One of my goals is to better manage my money and pay off my credit card. I’m making progress on paying off the card. I’ve never been good at budgeting, especially as things can change month to month. Keeping track of budget stuff is a constant challenge, but the biggest challenge for me is deciding what I really need versus what I want. For example,
Things I need:
- food (for me and the pooch) — check
- clothing (work and otherwise) — check
- shelter — check
- money to provide for all of it — check
Things I want:
- knitting supplies
- electric kettle for my tea habit
- Meyer lemon tree, also for my tea habit and general prettiness
That’s pretty straightforward. The challenge is when I have to decide what is a want and what is a need.
And then there is temptation. I’ve wanted an electric tea kettle for ages, but haven’t allowed myself to justify its purchase yet. I have a perfectly useful kettle for the stove, do I really need an electric one?
At what point does denying what I want become problematic, in that I might overcompensate and do something worse (e.g., splurging on a bunch of books) when if I’d gone for the want (purchased the one book), I would have made out better overall?
I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. I’m not sure there’s always a right answer, as it may change from situation to situation.