Get real about Money:Needs vs Wants

basics_money.jpgGet real about money. Let’s face it: Most people spend way too much money on things they don’t really need. The more money we make, the more we tend to spend. This endless cycle of materialism has led many people to confuse the word “need” with the word “want.” As in, “we need a big-screen TV for our new home theatre.” Or, “I need a new pair of shoes to go with my new outfit.”

If you want to achieve your vocational passion, where every day you jump out of bed and can’t wait to go to work, then you need to re-order your priorities. Stay away from the purely material.

The pursuit of material success often is the root cause of burnout at midlife.
In fact, a recent study found that people primarily motivated by the love of their work grow dissatisfied as they begin to make more money. The first step to breaking free from the materialism trap is to understand the difference between “need” and “want.”

We need food, clothing, shelter, reliable transportation, education, enrichment, and the technology necessary to do our work. Also, we need the occasional small indulgence to treat our children and ourselves.


We do not need 500 cable TV channels, brand new luxury cars, 5,000-square-foot homes in exclusive neighborhoods, lavish ski vacations, and smart phones that do everything but think for us.

There is nothing wrong with wanting these things. But understand that these things do not make us happy, in and of them. And, they are often links in the chains that bind us to jobs we despise.

Often, those who make a leap to vocational passion end up making more money over the long term. But in the short term, income usually declines. It may even go away for a period of time. Typically, the first two years of a career change – in particular, one motivated purely by vocational passion – are financially difficult. Major lifestyle and attitude adjustments are critical to making the money last while you pursue your dream.

The amazing thing is that once you learn to live on less, it becomes a habit. The peace of mind that comes from relying less on materialism to define success usually leads to a greater and deeper happiness.

Now we understand that pursuing vocational passion requires a major adjustment in our attitude toward money and material comfort. The next step is getting down to the details.

The trick is to look at all expenses, both big and small. Leave no stone unturned. No savings is too small, and no category of spending should be free from scrutiny.

Consider these options to cut down your burn rate. Some will seem dramatic. But if you have decided that your only chance at happiness is to pursue a vocational dream, small measures won’t cut it.


Not many people are left out there who have yet to discover card cravings. Nearly everyone is out to chase card bills.This is because the majority remains unaware of the insurance deals offered with the cards, most are suffering from credit card debt and are ergo unable to apply for second mortgage, let alone equity loans.

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5 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    This is the bible by which I live my life. I love being ‘cheap’, though most people in my life do not appreciate it.

    My family is the kind to have lots of TV channels, satellite radio, and too many cars. My sister, one and only, is starting to show signs of impulse buying, which leads to everything you describe.

    She constantly buys clothing because she works at Sears. Her excuse is that it is on ‘sale’ and only “two dollars, why wouldn’t I buy a shirt if it costs two dollars!” Well she bought 3 of the SAME shirt with the excuse that others would get ruined. It just makes me furious how she thinks. But its her money and her life. I just use her as an example of how not to spend my money, I watch for signs of myself acting like her. I change my mind when buying things when I think, is this a NEED or a WANT? Which is usually at goodwill, if I do buy new clothing…

  2. Robin Bal says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for your comment and welcome to FortuneWatch. What you say as living cheap, I would refer as living real and whether people appreciate it or not, it doesn’t matter.

    There is no end to wanting more and more. I generally avoid buying things on SALE, simply because I end up buying more than I actually need.

    Once again I emphasize, get real about money and save those few dollars.

    Take care and cheers

  3. Rudy says:

    When people buy luxury cars, SUVs, and trucks, that’s when I shook my head and say “WHY?” Their excuse is always “Because I can.” Yeah, you can be in debt to your eyeballs too, but I guess that’s ok for them if they look rich.

    Personally I blame the media for promoting such lavish living in America.

    Thank you for this article. I just wish more people read this and apply it.

  4. Jack Mender says:

    It seems like business is still getting hit hard. Is anybody seeing an upswing in their respective niches? Health reform seems like a mess. I generate long term care insurance leads and annuity leads for the insurance industry, but volume has been terrible in the last two months. I am afraid the worst is yet to come, but maybe it is just my attitude.

  5. Jean Belony says:

    I have been looking all over the place for all of this guidance… I am ecstatic someone genuinely has got the solution to such a very simple subject. You have no clue what number of internet sites We have really been to over the last hr. Thank you for that content

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