“Oh, look at that! That is so cool! Don’t know exactly what it does, but look it is a dime!” So you walk out of the store with 10 of those things. Did you really need it? Was it going to make a difference in your life? Did you just buy it because you could get 10 for a buck? Chances are it was because it was so cheap.
Let’s take a look at TJ’s 4th rule:
4. Never buy what you don’t want because it is cheap.
How many times I have gone shopping and found a bargain! The object may have caught my eye but I knew deep down I didn’t want it…. UNTIL…. I saw the price. If it was dirt cheap, I immediately needed it. I have fallen prey to the idea that something cheap makes it a better choice. But, in the long run, that thing will only take up space in my home and eventually will make its way to the trash.
I think today’s way of thinking has cluttered our lives. We need to get back to the idea of what we need vs. what we want.
Funny, I remember my dad saying that there is a big difference between a want and a need. Yeah, I may want those new pair of shoes but do I need them? That is what we need to distinguish. It is my opinion that we today have a strange way of deciding what is a need and a want. We know the basics: we need food, water, and shelter. Those we got but we over extend our need rule.
This is what I mean, we make daily choices. For example, this past weekend, we were out shopping as a family. My son immediately wanted a drink. In his mind, he wanted a soda. Did he need it? No, he needed a drink. My husband told him that there was a water fountain the in store and he can get a drink there. Oh my heavens, he thought we were the meanest parents in the world. He thought if he was thirsty we would automatically purchase the coveted soda drink. His body prefers the water over soda anyway. His need was met at the water fountain and it did not kill him. We have distorted the idea of a need vs. want. He wanted a soda. He needed water.
Just the other day on the Today Show, a lady was seeking help at the grocery store. She needed help stretching her dollar and needed to lose extra weight. She was told to go shopping as usual. She did. She had soda (name brand), chips (name brand), cereal (name brand), and packaged meals (name brand). The “expert” pointed her to the store brand of everything. The whole time I was screaming at the television. Her family doesn’t need soda. Water is free. Tea and Kool-aide (store brand of course), is cheap and goes further than a bottled soda. Chips? What are those? We only have them for “special” occasions. The kids don’t need them. They need veggies and fruits. Cereal? How about oatmeal? Or making pancakes? Learn to use a crock pot and save money on “packaged meals.” This was classic need vs. want. She loaded herself down with wants not needs. Even at knock down prices, did the family “need” soda and chips?
So, here’s my challenge: Rediscover and distinguish or perhaps redefine is a better word, your idea of needs and wants. In the long run, if you learn to purchase the needs (at markdown prices), you will save money and will spend wisely. You may want something because of it’s price but ask yourself: Am I a better person if I purchase this? If your answer is no, put it down and walk away….. now you are the better person.