How do I Budget for Needs and Wants?
Guest Contributor: Christina Pay
USU Extension Assistant Professor
Needs vs wants. Who hasn’t fought that budgeting battle? Tough as the struggle may be, it is a fight that can be won. The reasoning is pretty simple, right? A need is something that is essential for you to be able to live and work. Needs include housing, transportation and food. Wants, on the other hand, are expenses that help you live life more comfortably. Wants include entertainment, travel, and toys. It seems straightforward enough, but what about those gray areas where needs and wants overlap? On occasion, our wants may seem so powerful that we can’t imagine living without them. Consider an item such as housing. Shelter is a need; however, it may become a want if you’re paying more for rent or a mortgage in order to live in a larger home or upscale area. And clothing? That, too, is a need, but if you buy expensive brands or are buying clothing just because it’s on sale, it can quickly fall into the want category. There are several strategies to help you win the needs vs wants battle.
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