Needs vs Wants


21st – 27th March 2022

Let’s begin with defining what exactly is a need and what is a want? 

Needs can be things you require – we need to spend on items for everyday living.  

Wants can be wishes – ask yourself, do I really need to spend money on this? Could I do without this for now? 

When doing a budget you should make sure your needs are catered for and then you can set goals to save for your wants.    

Some common expenses that fall under needs include:  

  • Food 
  • Phone credit  
  • Clothing  
  • Transport costs  

When you leave home other priority expenses will include : 

  • Housing costs (rent or mortgage)  
  • Gas and electricity

Wants are expenses that help you live more comfortably or something you would like save to buy. They’re the things you buy for fun or leisure. For instance, food is a need, but takeaways are likely more of a treat. 


Some common examples of wants are:  

  • Takeaway tea/coffee, going out for drinks, nights out and cinema  
  • Designer clothing 
  • Travel, holidays and short trips  
  • Your first car 

Learning to prioritise your needs and wants is an important skill to help you take care of yourself and take care of your money. Spending money responsibly means managing our money well, spending within our means (given our income and needs and wants) and also considering the well-being of our planet when making spending decisions. This is what spending responsibly is about! 

Don’t forget to check out our previous blog on Protecting our Money and take a look at our next blog for top Budgeting tips!

For more information on Global Money Week (GMW), please visit the official GMW website.