Friday, February 14, 2014

Frugal Living: The Difference Between Wants and Needs

Raising any family is expensive, but it becomes even more difficult when you have a large family to care for. Finding ways to save money is absolutely essential, not only now but for your family's future as well. If you're able to save money now, that means there's more money to put towards college funds, retirement, or just into savings. This biggest way to begin living frugally is to learn the difference between wants and needs. Although it can be difficult sometimes, you'd be surprised with just how much stuff you have that you really don't need-- from extra clothes to household products.

Not only do we try to purchase the items we need versus the items we want, but we also strive to teach our children the difference between wants and needs. You need food, shelter, utilities and clothing. You don't need 20 pairs of jeans, 5 toy boxes full of toys or all of that junk food. Sure, it may be nice to have them, but you really don't need them.

My husband and I both grew up in families that weren't able to by the finest of things; therefore, we already have a firm understanding of the difference between wants and needs. Still, recently we sat down and wrote out exactly where our money was going and found we spent quite a lot on things we really didn't need. By eliminating those things we didn't need, we were able to begin saving more and more money. Don't get me wrong, we will splurge from time to time and get something we want, but we try to stick with the basics.

You'd be really surprised at how you can begin saving money. For example, recently we needed a new can opener because our previous bit the dust. Well, they have the basic hand operated can opener, then they also had this really cool electronic can and bottle opener. It even filed the edges so they weren't sharp. Oh man, I fell in love at first sight. However, there was a difference. My dream can opener was a little over $25.00, but the hand operated was only $3.00. We only NEEDED a can opener even though I WANTED the fancy one. So, the $3.00 one came home with us.

Even though we only saved $22.00, that's at least a pair of pants for one of the kids. Simple little changes like this really make the difference. It doesn't just end with kitchen utensils, but just about everything in life.

By making the choice to begin living with what you need versus what you want, you'll slowly but surely begin seeing the savings.

Do you know the difference between needs and wants? How do you keep your wants to a minimum to allow you to live frugally?

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