A big part of being a personal finance blogger is analyzing wants. We learn to distinguish between wants and needs. We weigh certain wants against others (a new nail polish or a latte?) and choose which one is more important in an effort to keep within our budgets. And often, we simply scale back our wants so that they don’t interfere with our ability to meet financial goals.
It has recently come to my attention that I’ve taken that last bit a little too far.
In the past few years I think I have beaten back the “I wants” to the point that all the big ones have essentially withered away and died. Sure, there are little things I want from time-to-time. A nice dinner out. A new dress. A book or two. But the big dreams? A house, a wedding, a European adventure? All those things have seemed so out of reach for so long that I just stopped thinking about them, or rationalized away wanting them. Slowly, I stopped feeling passionate about them. Slowly, those wants were scaled back to the point that they…just stopped being wants anymore.
Yes, having too many wants can make a person very unhappy. People who want too much are often either perpetually financially overextended or perpetually disappointed that their wants exceed their paychecks. Plus, when we really start looking at our wants we often find the stuff we thought wanted we actually don’t. So, yeah, analyzing your wants and scaling them back appropriately is definitely a good thing in our consumption-crazed society.
But you know what I’ve discovered? Living a life without big, audacious wants is pretty sucky. I’m allowed to want things (and experiences, of course). I’m allowed to want big, audacious things (and experiences, of course). Having big wants makes it easier to make the little sacrifices, day in and day out. Big wants make it easier to get up every day, put in a full day of work, then come home and work some more because you know you’re working for something great. Honestly, if nothing else, the big wants make life as a human freaking being more exciting, enriching, and fun.
The problem remains, though, I’m not even sure what my big wants really are anymore. Luckily, there appears to be a 21st century solution to this problem: Pinterest. As Cait over at Blonde on a Budget alluded to here, the virtual pin boards people create illustrate what they value, even if they don’t mean for them to. So, I requested an invite to Pinterest and can’t wait to start pinning away. Mostly, I can’t wait to see what my pins reveal.
So, yeah, I want to want things. What about you?