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Figure Out in 3 Easy Steps if You Want Something or Need Something

| November 02, 2017
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Developing a better understanding of the difference between needs versus wants is critical to long-term financial success. Understanding this difference will lead to a more fulfilling and satisfying life. Even Tyrod Taylor needs to know this difference, because after he takes us to the Super Bowl, he will retire and will have to maintain a thoughtful spending plan.

For me, distinguishing between needs and wants can be extremely challenging. As a small business owner, it’s easy to justify some of my wants as needs to maintain a “professional image” but as some point you must draw the line.  I got the clothing bug and started shopping for new shirts (which is one of my vices) but caught myself before I did something silly.  Image for a financial planner is important but you can appear put-together for a couple hundred dollars; in the end it’s how you present your personality and motivation that makes the difference.  After taking some time to reflect on the image I want to portray I realized that I need to donate clothing that no longer fit. I need three pairs of slacks,four dress shirts, a couple sport coats and five polos, I had everything I needed times two in my closet. I took time to really clean what I had, dusted off the iron, bought a color-brightening bleach and made what I already had look brand new. It’s like detailing your car on a nice sunny day; It can make your vehicle feel brand new and remind you why you bought it in the first place. Take some time at your next cleaning and pick one item to really clean up and make new.

The most basic definition of a need is something that you must have to sustain yourself. Food, electricity, gas, electric, clothes, shelter and transportation all fall into this category. It's deciding how elaborately you want to meet your needs that presents the challenge.  I spoke with a new client recently and she had just purchased a new laptop. She mentioned that she couldn’t really afford it but that her not so old laptop was slow and kind of annoying. Without pushing too hard, I showed her how the savings from not buying the laptop could have gotten her closer to her goal for purchasing a new vehicle (which has been a true need for a year). She let her desire for a new computer get in the way of a true need. We all do it! The key is to recognize what you need versus what you want.

The three steps to differentiating needs versus wants are:

  1. Take some time this week to review what you need and what you want over the next twelve months by simply drawing two columns with the labels “Needs & Wants”.
  2. After you’re done, review the sheet and reflect on what you listed as needs and you didn’t get them in the next year, would you survive? Could you enjoy your life and reach your long-term goals? If they truly aren’t needs, move them over to the wants column.
  3. Write out the goals you need to complete to reach your needs and begin plotting out your success today. Cross off wants and label that column dreams and build another list of goals required to realize your dreams.


I’d love to hear your comments, questions or concerns. Reach out to discuss how you can realize your financial dreams and know that I’m here for you. Remember, all Buffalonians deserve a Thoughtful Plan.





Check out these cool events happening next week:

Beer & Wine Festival 2017

DATE: Friday Nov. 10, 2017 - Saturday Nov. 11, 2017

TIME: 3:30 pm - 7:30 pm

LOCATION: Holiday Valley Resort

6557 Holiday Valley Rd,, Ellicottville, NY, 14731, Southern Tier

DATE: Friday Nov. 10, 2017

TIME: 8:00 pm

LOCATION: Shea's Performing Arts Center

646 Main Street , Buffalo, New York , 14202, Downtown


Tickets start at $6.00


DATE: Saturday Nov. 18, 2017

TIME: All Day

LOCATION: Buffalo Museum of Science

1020 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo, New York, 14211, East Buffalo

The Buffalo Museum of Science is proud to announce the arrival of digiPlaySpace, installed from November 18, 2017 through April 22, 2018.

Produced by TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), digiPlaySpace is an interactive playground for kids and grown-ups alike where they can explore new media technologies, learning-centric games and hands-on installations. Guests will engage with 14 different interactive digital activities created by artists around the world. From large-scale interactive installations and fast-paced multi-player videogames, to immersive green-screen adventures and experimenting with robotics, digiPlaySpace offers guests all ages of exciting ways to explore our increasingly interconnected world.

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