Needs and Wants
Every day we face the opportunity to meet our needs or indulge our wants. Occasionally the needs and wants turn out to be the same thing but most of the time marketing and product innovation leave us wanting something more than we need. A few years ago I faced a need versus want moment.
One of our toilets had been having problems flushing stuff down. I plunged, adjusted tank water levels, snaked it multiple times and it was still having problems. We had decided it needed to be replaced. Thus the need for a new toilet was born.
I went to the hardware store and examined the selection of porcelain thrones. There were round bowls and elongated bowls. There were tanks with ornate lids. There were tanks with buttons instead of levers. There were tall ones and short ones. I was surprised that there were almost as many choices as there are for desk chairs.
A simple, yet modern, chainless lever tank with an elongated bowl with a taller than standard height toilet was selected and purchased. My over six foot tall frame was excited. It was a bit more expensive than the standard toilet we were replacing but the upgrade was what I wanted. Thus the want was born.
I brought the new toilet home and began taking the old toilet up to be able to install the new one. I turned off the water and then I carefully removed the post caps and unscrewed the nuts from the base. I lifted the toilet and tank up and carefully moved it to the bathtub to drain the remaining water before moving it out to the garage for disposal. Everything was going smoothly and the thought of the new toilet was exciting.
As I tilted the toilet over in the tub to drain the water, I found the reason for the flushing problems-a kids size pair of scissors with nice purple handles wedged in the outlet of the toilet bowl. It was not a problem with the old toilet after all. With the problem now discovered and now resolved, I faced another problem - I now I had two good toilets, one I wanted and one I needed.
I am generally frugal and do my best to make things last and save more than I spend. I really wanted to sit taller but I really just needed a toilet that would flush. The need won and the want went back to the store. Sometimes being frugal leaves you squatting a little lower but a little richer.
Whether it is a new car with luxurious leather heated and cooled seats versus a reliable car that will get you from place to place or the large drink and fries instead of the regular size in the combo meal, we each choose between needs and wants. In our world of first-world problems, our brains get excited for the wants more so than the needs. Having the self-discipline to choose the needs more so than the wants will lead to greater financial security and more options down the road.
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