The need versus want debate has never been more evident than since we moved into our 55-year-old house, which was last owned by an 85-year-old woman who owned it for 50 years and raised six kids in it.
Suffice it to say that she wasn’t really concerned with having all of the latest trends over the last 30 years or so.
The kitchen is tired.
It has green linoleum floors in the kitchen that are probably older than me.
Yes, that’s an actual picture of our kitchen floor.
The bathrooms are old.
But they all “do” what they’re supposed to do.
The kitchen cooks, cleans, stores and controls food temperatures.
The toilets “receive our waste” just fine.
The tubs work.
The showers spray water.
But they’re ugly by today’s standards.
Almost so ugly that they’re cute.
You know… like pugs.
In other words, the house doesn’t “need” anything. But there are several things we “want.”
The confusion between those two concepts makes companies BILLIONS, if not TRILLIONS, of dollars per year.
Just take several fancy folks I call “friends.” Don’t worry, they all know what I’m about to write because it’s what I actually “said.” Several times.
Fancy McButterpants: “Wow, your house is so pretty! All you need to do is the kitchen and the baths and then you’re done. How great is that?!?!?!”
Seriously?!?! I know it’s ugly but I “need” to do the kitchen and baths?!?! And yes… they mean “need.” Like they wouldn’t move in until it were completely done over.
The good news is that I’ve heard things like this so many times over the years, that I’ve almost perfected the response:
Me: “I know. It was crazy. I went through the kitchen and the sink only sprayed hot and cold water! The dishwasher only washed my dishes! The stove and oven only cooked food! And the fridge only kept my food cold! I have to rip it all out and start over! I can’t believe the woman who owned it before me and raised six kids here wasn’t arrested for child abuse. (turning concerned) Actually, maybe that’s why she was selling the house! Maybe they took her kids away and she didn’t need such a big place anymore! Oh my, I need to do something about that before they take my kids away! And don’t get me started on the bathroom! Can you believe I have to actually squeeze the poop out of my own butt?!?!?! I gotta look into the hose system. I hear that’s the new thing these days. Toilets are so 2012!”
There are needs and there are wants. As long as you keep confusing the two, you’re going to have 99 problems and your bank account will be one.
But if you master the difference between needs and wants, you’ll realize that you likely have all you need.
And all of your “we need” conversations are really about “how many wants” you can afford.
That’s a pretty awesome position to be in, if you ask me.
And a big percentage of us are in that position. You just need the right perspective.
Then you can move slower, and wiser.
And “Old You” will thank you.
Because “Old You” will have “money.”
To buy “food.”
Even if it means “Young You” had to poop into a blue toilet for a couple of years.