Frugal Living idea for the month of September
We all are on a budget of some kind. We all need to learn WANTS vs NEEDS.
So what is a need: a roof over your head, food on your table, water to drink, clothes on your back, basic hygiene.
Needs are different for everyone, but the basics are listed above. You do not need the house that costs millions of dollars, you do not need to buy designer clothes. Do not get me wrong, those things are nice, but not needs.
Now some places where people live transportation is a need. Having and maintain a vehicle is a need. Some people need to buy public transportation passes, tokens, tickets, etc. So those needs to added to the budget. Now just because you NEED a car, that does not mean you have to buy the newest model offered at the car lot.
Wants then come in to play and you will buy things that you do not need, but want. Buying a new big flat screen tv is want.
I have been taught and I have taught my kids the difference between wants and needs. We all need to learn to ask is this a want or a need? Then you have to have to make the decision to buy or not buy. Now if you are on a very tight budget, then buying a new purse, or another black skirt or pants. We all need to ask ourselves do I really need that? Most likely it a want not a need. Now if you need it then yes, but most people have more than one pair of pants, skirts in your closet.
I have seen first hand people that only thought about wants and not needs. We lived in a house with 5 other roommates. I really get to see first hand what people buy each month. Now we lived with these room mates out of a need, we were transplanted to a new area and finding a job and getting back on your feet is hard. Husband was paid weekly. So each week we pulled out money for rent, any bills we had and put that into our savings acct. Then we would go to the store and buy food, water if needed. We did not have to buy clothes as we had all we needed. Of course we bought any personal hygiene items we needed. Everyone in the house bought their own food, cooked their own food, and washed their own clothes, which included buying your own laundry soap, etc.
I made dinner every night. We had meat, a starch like potatoes, rice or pasta, a vegetable, and I made muffins, or brownies for dessert. We ate very good. My husband said he likes to eat and that is a need. Now we did not have steak every night. I bought what ever meat was on sale, and made a plan and menu for the week.
Now the other people in the house hardly ever cooked, they made ramen noodles, rice mixes, or went out to eat, or ordered pizza. Now the other people in the house made more money per month than we did. They told us, but they never went shopping to buy food. After they paid there rent, and basic bills they would have over 800.00 dollars of spending money per month, as they said. They were paid monthly and by the 5-10th of each month they were out of money. They would go shopping, but not for food, go to the movies, not one movie but 3-4 movies, they would go out to eat at an expensive restaurant on pay day. There were days that I never saw them eat late into the month. There were some nights I would cook a little extra so they could eat. But I got to point of being upset and grumpy with them because they did not handle their money or plan out what they NEEDED each month. So I stopped offering food to them.
There were many a night they would be watering at the mouth and ask how do you eat so well everyday. I would tell them I would spend money each week and go to the store and buy food I can cook. We only spent 50-100 dollars each week, depending on what we ran out of or what was needed. I would by a large pack of bacon each week. We would have 2 weekend breakfasts, and I would have enough bacon to have 3 pieces each day if I wanted it. They would be so jealous, and they could not understand that eating good food everyday was a choice and a need. We did not go out, we did not go to the movies, or go out to eat. We spend our money on things that were needed not on things that were wanted! We did not have extra money to go out and waste. We where able to put money into our saving acct each week. We made a choice and knew the difference between wants and needs.
When it came time to think about moving we had money put away for the rent and damage deposit for a new place. We had planned and knew that we had to save money for this. There were 3 people who did not plan, and did not save their money. I even had said to all 3 of them you might want to save some money for next month, since everyone needs to be moved out next month, even if it is 6 weeks out. Not only do you need to have rent money for next month here, but money for the new place too. I encourage them all to not spend a lot of money, even talked about wants and needs. One person understood and he took the advice and he had money for the next month. Another person tried but he did not get paid as much as he normally did. Then there was the other person, he told me, do not worry about it, I got paid this month, I will get paid next month and my partner will figure everything out. I am going to the movies there is a movie I want to see. Well he had no partner the next month, and no money for rent for the house and no money for a new place. He was scrambling and he did figure something out, he had family that felt sorry for him and baled him out again.
WANTS are things you want to do, things you want to buy, things that are not needed, just wanted. Do you have a beer budget and live a champagne life? Do you have a beans and rice budget and live a steak and lobster life? Then you do need to make some changes and ask yourself if this is a want or a need. You do not need to keep up with the Jones', the Smith's, or the Anderson's. You NEED to keep up with your families budget and your families NEEDS!
Does that mean that you should only buy the things that you need? Not at all. Life is meant to be lived, not survived. Treat yourself to some wants along the way, but do so when you can afford to, and enjoy those wants as the extras that they are. Plan and save for those wants and you will feel so much better you save up to buy those wants.