|Managing Money: Needs Vs. Wants
Nicole, 11, likes to save her money for "something big or expensive that won't go into my 'not important' pile. Something I will use often and be glad I have."
Sierra, 10, spends $1.00 or $2.00 a week at the Dollar Store, but saves the rest for things she really wants, like video games or clothes. And Jo, 10, is planning for the future. "I like to save my money in the bank for things when I'm older, like drums, drum lessons, a car, and a snowboard," she said.
Saving means setting aside a certain amount of money each time you get paid. Say you got $5.00 a week and saved $3.00 of it each week. After a month you'd have $12.00, after two months you'd have $24.00, and after six months you'd have $72.00.
Sometimes there's no getting around it -- you have to spend money on things that you need right away, like lunch, or socks, or a new tire for your bike. Other times you might spend money on something you really want, like an MP3 player or a GameBoy. In order to know when to spend and when to save, it helps to know the difference between needs and wants.
You've probably heard people say, "I have to have that pair of jeans" or "I need to see that movie." Maybe you've even said those things yourself. But what does it mean? Will something horrible happen if you don't have those jeans or need to see that movie? Probably not!
Needs are things that we truly can't be without, such as:
Wants are things you'd like to have, but if you don't, you'll still survive (in fact, you'll be just fine). Like:
But there are times when wants become needs. For example, say you lived on the tip-top of a steep hill and needed to get to school, which was at the very bottom of the hill. Every winter, the snow makes it too difficult to drive, ride, or even walk down. But a snowboard would be the perfect mode of transportation for you to get to school, so the snowboard goes from being a want to being a need.
Figure out your needs and wants
Other things to consider when trying to figure out a need vs. a want:
Think about what things are necessary for your day-to-day existence. Write a list of them. Why do you feel these things are necessary? What things do you want? Write them down. Why do you want these things? Are any of your wants also needs?