“I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.”
― Jackie Mason
Let’s have moment of radical honesty together. Following an earlier post, and in the interest of full disclosure, here’s a by-no-means comprehensive list of things I don’t have and shamelessly want. Some are silly, some are serious, some I clearly don’t need, but if money were no object, these were the things that first sprang to mind:
All debt paid off in an instant
A suddenly, fully furnished apartment
A new pair of high waisted jeans that don’t have holes in the knees
Always more lipstick
A fully outfitted kitchen
Multiple media subscriptions
A realistic path towards owning property
An iPad to make work on the go easier
A spa day
Gucci loafers (second hand of course)
A cleaning service
An immediately available annual travel budget
But were I not on a shopping ban and suddenly had more spending money for the month, what would I get tomorrow if I had to prioritize? I gave myself a mental exercise and actually thought about this for a while: what do I feel like I actually need right now? I consulted my running lists of personal and home good wants before writing another list down:
A larger monthly payment towards student loans/credit cards. Eliminating these suckers would not just free up income, but reduce a lingering background stressor, and allow us to start saving more.
A monthly contribution towards NPR and PBS, given the current political climate. I classify this as a need, because I am very seriously feeling a need to contribute time and money to the causes I care about moving forward. Talk is cheap!
A stock pot for the purposes of more winter soups and the ability to make larger quantities of food during meal prep.
A new and better quality duvet for our bed. Winter ain’t coming any more, it’s here!
Possibly the unwripped jeans…but I have other trousers to wear so then again, probably not!
And…that’s it. I’m serious. What I want and what feel I need have next to no overlap at the moment. I have a place to live, means to get around, pretty hood health overall, and the ability to buy food. I’m up to date on my health appointments, a huge amount of quality media is available to me either free of charge or relatively cheap, and clothes on my back. Everything else would be nice to have but I’m either working towards it, I can get by with what I’ve got in the meantime, or I frankly don’t need it.
Which leads me to conclude, in spite of a good overall sense of how much I spend, I’ve underestimated how much of my life I’ve framed in terms of “wants.” It’s very easy to want things, it takes discipline to determine actual needs. And I’ve clearly been less disciplined than I’d like to admit.
If you made a list of needs, what would be the top three right now? What about what you want–and remember, this is a judgement free zone!