Hey, Spade! You’re a Spade!

In the past 2 years, the Hubby and I have learned many valuable money lessons. I left off one VERY big one:

Need versus Want

When it comes to spending money, significant amount or not, ask yourself, “Do I NEED that? or do I WANT that?”. Even the occasional wanted visit to the Dollar Menu at The Golden Arches can add up and take money away from your needed expenses.

Allow me to give a few examples that I’ll let you fill in the blanks for: (I’m channeling my old Cosmopolitan Magazine days for this one, folks!)

  • I’m pregnant and my baby ____________ a Whopper Jr.
  • I ___________ a new car.
  • Gymboree just put out a new line and I have “Gym Bucks” that I ___________ to spend.
  • I ___________ to buy formula for my baby.
  • I flicked on the light switch and it didn’t turn on. I _________ to pay my electric bill.

Last night, we made a big Need vs Want decision. 

  • We have planned on buying a new MacBook Air for the Hubby for a couple of weeks now.
  • We have some extra income (read: CASH) from a writing gig that we “allocated” to spend on the computer.
  • We have a friend who can get us a 10% discount (basically saving us tax), *and* it’s the Back-to-School incentive time at The Apple Store ($100 credit for the App Store).
  • We think having a second computer would ease my stress during the day of watching the kids and getting my “work” (blogging, editing, socializing, menu planning, etc.) done before the Hubby gets home to do his “work” on the computer (though he actually makes money some of the time).
  • We ran the numbers of what we projected to make in the next 5 months to be able to send off to our debt and things were looking good, even spending $1200 on the computer.
Still up in the air about if you should stick “need” or “want” in those blanks up there? Here’s a hint:
It’s a WANT if you have to justify it. 
It’s a NEED if your job, health, or family depend on it. 
All of those reasons justifications we had for buying the computer were clouding our judgement. I even got so far as to pick up my friend who’s discount we’d be using only to divert and get frozen yogurt instead (it wasn’t hard to persuade her. She’s pregnant too 😉 )
Bottom line: Our childish WANT of a new MacBook Air could have set us back in our goal of becoming DEBT FREE in 2011, and that was a deal breaker. We *think* we can be there, and know God will provide for us, as He has this entire time, but making the choice to muffle our wants is proof positive that our hearts are changed.
Now, if we become DEBT FREE by December and we still have $1200 sitting around, guess where our first stop will be? If we *don’t* have $1200 sitting around, it’s probably a good thing that we didn’t spend it.

2 thoughts on “Hey, Spade! You’re a Spade!

  1. Pingback: My Daily Bread Crumbs

  2. That’s advice I really need to take to heart. One of the things I need to rein in is my spending habits. Maybe I should pray before I shop. We pray before we eat to ask God’s blessings on our food, why not on our money, which also comes from Him.

    Thanks for posting this.

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