Want vs Need

Have you ever thought about what you need versus what you want?? When we were little we were taught there are wants and there are needs. You need shelter, you need food, you need water, you need clothes. But we want a big fancy house, we want to go out to eat, we want specialty coffees and energy drinks, we want name brand clothes, purses, shoes.


Have you ever stopped to think about the why?? Will a bigger house will make us happier? Maybe there’s a need to prove something to someone so we buy the most expensive purse we can afford and flaunt it at work or the grocery store? Does the steak at an over priced restaurants taste better than the one at home? Is it too inconvenient to filter water at home and easier to buy cases of name brand water?

What is your motivation or lack of motivation?

Have you ever thought about how long you have to work for the things you buy? Chris and I used to play this game a lot back in the day and we’re finding ourselves doing it again. For instance, if I want to buy a $100 pair of jeans (I’d NEVER do that) and I make $10/hr then I’d have to work 10 hours to buy the jeans. Are they worth 10 hours of work?? If the answers Yes then buy away but if it’s NO then no sale!!

I know we think about this differently. We still indulge in wants but we try to keep it as close to needs as possible. For us simpler is better. If we don’t need it then we really have to think about how long we had to worked to buy it. Like the new RV. We need a new home but how much of a home do we need vs want?? Regardless of which RV we decide on we’ll be buying our new home for no more than 4 months savings. We think 4 months of hard work is a damn good trade off for a new home!! How many other people can say that? In our world of fulltimers or the more conventional world of stick and brick houses?? Our rationalization is the same with Big Red. The old girl needs some work…the Texas dry creek bed driving was not kind to her at all and we’ve put over 3,000 miles on her in the last 6 months alone with all our travels. To us it only seems logical to invest the $500 or so in parts to get her purring again. We’re lucky in the fact that Chris is a whiz on the Miatas and there ain’t a part he can’t replace or a project he can’t do. I’ll be his trusty side kick and get a little greasy in the process just for fun!!

Have you ever thought about recycling and reusing existing things you have instead of buying something new?? I never had until we started this adventure. Now I’m learning that a lot of things can be fixed or adapted to use again. Like our couch. Our couch isn’t the most comfortable and it’s a hideous faded pink. We bought a cream couch cover for it when we were fixing up everything for our original launch. That was a waste of money. The couch cover didn’t fit well and doesn’t fit at all when we make the couch into a bed for movie night add in a Dickie puke (it’s cream colored remember) and it’s toast. Now we use one of our throw blankets to cover it. The plan is to buy a mattress pillow top ($11) and use an old sheet we have and reupholster it ourselves. That way it’ll be more comfy and NOT pink!!

What about shopping at thrift stores? Have you thought of buying clothes, furniture, appliances etc from a second hand store?? We’d shop in ’em on occasion before but now I prefer to go to them first. You never know what you’re going to find which is half the fun for me, the other half being I’m a sucker for a good deal, a bargain and a sale!! I like buying clothes there. They are always the real true size. It’s been worn and washed so there’s no guessing on shrinkage. It is what it is!! I’ve been on the look out for a small portable sewing machine so we can take full advantage of the clothes and be able to make new curtains and such for the new RV. A small investment on a sewing machine for a huge yield for years to come!!

Do you think about want vs need?? What are some of your money saving tips? Are we frugal or just cheap? Or just plain weird??

With Much LOVE

Mrs Madcap



10 thoughts on “Want vs Need

  1. I had a job where business casual was a reqt, NEVER bought anything new, thrift store-R-us. The number of items that still have new tags on them even at thrift stores is surprising. Other than undergarments and running shoes, I have vowed not to buy any new clothing. The bottom line as u 2 know well— COMPARISON SHOP, FOR EVERYTHING!

    • There is ALWAYS an exception to the rule… panties and shoes are on that list for sure!! It’s shocking to see the original price on the tags vs the thrift store price!! You have to wonder how many people actually paid that outrageous price!! Then grin cause you’re smarter!!

  2. I always think of need first..lol. I try to find things on clearance racks, at garage sales, second hand stores, or the websites on facebook. It is crazy some of the prices you have to pay for new clothes, furniture, etc. I have been looking for a house it definitely has to be bigger but within our price range because what happens when you get the bigger better house and lose it then where will you be.

    • We also look on ebay and craigslist!! In your area they also have bookoo.com which is another great bargain finder, a lot like craigslist. I have even found the brand name jeans in the second hand stores and then sold them on ebay. There’s just something to people about having a logo on there butt that means a lot…I don’t get it at all!!
      Welcome to the world of commenting Virginia!! Glad to have ya!! 😉

  3. This is so “up my alley”! I think about it alot! I’ve been a thrift shopper for a long time now and cringe at the prices of “new clothes”. Plus, like you, I love the thrill of finding something good at the thrift store. I even balk at some of the thrift store prices! My hubs has been a long time advocate of buying used over new. And we are being frugal with our couch cover too! Ours isn’t pink but it’s a blue and beige boring couch. So I’m on the search for a sheet to use to recover it. In the meantime, we have one of my favorite quilts draped over part of it (not big enough to cover the whole thing.)

    • We have seen some of the thrift/second hand stores that are quite proud of their ‘stuff’. We see it more so at garage sales tho. We consider ourselves snobs, once we come up with the ‘reasonable’ price everything else is outrageous and we’ll continue hunting. It’s out there…just gotta find it!!
      We’d be a little more picky on our sheet too if it was going to be a permanent upgrade but we’re just looking for a little more comfort for the next few months until the new RV. Let me know how it turns out!! I’d love to see it!!

  4. Oh so true! I’ve been a thrift shopper all my life – even when I didn’t have to be. The only thing that is absolute;y permanently yours is the memories that you have. Make good memories. For yourself and those you love. It’s a great legacy to leave your kids, and one they will remember long after the expensive brand name jeans have been outgrown. – The things of value can’t be purchased with money – warm sunshine on your face, the fresh smell after a rain, the sound of crickets and peepers in the Spring . . .

    • Its true that the best things in life are free!! The art of happiness is another subject I’m working on and I agree – they go hand in hand.
      Money can’t buy the feel of the wind thru your hair, the gentle gurgle of a shallow stream, the amazement of seeing something new, the joy of accomplishment, the feeling of true love or the cuddle from a furry friend.
      It’s the small things in life sometimes that bring the most meaning.

  5. Obviously you hit a note here! This point about not having to impress people with what you have is why we do not drive a bmw or have a 4 bedroom house. What you are should impress people. I will invest in education and in health, because that adds to who you are, not what you have. My mother used to say “you can lose everything but what you know” . Keep on with the needs vs wants!

    • I agree that investing in yourself, being healthy and happy are what’s truly important. Making memories is very high on the list for us as well. Enjoying life to the fullest to us doesn’t mean having the most toys…
      Love ya!!

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