Living Like These Happy Golden Years: Wanting Your Needs

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Laura begged Ma to take the $5 and spend it on herself. “No Laura,” Ma refused. “You are a good gril to think of it, but there is nothing that I need.”

“Now whatever can that be?” Ma said to Laura. They waited. As soon as possible, Pa came hurrying back. He lifted the blanket away, and there stood a shining new sewing machine. “Oh Charles!” Mas gasped.

A long time ago, Laura remembered, a tone in Ma’s voice when she spoke of a sewing machine had made Laura think that she wanted one. Pa had remembered that. ~ These Happy Golden Years p. 241 – 242

I don’t know about you but I do this all the time. There may be something I really want but I know I don’t need it so I definitely don’t buy it for myself. (It’s this sort of thing that drives my husband crazy around my birthday!)

Since our financial struggles in the beginning of our lives together I’ve trained myself not to want. I know that deep down I still may want and item but for the most part I can shove that want right out of the way and focus on things I need. This strategy has brought out a new discovery….I used to just push down the wants and get the needs, now I’ve been wanting the needs instead.

It’s an interesting development in my way of thinking, but I like it. It’s a little hard to explain but basically now instead of just getting what I need, I actually WANT to just get what we need. And in that fulfilling our need I’m satisfying the wanting part of me. The part that used to want new clothes and shoes. Funny how you can make your mind do things isn’t it?

As I was uploading the picture for this article I accidently came across this quote I had saved once upon a time. It pretty much sums up what I was thinking about today.

What about you…do you know how to control your wants? if you’ve been shopping using the want suppression method, are your needs becoming your wants?

Make sure you check out the entire Living Like Little House series!

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  1. This is a lovely post. I was just thinking yesterday that I am thankful that we have had some tight financial times because it lets us appreciate everything we do have.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sort of; living in a small space has toned down my “wants” a lot because I just don’t have room for them. So I focus more on what I need. It’s a good thing!

  3. Hearing that others are learning the same lessons I am about consumerism is very helpful to me! 🙂

  4. I do pretty good most of the time but not all the time. I think it helps that we only shop once a month and don’t have tv to give us the “I WANTS”. It’s a long road and we push onward to learn to want what we need andnot the “stuff and fluff” that everyone thinks we need. Great post. I love Little House books!

  5. Living simple is a challenge when your family is not on board with consuming less and strategies for reducing debt.
    What are some tips on getting buy in from family members on frugal living?

  6. I only keep a certain number of color-coded hangers in my closet; “x” amount of green for skirts, “x” amount of tan for pants, and so on. Once all of the hangers are full in that particular color, if I want something else and can afford it, one of the existing items must be donated. This has been working pretty well.

  7. I learned a long time ago, that sometimes it’s more fun to want something than it is to actually have it. The joy and meaning often come from the dreaming and planning, rather than the possession of the item. I also saw this to be true when my kids wanted something, then got it, but stopped playing with it after only a couple of days, never to pick it up again. This really helped my kids realize that it was okay to not get everything they wanted for Christmas and birthdays–even if all their friends did.

  8. I’ve so enjoyed this series! I just recently found your site and read through these posts in a couple days. Finished up today while babysitting my old pressure canner full of beans from the garden. How appropriate!

    Thanks for the encouragement to live simply and with grateful hearts.