Need vs want plan

Last year, for the first six months of the year, we decided to only buy what we “needed” and not what we “wanted.” I’d find myself standing in the candy aisle asking myself, “Does chocolate count as a need?” When I answered myself with no, I’d storm off like a pouting child. Sometimes, I’d buy it just to spite myself.

That means I have to give up candy. Augh! (Which I shouldn't be eating anyway!!!) But look how happy it makes me. (No it doesn't.) Yes it does.

When we hit the six month mark, we were in such a habit of rationalizing the need/want argument in our head, we found ourselves putting things back, or talking ourselves out of buying something easily and on our own.

I noticed my husband asking me if he could buy things and I did the same. He gets out of bed every day, puts that uniform onΒ and works long hours for his money, what right did I have to tell him no if it was something he really wanted?

But he started telling himself no, and there were less movies bought, less games, less junk food, less eating out, less of everything in the house.

Is ice cream a want or a need? I mean, it's full of calcium...

This time when we moved, we chose a much smaller home to rent in order to force us to get rid of “stuff” accumulated throughout moves. I felt a little bad because many of my belongings still sit safely at my mother’s and here my husband was clinging to a pair of khakis. “You have four pair!” I heard myself say, and yet, we were getting rid of all his things. What about mine? It wasn’t fair. If we were going to downsize, we both had to do it. The next time I get to my mom’s she claims I’ll need a little U-haul truck to take everything back with me. My plan is to give it away, not bring it back.

This year, I’ve bugged my man until he’s willing to do it again. It will be difficult to put the “wants” back now that we’ve gotten out of the habit, but if we buckle down for six months, I’d like to save enough for a real vacation. Let’s see how much we can save in six months!

Giving it up....

Every time I “want” something and don’t buy it, I’ll write how much it would have cost me. Don’t know if my honey will do the same, but I’ll try to persuade him. Β At the end of the six months, we’ll tally it up and see if we saved enough to take a vacation. What a prize to work toward! Think of all the needless “stuff” we won’t have in the house traded out for a week of relaxation and memories. πŸ™‚

I’ll take that, please!
By denying ourselves for six months, we’re working toward a goal. We’re not monks!

(You do notice every single picture I picked for this post is about food. Food with sugar in it. Hmm….what does that tell you about me? My husband’s pictures would all be stuff downloaded off Itunes! I am much more concerned about what I can’t eat!)

Since January 1st, I’ve bought a pack of diet soda Β ($2.99) and four songs off Itunes ($5.16). All wants. Not such a good start. Let’s see how next week goes…

Well, just as long as the fridge doesn't look like this, we'll be okay.


34 responses to “Need vs want plan

  1. hahahah…I had a bit of a power struggle with diet coke yesterday at the store. I didn’t end up buying it. It was a tough call though.

  2. Fantastic! Good luck with this; I’ve been doing the same, but I’m only going to do it for a month LOL!

    • Mrs Green! That’s fantastic. (Great minds think alike, huh?) I’m headed over to your blog. I want to know how you do! (It was so difficult when we first started, but it got sooooo easy!)

  3. You both are adorable. I really enjoyed the NEED vs WANT article as I do all the amazing and incredible articles you post. This is such a wonderful topic for us all to ponder in our lives. There is so much excess in this world and we really don’t need any of it. It is so refreshing to see folks like you both simplify it all, and remind us what its all about. Take care and keep up the fantastic work. We practice this all the time and find there is so much to change which really helps us appreciate everything more. When you wallow in abundance it loses its charm fast and the little things seem to be overlooked. We LOVE this outlook and are so glad to share it with you.

    • I’m honored to share it with you Attracting Wellness. You’re my inspiration, you know! I find myself thinking throughout the day about things you’ve posted. Especially the tree against the blue background and how you said to just slow down and open your eyes and see beauty all around me. It’s such a healthy outlook and one I’ve decided to embrace this year. I’m sick and tired of being cynical and depressed about what I can’t change. I’m going to work on changing the things I CAN! I’m feeling better already! Thank you for opening my eyes and changing my outlook on life! You’re amazing. πŸ™‚

  4. haha the very first paragraph describes me to a T! Every time I go shopping I either longingly look down the candy aisle, or I torture myself to go down that candy aisle. Then pout to myself and sulk off when I talk myself out of buying candy. One very sneaky thing we do is that since we always get candy for Christmas, I simply just freeze what is leftover and I can have free candy all year long! woo hoo!

    Hubby and I let ourselves get some “fun” food occasionally, but we have to stick to our budget for grocery shopping…otherwise our $50 a week grocery bill turns easily into $75 or $100! We also limit ourselves to eating out one night a week (which is a far cry from how often we ate out when we were single!), and those are our date nights.

    • Aveena, LOL! So, I’m not the only one who fights the candy aisle. I hate/love that aisle. My husband tries to stop me from going down it when we shop together. “You don’t need to go down there,” he says. To which I reply, “What does that mean?” The poor guy can’t win! LOL! Sometimes I listen to him. Most of the time, I don’t. 😦
      I like the date night idea. I want to do that! (once our 6 months are over.) That was a big thing last year. Is eating out a need or a want? My husband always replied, “Well, we have to eat.” And I didn’t always WANT to cook, so he always won on that one, but we tried to cut back too.
      The frozen Christmas candy is an excellent idea!! The next time you bite into a chocolate square, send me thoughts of good luck! I’ve been dreaming of chocolate cake at night! I have to be strong. I have to be strong…

  5. I am actually trying to do this too….just what I need….I don’t go to the store as often now and I can tell my pocket has a little more money in it too….the empty fridge made me laugh….

