Needs vs Wants

26 May 2020

We use the words "need" and "want" a lot on this podcast, when talking about making decisions about stuff.

Bec and Tara discuss how needs differ from wants and how we frequently get the terms a bit mixed up, which is helpful to be aware of when trying to declutter your life.

As well as needing and wanting stuff, we also use "need" and "want" in our language, which can be unhelpful. Tara explains how and reminds us of the impact of our language.

Show Notes:

What is the difference in need vs want?


Needs are:
- The elemental things you believe you must have in order to survive
- Could include shelter/ food/ clothing

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a well-known model for human needs - see link below

Wants are:
- Everything else that is not imperative but satisfies a feeling of yearning

The lines are blurred about what falls into need and want categories. We find it hard to be objective
- Is influenced by family/ society/ cultural norms and values

Blog post by Prateek Vasisht: Wants vs Needs - see link below

When is it important to distinguish between the two?
- Budgeting/ Saving
- Avoiding clutter
Just ask yourself the question - where does this item fall? Need vs Want.

Often just delaying the purchase will reduce the want - set rules around prices and delay of purchase time


When you use the word need to describe something it is DISEMPOWERING language. It is implying that it has been pre-determined by an external person or situation. It gives you no choice.

When you use the word need you are putting yourself in a place of non-conformity. You are suggesting that you are not currently meeting a universally held or fixed expectation.

Want is empowering language. It describes your hope to attain. It takes away any external expectation or pre-set ideas about the item or state that you desire. It conveys that you are seeking something and choosing to pursue it. It feels more empowering. You own your choice.

Start swapping out the ‘need’ for ‘want’ when using language to describe something that you desire to attain or achieve.

Reference links