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Wants vs. Needs

I hate my fridge.  It’s like pretty much the worst fridge ever.

It looks like an old Soviet-style apartment

It was also free.  And it works.  But I don’t love it, and I wish it would magically disappear because then it would give me an excuse to get a new one.

That’s the rub, isn’t it?  We always want something better, shinier, or new, even when we may not necessarily need it.

In my mind, if I had a new fridge, meal prep would be easier.  Right now, it’s a horrible game of Tetris to get anything in this dumb appliance.  Things get lost so easily, and nothing fits properly.

The fridge I lust after is a French door stainless steel Kenmore beauty from Sears.  It is energy efficient, has tons of space for keeping produce fresh, and I don’t have to take 429 things out first in order to get to the applesauce.

It also costs $1,600.

So that’s that.  The old fridge stays.  And I make it work.  And I curse at it daily, and plan for it’s demise.  We all have to make big choices in life, and spending $1,600 on Jack’s tonsil surgery wins out over a new fridge any day.

Delaying the purchase of something you merely want, allows you to:
1) bulk up your emergency fund.  I’ve tried to convince myself that a new fridge is an emergency.  Sadly, it’s not.
2) Stay out of consumer debt
3) Save for a house
4) Pay medical bills (grrrrr)
5) Pay down debt
6) Throw extra payments at your car or mortgage debt

I’m not dropping any bombs here – everyone knows that replacing something that works with something better isn’t the smartest financial decision you could make.

However, the actual intent of my post isn’t a financial lecture.  I wanted to give YOU a chance to confess your own improbable, impractical, and ridiculous monetary desires.  Let’s get crazy!  Flame free confession time!

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97 comments on “Wants vs. Needs”

  1. I want a new house. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the one we have, and we are fortunate to even be able to own a home in our crazy, over-inflated local market. But I don’t like the layout, and I don’t like the finishes. I’m such a princess!!

    I also want a new black leather purse. I have no need of such a thing, and in fact, I probably could/should sell a couple older purses that I haven’t used in ages. But I want one. Again, apparently I have an inner princess.

    I want a vacation, somewhere not cold and rainy (like where I live). I don’t NEED a vacation, and am in fact very fortunate to have had a big vacation last summer. But I want one anyone. My inner Diva says so.

    I want more yarn. I have a yarn stash that exceeds my life expectancy already. But apparently I want more. Preferably cashmere. Hello Inner Princess!!!

    OK, now back to reality!

  2. I had that fridge in my apartment!

    I want a new house. My house is too small for us. It is a money pit that sucks us dry every month. The thing is….I love it. I love my little house. I would totally move it to another place where I could do additions. But I am 50 feet from my neighbor, and I don’t want to do the suburban thing anymore. My town will not allow anything other than a cat or dog so no chickens, and I can’t garden within so many feet of the road. Guess what? We are on a FREAKING corner lot so there is NO place they deem okay for gardening. I cheated them a few years ago, as I tore out existing bushes and planted stuff (grandfathered space, so SUCK IT)
    But as we pay what equates to another mortgage to settle debt we walked into our marriage with, we stay. 3 years it will be paid off and we will only have monthly expenses (heat, electricity, water) and our mortgage which, by then, will be paid down half. It is just the waiting that kills me. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go fix the toilet in the powder room off my laundry room that decided to overflow sewage so the plumber had to come to clean out our pipes. Oh yeah, and bleach the floor. *shudder*

  3. My biggest want is a HOUSE! We rent, cheaply and we actually have to live in this house due to my hubbie’s work. So the house would at the moment end up being rented. Otherwise my want is fabric, fabric and fabric. Do I need it? NO, I have a cupboard full. My “thrifty” goal is to use down some of my stash before I press the button to order more…

  4. I want to rip out my 2 year old carpet (NICE carpet- I had top of the line carpet put in and top of the line padding when we had our house build)and I want to replace it with laminate flooring because I am so tired of cleaning the carpet of muddy paws and feet, and spills, and other kid and puppy messes.

  5. I love that this topic came up! I’m finishing up my first month of being on a spending fast – not buying ANYTHING unless I absolutely NEED it. I just made my own toothpaste – I’m being hardcore 😉 That being said, my wants are a little out of control right now – most of them ridiculous. Here we go: cosmetic glitter (to make fairy gel – such a need), wool – this one is always on my list, lye – for soap making, though I’ve never done it, an immersion blender – mine bit the dust 4 days after I started this adventure, go figure. Dwarf fruit trees would be awesome, pottery clay for projects with the kids, and my biggest want – a farmette – which is the reason this whole spending fast started. To be honest though, after looking in my checking account last night, I am shocked at the amount of money I have accumulated – it’s a great trade-off, but still stinks 🙂 Thanks for letting me vent!

    • I did a spending fast last March (horrible month because I couldn’t buy Girl Scout cookies!), but man oh man, the savings add up. It is incredible!

  6. Two things: my cellphone and my car. My cellphone, because the poor thing has been revived so many times and ducktaped over, and now it just works. But it’s having small issues and I wish it would just die so I can replace it with the new, all shiny Blackberry Q10. But not gonna happen. My car because I’ve *hated* it since I got it, but it still takes me from point A to point B and I need to live with it. Until it dies

  7. When we bought our house, I was into dark furniture. A year later, Pinterest came on the scene, and convinced me that light and bright is the way to go. I would love to replace every single piece if furniture in our house with something lighter and prettier. None of it actually needs replacing though, so it would be a huge waste of money.

  8. I have lots of wants, but one of my biggest is new clothes. The clothes I have work, they cover my body, but they make me feel frumpy and yucky, and I magically think new clothes will make me like how my body looks more.

  9. 1. I have the same microwave.
    2. a new house. There’s nothing wrong with our house. It’s not too smal for us, it’s not too cluttered. It’s fine. But, that’s all it is to me is fine. It’s not my dream house. But, until the girls are out of daycare I have to be okay with it. That is, unless I win the lottery. In which case, I’ll buy you a new fridge.

  10. Dear Sarah … How I wish I had an extra $1600 in my pocket today. I would buy you that new refrigerator simply because it would give you joy and because I love your blog, your honesty, your kid & fart stories! My husband & I spent years becoming completely debt free, including our house. With our emergency fund reasonably funded, the first purchase we made was a shiny new, energy efficient, monster fridge. How I love that crazy thing. The years we spent analyzing “want vs. needs” was worth it yet often felt painful, in a very 1st world kind of way. Hang in there. We both know that fridge of your dreams will materialize. Oh – and yes, write that cookbook. Include plenty of Jack stories & pictures and lots of fart analogies. Please & thank you!