Wants & Needs

I have finally reached a place where I always stop and ask myself if something is a want or need. More importantly, if it’s a want, I don’t go on and try to rationalize purchasing it or talking myself into it. There are no more impulse purchases – I can let things go or go without these days. Brett thankfully got to this place way before I did.

It has taken me 70 years to get here. But Brett and I have a big goals for our remaining years and realize this is our last chance to make them happen, so staying on track with the number of possessions we own as well as our budget (and saving) is more important than ever to both of us. Something has to pretty much be outright essential before we’ll spend on it these days.

I really want a pedicure, but it can wait.

Of course this doesn’t mean I don’t want or need things. I would love some new summer clothes beyond the pants I bought on eBay. Almost everything I brought from Hawaii is worn and I’m fairly well tired of it all as well. I also want to get regular manicures & pedicures (especially the pedicures), but working at Trader Joe’s has ruined any chance I have for nice nails for the time being, and I do what I can for my feet on my own for now. I will probably allow myself a pedicure once sandal season begins, but that is still a ways off. I very much want a rug in our living room, but the bigger apartment we move to might be carpeted so I keep talking myself out of a rug even though I’ve seen a few that would work for us. I also don’t want to pay to store a rug when we leave Tennessee.

My favorite pajamas are these cotton ones from Garnet Hill. They are super comfortable, and last for years. The long-sleeved version on the right will go on my Christmas list this year.

I do need new pajamas. My summer jammies are over three years old now and the fabric is thin and fraying as they were worn daily in Hawaii and after and have been washed and dried frequently. They’re still in good enough condition (I hope) to see me until the end of this summer but won’t get me through next year. I need new cold weather pajamas as well. I’ve been wearing old t-shirts and inexpensive leggings ever since we began traveling in 2018, but they’re on their last legs as well, and have been surprisingly almost too warm for our apartment this winter. I am going to put cool/cold weather pajamas on my Christmas list this year and see what happens, and will wait and purchase new summer pajamas next year when I know the ones I have now are past saving. That’s it for actual needs though.

Both Brett and I constantly see things we would like to buy, but these days we’re able to talk ourselves out of them, or find ways to work around owning them. Even though we enjoy our simple life and owning less, sometimes that still can take some real effort on both our parts. In the meantime we use what we have, fix or mend things if we can, and continue to go without. We are blessed with generous children who indulge us from time to time as well, but it’s nothing we expect or depend on.

Time is flying by and before we know it we will be ready to start our next adventure. Recognizing needs, holding off on wants, and enjoying the simplicity of our lives now is going to a long way to making sure we’re in the best possible position when it’s time for that to happen.


13 thoughts on “Wants & Needs

  1. I love those pajama bottoms from Garnet Hill but prefer a longer & looser top. Wish they sold them separately!


  2. Those are my favorite pj’s, too! I have gotten multiple pairs over the years and they wear like iron! I do wait for them to go on sale, so sometimes I miss a print I love. Overall, I have had great luck with Garnet Hill.

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    1. I love mine – the have worn well and are super soft now, but also getting thin in places and starting to fray. I got mine on sale as well, but am going to put them on my Christmas list and see what happens. I love Garnet Hill’s products – they also have a children’s line (or did) and I bought some items that were passed down through all three girls and were still in good enough condition to go to consignment!

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  3. I love pedicures and manicures, but they are so expensive in the USA. Here in Mexico, it does cost me quite a bit less. However for the six months of the year, we aren’t in Mexico! What I discovered, is that our local technical college back in the USA has a cosmetology school and so it costs me a little less than half as much to get manicures, pedicures eyebrow and eyelash tinting as well as facials from there. 🙂

    As long as you are willing to work around their school schedules and be patient about the amount of time it takes them to do everything, it is a very inexpensive way to get all of the beauty stuff done. Plus it is great fun talking to the young people in school and hearing their thoughts about life.

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    1. (Sorry for the late reply – the last few days have been BUSY.)

      I meant to get a manicure and pedicure when we were in Mexico because I knew it would cost less but never got around to it. Right now I’m trying to get recommendations for a good salon here as I absolutely have to get a mani/pedi before we go to our daughter’s wedding! I had never thought of using a cosmetology school, and I know there are a couple around where we live. I appreciate the suggestion and am going to check them out.

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      1. It took a little bit of looking, but if I remember correctly, you are in Nashville?

        Here’s a link to the cosmetology price list at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology there. It appears to be very reasonably priced:.

        A manicure is $6.00 and a pedicure is $9.00. About the same price as I pay. I have never left without the instructor checking everything and showing them how to fix any issues. I also usually tip about 4-5 dollars if I am happy with service.


      2. Well, I love their prices but the school is about a three-hour drive away from Nashville. There’s got to be a similar school located closer to where we live so I will keep looking!

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  4. Learning to recognise the difference between wants and needs can help make life a lot simpler, save money, and increase the amount of available space you have. This is a lesson I am learning to embrace step by step.

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    1. What you say is so true, and I sort of kick myself that it took me so long to figure this out. I never went crazy with spending on wants, but am much better now at keeping those feelings in check and not acting out on them.

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    1. Thank you! Having some big goals for the future has greatly helped me to stick to needs and pass on the wants so that we can save as much as possible. If I really want something, I am finding ways of setting aside a little for it until I can afford it, but often the desire has passed by then and I add more to our savings.

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