Have you ever walked into your favorite clothing store and wanted to buy every single item? I know I have, and it is extremely tempting. The real question you should ask yourself is:“Do I want it or do I need it?” Teaching yourself not to buy certain things will not be easy, but worth it. It begins with identifying the differences between want vs. need. When you want something it is because you desire it, everyone has it, so now I want one. On the other hand, when you need something it is because you cannot survive without it.In contrast, another way to look at differences is by observing how we eat. For example, needing something to eat vs. wanting to go out to a nice restaurant.
When you are of age to start working, getting a job will help create the boundaries between want vs need. In the mean time, volunteer! Volunteering looks amazing on your college application, and it will help you recognize the differences between your wants and needs.”What you want” will no longer matter because you will surround yourself with people who are less fortunate than you are and it will help you recognize that wanting the new iPhone will no longer be an importance to purchase since it’s something you don’t necessarily need at the moment. Doing so, will put everything into perspective and helps them realize “the new outfit mom bought was not a big deal anymore”.
Amelia*, a high school junior, says she loves to help her community. “It teaches me that I can change a person’s life by a simple smile or a conversation. Volunteering helped me set aside my wants and focus on the things I already had. So, should you volunteer ? Absolutely! It really change my perspective on life.”
When you are ready to start working in high school, a job and creating a budget will help determine your wants vs needs. Balancing your money is super important. A job can teach you the value of the dollar by working hours to get more money. Once you have received your money, set it aside. Cash can be very easy to spend, so I recommend storing it away. This method can allow your savings to increase and can create the opportunity to spend on something you truly need.
“One thing I have learned about getting a job is that’s it not easy, but totally worth the paycheck. Sure, you have urges to spend, but once you realize how much a meal is at Chick-fil-a that price helps you establish a budget. Especially, if you have the responsibility of paying for your cellphone bill now, like me since I am about to be considered an adult, my parents say. My advice is budget yourself. Once that is done, you can then separate what you need and want,” says Marianne, high school senior.
I know it’s hard to not buy that cute dress at the mall, but other young girls do not have that option. So, next time just think to yourself, “do I really need it? If the answer no, walk away.
*Name has been changed.