Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Want or Need?

On Saturday Katie and I went shopping.  She felt she was in need of some retail therapy.  For a change of pace, and because we had the time, we headed to Lancaster with the Park City mall as our intended destination.  On the way over I proposed a change of plans and we sailed past the mall and headed to the outlets.  Heading east on Route 30, Tanger Outlets are a logical first stop.  After a rapid sweep through the entire outlet complex, we decided we just weren't doing well as outlet shoppers.  We headed directly across the street, ate at Sonic Drive-In and then headed west to Park City Mall.

While Kate made a few purchases, I found myself struggling to find a store I even wanted to enter.  I spent a few minutes at EMS browsing some hiking boots and Smartwool socks but left the store with all the green backs still tucked safely in my wallet.

After just four hours we crossed the river and headed home exhausted.  How could that even be possible?

I've actually given it some thought since then and it occurred to me that there was absolutely not one single item in that mall that I needed. In fact, I cannot think of a single item in any mall that I "need".  I began to wonder about all those people who bought something there...  how many of those items were truly a necessity?

Many times I have considered the fine line between want and need.  How do you separate the two?  If you are not going to be happy until you have a particular item, does it immediately become a need? When is the last time you bought something that made you happy? Does the cost of an item determine if it is a want or a need?

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is below...  

How many of these cost money? Can you find creative ways to meet these needs at a minimal cost? Would you find willfully living on less money freeing or debilitating? Just a little something to think about as you begin your new year.


  1. need and want...sometimes those lines get blurry. I guess it just goes with the phrase "retail therapy". Is that a need or a want? I get sucked into the want and false need too easy. Maybe next time I will stop to think.

  2. I hate to shop and will rarely venture out unless I do need something like undies when mine are in tatters or bras cause all the underwires are poking through and poking me in really uncomfortable places. Recently have started to declutter and reorganize and give away all the excess crap we have and don't need....very freeing feeling!