Thursday, April 14, 2011

budget: need vs want

I had a reader request to do a mini series on budgeting and spending money.

my WHOLE life i've been a crazy hoarding money saver.
my high school friends hated it, particularly when i would talk their moms out of buying them lots of clothes at Nordstrom's that they didn't need :)

The most simple pieces of advice that my parents both taught me about saving and spending money growing up was that we bought what we needed and when we felt like we had a little extra money to spend once a month or whatever worked for us, we would buy what we wanted.

My mom taught us this simply through the idea that growing up, my parents paid for those "need" items and with our own money we paid for the "want".  I loved hoarding my money, watching it increase in my bank account with each babysitting job I did that I never wanted to spend it.

Over the last few years I've loosened up and realized that sometimes things that don't seem like "NEEDS" at the time can be just that.  these two things aren't always a need but every once in a while they are:

my best SIMPLE advice for saving and spending money is to ask yourself before each purchase "is this a need, or a want?"  event if it is just a $10 t-shirt from target... those small purchases can really add up. My mom also always taught me to never buy something just because it is on sale. It has to be a need regardless of if it's $5 or $50. 


  1. I used to be a money saving hoarder too! It probably came from my parents being similar to yours in that sense you described. After I got my first (not so high) paying job after college, I felt like I was better off knowing how to save and budget. Good for you because it will help you throughout your life!

  2. Such a lovely point to consider...I have started doing that as well! I want a lot of things, especially clothes and accessories, but do I really need them is the true question! :) Hope you are having a Wonderful Weekend, Olivia!

    Liesl :)

  3. that is such an amazing quality to have! my husband is this way & he has taught to live this way also. It is really addicting to watching our savings account grow & grow & grow. the whole "don't just buy it because its on sale" is something I believe 110%!!

  4. This is such a good way of thinking about money...I try to do this too (most of the time, ha!)

  5. totally agree - I try not to buy things on sale unless I'd buy them full price. it took me a few years to realize this of course :)


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