Oh, Grow Up…


Budgeting Boomer’s Lisa Mallard

Let’s face it, we all have that inner child that screams “I NEED THAT NOW!” And it is that inner child that has put many in the dreadful financial state that they’re in today. They thought they NEEDED; a brand new car, the latest electronic gadget, the newest gaming device, the tropical vacation, and the enormous new house. What they ended up with is debt they can’t pay, a strained marriage and many sleepless nights.

Many do not recognize the difference between needs and wants. Real needs are the basics such as food, shelter, transportation, clothing, utilities and childcare so that you can work.

Wants are items or services that increase one’s quality of life such as those “NEEDS” listed above. Wants fill an emotional need. That’s why we hear about “Retail Therapy” after a bad day or long week of work. We have become a society that defines itself by the stuff we own. Marketers use that psychological information to create “needs” by creative tactics. They convince you that you cannot possibly be happy without their latest offering. Those tactics work as evidence shows in the lines at Apple stores the night before the release date of their most recent upgrade.

I am not suggesting that you give up wants but if your financial situation cannot justify it then you must quiet that inner child. Before you make an impulsive purchase wait 24 hours to make sure it is something that you still want and that you can fit it in your budget. Do the research and make sure you are getting the best price and quality.

If, after 24 hours, you still want it and it doesn’t fit into your budget, STOP! It’s time to be honest with yourself and realize that it is not a responsible purchase. What damage will you be doing to your financial well-being and is it worth it? Wouldn’t it feel so much better to actually budget and be able to afford that indulgence?

It’s time to grow up and make conscious purchasing decisions to get your finances back on track. Now go to your room and do your homework!