needs vs wants. As someone who's claim to fame is extreme frugality, I figured that I'd take this a step further. Down to basics needs vs wants perceived as needs by society.
What really is a need? I'm sure you've all learned in elementary school that the basic needs are food, shelter, and clothing. Add some love to that basic formula and you've got all you need to live a healthy, happy life.
Only, what society thinks is required in terms of food, and shelter, and clothing is outrageously unnecessary and are generally wants, not needs.

I've been reading some blogs lately that have made me cry. A group of bloggers went to one of the biggest and most dangerous slums in the world. People there live in deplorable conditions that you would never imagine; just taking a look at one blog post about it made me think long and hard about what we really and truly need, and appreciate what I do have. Though I am not rich and barely have enough money to cover my expenses, I live luxuriously in comparison to too many people.

I'm going to take my time and go through each of the needs in life- food, shelter, and clothing, and do a bit of blogging on each topic. I will cover how perceive the need, what is actually a need, and what is just a want, cloaked in the guise of need. I hope you will join me in my quest. "Needs vs Wants Wednesdays", a blog linking party here on my blog. Write about anything relating to needs vs wants, and link it to our MrLinky here every Wednesday.

My sister came up with a challenge that I wanted to share with you to kick off this series.
When grocery shopping, its easy to get sucked into the "I need food, let me buy whatever I want, because food is a need and I need food" mentality. Hey, I even do that occasionally.
This is a fallacy. You need food. True. That specific type of food? Not so much.
Challenge yourself at the grocery. After you go around and fill your cart with your carefully weighed purchases, rifle through it and say "Do I actually need swiss cheese? Or is that just a want? I need protein; can that protein be beans instead of cheese? Do I need that bunch of asparagus or is it a want? I need vegetables; can I use cabbage as the vegetable instead of those asparagus?"
Then put 2 things back from your cart. 2 things you had planned on getting, but instead you tell yourself "I don't need this. I can make do without. This is just a want."

I plan on making a weekly Wednesday post on needs vs wants, and better yet, try to implement that into my life. I will try to take something I currently consider a need, rethink it and decide if it is truly a need. If it is not a need, I'll try my best to cut it out of my life. I challenge myself, and I challenge you, dear readers. This will be tough, no doubt.
Are you up to it?
Lets push ourselves to where we've never gone before, challenge ourselves to discover what is truly a need and what is just perceived as one. Can you cut some wants out of your life and ease the burden on your wallet? Do you want to? Even if you decide that you want to keep spending on that on that want, you'll end up with a greater appreciation for what you do have, when you realize just how many little luxuries you have in life.

Needs Vs Wants Wednesday, right here on my blog. Take the challenge. I dare you.
If you don't have a blog, please leave a comment about how you are addressing this challenge each week.

Feel free to use this picture on your post, and remember to link back to my blog.



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