In my last blog I provided you with an outline to get control of your financial future. The first thing I recommended was to define what you need… in other words, what are your basic desires. This may seem a funny way to look at this but it describes the process better than to just tell you to create a list of what you need.

If you tried to define just what you need off the top of your head, the list would be pretty short. Food/Water, Shelter, Clothing and a few basic necessities. But, we live in a complex world full of complex people. Our experiences over the years, shapes the way we look at the world around us.

My mother works as a volunteer at a church in an area that assists people who are in financial need. She told me a story about a woman who was behind in her bills. As part of the process to receive some financial help, the woman had to bring in a list of all her bills. One prominent item was her Cable TV bill. It included HD TV, HBO, Showtime, On Demand programming. My mother politely told her that before she could receive assistance, she had to cancel her cable agreement. The woman, who really didn’t have enough money to feed her family – refused. She left without getting the assistance. She argued that cable was a necessity and wouldn’t give it up.

This story may seem outlandish, but it illustrates how differently we all view the world. So, what about you? What do you REALLY need? I’m not going to pass judgment on you – but you need to decide if you really need things such as cable TV, a cell phone, the car you drive. Some of you may have grown up in luxury, never having to really sacrifice to survive. To go to the extreme, there are really some people in the world who think that having maid service is a necessity.

If you are in a relationship, the process becomes even harder. You may be ok without cable – but what about your spouse?

So – what do you really need?

A last bit of advice, if you really need a lot of “things” to be happy, you may want to examine why. The pursuit of things as a way to happiness is an endless road.

All the best,
All the time,
JT