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Hello and welcome back!
If you’d like a downloadable PDF of this Lesson, go here.
I want to thank you all for all the emails you’ve shared with me. I get so excited when I think about the group of women we have that have come together to change their relationship with money.
It so exciting and I’m so glad you’re here on this journey!
Today I want to talk about something that typically confuses the heck out of the women I work with.
It has to do with understanding your needs, wants and deepest desires.
Wants and needs often get mixed up in our minds when we’re standing there in front of something that’s super appealing to us.
Let’s imagine for a moment that your biggest nemesis to your budget is shoes.
You wander into the shoe department only to see the most fabulous leather boots. You pick them up, caress them gently, imagine them on your feet. You begin the internal conversation with yourself about really wanting these boots. It quickly digresses into how much you need them. Before you know it, you’ve summoned the sales clerk and have those hot boots on your feet quicker than you can say, “thank-you.”
As you leave the store, you reaffirm you need for these fantastic boots. Maybe you even justify the purchase by telling yourself how hard you work and how much you deserve these new boots.
In the early years, I had that type of experience every time I hit the shoe department. Well, truth be told, I had that conversation almost anytime I made a purchase.
I “needed” a lot.
The problem was, what I needed couldn’t be bought.
If you’re here, I’m pretty sure you can relate.
In The EMBRACE Lifestyle Training Program, we dive deep into our needs, wants and desires. And I help you learn to navigate the very subtle differences between the three.
But today, I’m going to share with you content and an exercise to help you start down the path of distinguishing the differences.
WANTS, NEEDS AND DEEP DESIRES
Your deepest needs can’t be met at Macy’s.
Our need for laughter, companionship, physical touch, friendship, and spiritual connectedness to name a few, cannot be satisfied with a shopping spree. Making a purchase as a substitute for fulfilling a need, may work in the short run, but eventually, the sense of deprivation will rear its ugly head, and the cycle of buying will begin again.
When I think of a want, I immediately think that I will be immediately gratified. If you have the sudden urge to have something immediately, then it’s probably a want and not a need. By slowing down, looking inward and discerning if that item is a need or want you’ll be able to reduce vastly the impulse buys that often contribute to money struggles.
But if you’re confused about the difference one way to tell is if you can not immediately articulate exactly what it is you need most in any environment, and find yourself very frustrated with yourself then learning this technique will help immensely.
A few years ago I came across this little saying, and it’s helped me to remember the differences when faced with the challenge of determining if what I desperately want to buy is a want or need. For shopaholics like us, it helped me turn around my shopping addiction and taught me the differences I desperately needed to learn.
Here it is: An easy way to remember the difference between wants vs. needs
A need when filled sustains you.
A want when filled will entertain you.
Substituting wants for needs will eventually drain you.
Let’s dive into the exercise below and define exactly what it is you need and why you need it. If you can get clear on your needs, others can better support your success.
Next time you’re out shopping, try this exercise. Before making the purchase ask yourself these questions:
1. Do I really need this? (The focus here is on the word need)
If I waited a week, a month or a year would I really still need this?
2. Do I really need this? (The focus here is on the word really)
This is about the degree of the need. Do I really need this enough that I should make this a priority? Do I need this so much I’m willing to give up something else to have it?
3. Do I really need this? (The focus here is on the word this)
You’re attempting to discern here if this particular item is an attempt to meet a need that is impossible to meet with material things. Are you feeling lonely, angry, anxious, rejected, or ashamed? Are you trying to mask a deeper feeling with this purchase? If so, how could you get your need met in another way that would fill the need?
If after asking yourself these three questions your answer is still “yes, I need this,” there is one more questions to ask:
4. Is buying this item worth what you’d have to give up to have it?
Asking this question will help you stay connected to your money and the consequences of making that decision. It’s not that you can’t have it. It’s just if you choose to buy it, you’re choosing to forgo or delay spending on something else and maybe something else that’s more important, like paying a bill. None of us have an endless amount of money. Ultimately the choice is ours whether we put off something more important for this “want.”
I still ask myself these questions when I make a purchase, particularly if I am feeling the compulsion to go out and spend money.
I’m not perfect and sometimes find myself trying to fill a need with shopping.
As emotional issues rise to the surface, I have to stop and check in with myself to see if it’s a deeper emotional need that isn’t being met and that I am trying to reach them by making a purchase.
So let’s review what we discussed today.
First, we discussed the concepts of wants and needs.
Why it’s really crucial to understand your wants, needs and desires and how it relates to spending.
And then we finished off with an exercise to keep them in check when out shopping.
Now, just like last time, it’s so important for you to take action on what we discussed today. What I have found that is super helpful to make sure we follow through is to claim what we’re going to do.
So send me an email and take the time to write down your thoughts in your journal. Take a minute and let me know:
- What need is currently not be fulfilled?
- How have you used shopping to fill that need?
- What one thing can you do this week to get one of your needs met that does not include shopping?
I know it can be tough to take action, but I promise you if you take the time to message me you’re going to feel so much better!
In our next section of this six-part training series, we’re going to talk about debt and how why we’ve got so much of it!
Thank you so much for being here today. I can’t wait to read all your action steps. I’m so passionate about this work because I have seen how these incredible shifts can happen that completely turn around someone’s relationship with money and I can’t wait for that to happen for you!
See you next time!