What is the difference between a “need” and a “want” ?

We deal with this question or distinction just about every day of our lives. The funny thing is that we do not even know that we are doing it. When we buy something at the store – do we really need it or just want it ? When we go out to dinner and have that nice tiramisu for desert – do we really need those extra calories or do we just want to indulge ourselves ?

Our actual needs are pretty limited – food, shelter, clothing, and companionship. When you think about it just about everything else is a “want,” and it seems our wants are just about endless. This country is in difficult financial times because we collectively have been feeding our endless wants.

Take shelter for example, it can be a bed at a mission for the homeless or some Beverly Hills mansion. Food can be just bread and water or steak and Champaign at an elegant restaurant. Even the 4 basic needs have degrees of importance from just surviving to complete decadence.

Finally, thing need or want before you buy anything and deside into which category it falls and how important is it to you and whether you can afford it.