  6. Jenn, I agree with the want/need aspect of going out to eat. While it may not necessarily be practical, healthy, OR cheap I think we owe it to ourselves to cut loose just a little bit. We work so hard, darn it! πŸ™‚

    • Aveena–That’s right, girl! I get so burnt out of cooking! Ugh. I hear you. πŸ™‚
      Give your husband our hellos. I guess you two are enjoying the snow by now, yeah?

  7. The way to have your cake, I mean candy and eat is to buy just one bar at a time; it satisfies the craving and you have less guilt. I hardly ever crave candies or chocolates anymore, but when the feeling hits me I just go buy one (not a box) and am done. LOL

    • Marcia—that is a good idea. Moderation is key, yes? I’m trying to get off sugar all together. First overt sugars and then covert ones. I did it once before and I felt great. Of course, I waited until AFTER Halloween to start it! I’m addicted. I have no moderation. So, I thought I’d try this method. If it doesn’t work—yours sounds much more logical. If it isn’t in the house, I’m less likely to eat it.

  8. I tried to live on my “need” only before….it did not work for my sugar craving part. After couple months, I got desperate and ate a bunch of chocolate in a weekend XDD

    I laughed at the fridge photo ~~

    • Oh good. I wanted the fridge photo to make you laugh! πŸ™‚
      A punch of chocolate in a weekend. I’m fighting it and it’s only week one! Wish me luck foottrackerluvya!

  9. you got me here………..Me and my wife always trying to do this…buy what we need not what we want…but we always fail…..maybe 70 percent failure….thanks for sharing this topic

    • Hey Nors! How are you and your wife? Looks like your holidays were merry and bright! And you’re still pumping out the most delicious recipes and pictrues. I really enjoy reading your recipes! Take heart. We’re trying for 6 months. You guys are trying all the time! Even if you fail, you keep trying. That’s very inspiring!

  10. It seems many minds are thinking similarly!

  11. First of all ice-cream is definitely a “need” in our househeld as well as chocolate and heavy cream (just to make a whipped cream from it), but I definitely understand you because even being pregnant and having all those cravings, in a last few months I gave up many “wants”… and it felt good after all. Mostly it felt good because I haven’t gained much weight. lol

    • Mom Photographer, Augh! It’s the sugar. I’m trying to give up the sugar. It’s been 15 days. I have eaten cereal. (Not Frosted Flakes or anything, but still.) I’ve had fruit and a little bit of wine. But I’ve decided if chocolate is out (for now), I can at least have fruit. Wine is pushing it. I didn’t think I’d feel this exhausted. But the whipping cream is still allowed. I use it in my coffee, and after that last post of yours—I’m going to make the butter! Butter is a want…but not if I make it! (See how I find my way around everything?) Bad, Jennifer. Bad, bad, Jennifer! lol! πŸ™‚
      Good for you for not gaining all that pregnancy weight. You’ll be so glad you gave up the “wants!”

      • O common!!! BUTTER!?!? It isn’t a “need” it’s the “MUST HAVE”!!! especially homemade!!! πŸ˜‰
        Try whole milk with your coffee instead of cream. It’s cheaper and better for you, and it tastes almost the same. If you crave sugar make a smoothie from fruits, milk and honey. I always buy a package of frozen fruits (whatever I crave) and then I live on those smoothies for a week. I mean I make them for breakfast. Instead of milk you can use yoghurt. I buy a huge one (it’s cheaper than many small ones) plain on vanilla and mix a spoon or two into that milkshake. Delicious, and easy, and fast, and healthy, and cheap, and homemade πŸ™‚

  12. Mom Photographer, those are some good adjectives, you have there! The smoothie is a “natural” way to have sugar. I’m okay with the natural sugar. Good idea, woman! You should write your own book. You’re full of so many good ideas. Are all Polish people as amazing as you?
    I’m using the heavy whipping cream because the doctor says I don’t have enough fat in my diet and it’s making it difficult to get pregnant. But if I make that butter, it might take care of that! Since highschool, I cut all fats out of my diet because I thought that was the way to lose weight. I’m paying for that now. I dont have ENOUGH fat. Ugh. (And it didn’t make me lose any weight, not really.) Oh, the folly of youth.

    • whole milk has enough fat (I would think)… and if you need fat eat nuts and avocados, tofu, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, fish, soymilk…
      They’ve got plenty of it but it’s way better than the fat from the cream.
      if you do that plus a little bit of whipped cream made from heavy whipping cream on top of your morning smoothies (milkshakes) and all will be good πŸ™‚

      Ah… and snack on dry fruits if you crave sugar… – my favorite are dry apricot and cranberries!

  13. This is a wonderful idea. And they do say people who spend their money on experiences like vacations are happier than those who spend it on things. And I am the same with sugar, my biggest weakness! I am sure I could twist it around and rationalize chocolate as a need. Lol. Thanks for including my post, much appreciated! πŸ™‚

    • Beth, your post about being a junk food junkie made me laugh. I am so right there with you! Maybe you’ll have better luck in Korea. I’m sure they don’t eat as much sugar as us! You’ll have to let me know! And absoultely about the vacations. Look at your trip to Korea (though not exactly a vacation), you’re going to get so much out of that year! As opposed to a couple new pair of shoes? You get my point!
      We think so much alike. It’s thrilling to share views with someone so far away! πŸ™‚
      Thanks for giving my posts a read. πŸ™‚

  14. Yeah, I was actually hoping it will be easier in Korea, also you have that mindset for lots of change already going on when you go abroad, so it’s a good time to try new things!

    And me too! I always love that I find people online from all over that think so similarly! πŸ™‚

  15. Pingback: Need vs. want plan…for January | Attempting zero waste lifestyle in a military household

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