Distinguishing Between A Want And A Need
April 10, 2020
Alexandra Wade

Yesterday, Selena Gomez released the highly-anticipated deluxe version of her latest album Rare, which features Boyfriend, the track Gomez teased us with months ago. After giving the song a listen, there was one line in particular that stuck with me. So, I decided to explore its message.

The line that attracted my focus appears in the pre-chorus and reads: “There’s a difference between a want and a need.” In the song, Gomez refers to her love life, saying that while she wants a boyfriend, she doesn’t need one. However, knowing the difference between the two is not only necessary in the love aspect of life, but in so many others as well.

Another aspect in which I feel this message is valuable is the financial one. Just recently, a friend confided with me about her online shopping addiction. I feel like this message would be very beneficial for my friend, so, as I mentioned, I started exploring this message.

The first step is to understand what is a need in appose to a want. Needs are easier to nail down. You need a place to live, clothes to wear, and enough food and water to maintain your health. One can argue that everything else doesn’t count as vital, but that is where things start to get blurry. Does eating an expensive meal at a high-end restaurant qualify as a need? Or clothes, do you have to stick with generic sneakers or can you splurge on a pair of expensive shoes? Ultimately, it’s all about perspective.

So, how can we eventually decide what is a want and what is a need? List your wants and needs individually in four different categories (needs, wants, high-priority, and low priority.) Another system is to divide your wishes into different four categories – Must Have, Should Have, Could Have, and Won’t Have (the MoSCoW method).

When you find things that you want to buy or do that you currently can’t afford, it’s very easy to fixate over them, overlooking what you already have. It is in those times that you have to remember just how much you’ve been fortunate. Then, try and use the tips above to decide what’s important and crucial to you, and go after it.

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