We tend not to appreciate what we need. We certainly know what we want but not always what we need.
Smartphones are a case in point. Every year we get introduced to a new product cycle of phones. Apple, Samsung, HTC, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nokia, Sony, LG. The list goes on. Some may be a bit faster, some may have a better quality camera, and some may even have voice activation services.
The adverts show us just why we should get them as well. It will make us look cooler, have more friends, have an attractive family and so on. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It will speak on a deeper level to someone out there. But sometimes you have to ask yourself, “Do I actually need it?”
Now, it’s not to say you aren’t allowed to upgrade your phone’s capabilities. But we’re all guilty of buying a brand new device and then still use it in the same way as the old one.
If you only use your laptop as a word processor and for accessing Facebook, why do you need to have a high-spec upgrade? If your phone is simply for sending Whatsapp messages and for taking the occasional snap, do you really need the iPhone 6?
Again, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t buy a new computer or phone. If you need it, you need it. It’s also not about holding onto old devices until they fall apart or become obsolete. That’s counterproductive.
But it’s always worth appreciating the purpose behind the purchase. Is it a “want” or is it a “need”? If it is a “want”, where does it fit into your priorities? Ask yourself: “Is this the best way I could be spending my money right now?”
An efficient approach to spending is about putting your money to work where it matters. And if we’re lucky, less driven by consumerism and less likely to produce unwanted waste.
It’s not about cutting out all your spending. We all need to keep upgrading our worlds, otherwise we risk rust, stagnation and boredom. But it’s also about choosing what’s important to you by making conscious choices.