Saturday, March 26, 2011

distinguishing needs from wants

I used to go to this exercise class called something like, core strength, but could have easily been called something like, unexplainable pain. The instructor was adorable and surprisingly funny - which is probably why I kept going back.  She'd have us doing all sorts of bizarre things with exercise balls and broom sticks that hurt like the dickens.  And just when you thought you might pass out from pain, she'd say: today we are going to learn about distinguishing needs from wants.  She'd explain us that there was no shame in stopping if you really needed to, but that if we only wanted to stop, keep going.  

I think that I really did learned something about needs and wants in that class - in a different way than I'd ever thought about them before.  

Everyday, I make decisions, as I assume many other do, based on habit and impulse and necessity.  Just yesterday, I bought a new pair of shoes because I had decided a few weeks ago that I needed a new pair of black heels.  So when I found a cute pair at a reasonable price, and they fit comfortably, I pulled out my credit card and carried them home.  I'm still not sure if I really needed them but I'm sure that I'll use them.  

Today, I pulled out my credit card again for a much bigger and less exciting purchase: tires.  I was on my to the grocery store yesterday when I realized that I had a flat.  Luckily, I was close to home and able to pull into my driveway and assess the situation from home.  I tried to change it myself but gave up when I couldn't get the hubcap off.  So, I called (technically, I instant messaged) a friend who kindly came to my aide.  This morning I took my car to the neighborhood tire store, where an adorable salesman with dreamy eyelashes talked me into buying 2 new tires.  Did I need the new tires?  Maybe, I don't know.  Maybe it could have been patched, but in the hopes that my decision is less likely to leave me stranded in a bad neighborhood, I decided to pull out my plastic and invest in some new tires.

So back to needs and wants, there are so many things that I want right now and a few things that I actually sort of need.  And I am generally pretty good at depriving myself of my wants, unless, we're talking about chocolate - which I probably miscategorize as a need a little too often.  But sometimes, I wonder if I am too frugal and deprive myself of truly good things because, I'm unwilling to take a risk.  And maybe if I stretched myself a little further and didn't give up so easily, I might find that there is more to life than scrutinizing shoe purchases.          

On that note, I think that maybe I'll go finish my DC bar application... 


  1. Well you are better than me - I don't think - I impulse buy and then pay for it later! I think there is definitely a fair balance in life in all things - the trick is to find the balance.

  2. I think that trait runs in the family... may i remind you of the shoes that you threw away for me while you were here in slc?

    Glad to know i am not the only one!

  3. yes I do! and don't feel bad, sometimes a sister just needs a little help. I wonder if our frugality is nature or nurture, either way we sure are cheap.

  4. I love the way you approached with such wit ... a truly thought provoking topic..

  5. CUTE shoes, Magsie! It's true, we Olson's are a frugal bunch, myself included. I have decided that I have an appreciation for the cheaper things in life but sometimes I feel like I am depriving myself too. I'm glad you treated yourself to such cute shoes, you deserve 'em sister!