Manage Your Money: Wants Versus Needs

Manage Your Money 2010 Budget Challenge!  

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I am very happy to announce that we currently have 40 people participating in this challenge, including myself. That is AWESOME! New sign ups will be permitted until midnight on Wednesday March 3rd. If you know any procrastinators out there that planned on joining you better let them know. :D

Before I fill you in on the first challenge, I want to be sure everyone is clear on eligibility.

In order to be eligible for the wonderful prizes that are available, YOU MUST, I repeat, YOU MUST participate in the comments section. Drive-by comments that do not add to the discussion or the challenge will not be accepted for eligibility. This massive giveaway was intended to give you incentive to reach your financial goals, not to pat you on the back for signing up. Your comment should reflect your participation in this process and show to be helpful to the discussion. That’s pretty simple right?

In order to be eligible for the bonus prize or the grand prizes, YOU MUST participate in EVERY challenge! It’s not optional. To give you even more incentive I plan to offer bonus challenges so that you may be entered to win more than once.

Just like with anything else I know there will be some drop-outs, and even some no-shows right from the start. I want to encourage you to STICK THIS OUT! There was a time in the last few weeks where you felt this was a needed challenge in your life, and I am sure that is still the case, so be sure to hang around. If you want your financial situation to look different than it does today, you are going to have to do something different. Now is that time! I am not on the sidelines cheering you on, I am on the field, on your team, and I want you to succeed.

Manage Your Money Challenge # 1

This challenge is quite simple but oh so hard for so many! It’s something I used to struggle with before common sense introduced me to contentment. So often we rationalize our wants by calling them needs, and then wonder why we don’t have enough money at the end of the month to cover something more essential. We have got to stop justifying our bad spending habits by declaring them worthy. The minute you stop doing that you will find that you actually do have enough money to save that emergency fund! You do have extra money to pay off debt! First, you have to stop lying to yourself.

So here is your challenge for week one. If you’ve been paying attention then you’ve probably read my prerequisite post, Manage Your Money Pre-Challenge Post: On Paper On Purpose. It wasn’t a requirement, but it was intended to make this journey of yours to be a little bit easier.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: I want you to look over your paper budget, and label every item a WANT or a NEED, as YOU see it. Now I want you to go to the comments section and share your thoughts.

  1. How many “wants” did you incorrectly classify as “needs”?  

  2. Do you have any “wants” that you labeled as a “need” that could be eliminated from the budget? How many?
  3. How much extra money would you have each month if you eliminated the “wants”?  

If you did the “On Paper On Purpose” suggestion then you should have already prioritized your budget in order of more important to least important. Do you have any “wants” on the list, that are above obvious needs?

BONUS CHALLENGE (For 5 extra entries to win one of the four prizes)

Read: People Need An Excuse To Spend Money, And They’re Eager To Find One.

  1. If you understand __________________________, you can more likely avoid crisis-living. (Fill in the blank)  

  2. Share a story of when you knowingly bought something you know you shouldn’t have bought, but did, because you wrongly rationalized it as a need. (Don’t be shy, we’ve all done it.)

That’s it! Your homework (this challenge) should be completed by Thursday at midnight. That’s four days to answer 5 simple questions that will empower you in the process. Good luck! :D

Current Prize Schedule

Weekly Prizes

  • Financial Peace University DVD Lesson: Cash Flow Planning (8th)
  • Total Money Makeover (Dave Ramsey) book (8th)
  • $25 Gift Card (Staples) (8th)
  • $25 Gift Card (Amazon) (8th)
  • Financial Peace University DVD Lesson: Relating With Money (15th)
  • Financial Peace Junior Kit (ages 3-12) (15th)
  • iPhone “Pay Off Debt” Debt Snowball App (15th) US, UK and Australia
  • Android “Pay Off Debt” Debt Snowball App (15th) US and Australia
  • Financial Peace University DVD Lesson: Dumping Debt (22nd)
  • Financial Peace Revisited (Dave Ramsey) book (22nd)
  • Dave Ramsey’s Town Hall For Hope Live Event DVD (22th)  

  • No More Dreaded Mondays (Dan Miller) book (22th)
  • Financial Peace University DVD Lesson: The Great Misunderstanding (29th)
  • A Gift To My Children (Jim Rogers) book (29th)
  • iPhone “Pay Off Debt” Debt Snowball App (29nd) US, UK and Australia
  • Android “Pay Off Debt” Debt Snowball App (29nd) US and Australia

More prizes below!

Bonus Prize

  • Financial Peace University Membership Kit (March 31st)

More Prizes below!

Grand Prizes

  • 12 MONTH PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP to Pocketsmith (March 31st)
  • 12 MONTH PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP to Pocketsmith (March 31st)
  • 12 MONTH PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP to Pocketsmith (March 31st)

Proud Manage Your Money Sponsors

Now to highlight the amazing Manage Your Money Sponsors.

The guy that got it all started was Francois Bondiguel from Pocketsmith. He sent me an email, detailing his offer to give three premium memberships to my readers.

I was immediately interested, so I started brainstorming. I asked myself how could I make the giveaway fun, informative, and motivational all at the same time. Viola! It turned into a 31 day challenge. Connect with Francois on Twitter: @Kaedron.

Dave Ramsey and his team over at the Lampo Group agreed to sponsor this by giving away a Financial Peace University Lifetime Membership Kit. As many of you know, in my opinion,  Dave Ramsey is the man! I like him, I trust him, and I support him, in case you didn’t notice the large assortment of Ramsey material above. :)

It was he who convinced my wife and I that what we had been doing up to 2008 was all wrong. It is because of him that we are debt free right now. We did the work, but he showed us how. You can connect with Dave Ramsey on Twitter at: @RamseyShow

Budgets are SexyNext we have my good friend Mr. J Money from Budgets Are Sexy. The guy who makes personal finance exciting to read, and someone I have enjoyed getting to know. He is a great guy, and if you are not a subscriber of his already, you need to get with the program. He and I were the masterminds behind Brad and J’s Christmas Stimulus. Connect with J Money on Twitter: @BudgetsAreSexy.

Bucksome who writes at Bucksome Boomer – Journey To Retirement is a 50 year old baby boomer, and fellow Financial Peace University graduate. She admits she is not a personal finance expert, but enjoys sharing her thoughts and stories with her readers, and hopes to retire in 10 years from her current line of work. She has been an enthusiastic subscriber of EOD for quite some time now, and I really enjoy her company. Connect with Bucksome on Twitter: @Bucksome

Dustin from Engaged Marriage, aspires to help married couples achieve the extraordinary in marriage. He is passionate and it shows in his work. We have become great friends, and we worked together on the collaborative free e-book called Love Everyday.  We are both members of The Extraordinary Life Network. Connect with Dustin on Twitter: @EngagedMarriage.

Carrie Burgan from Make Mine Happen, was also a contributor on the Love Everyday e-book, and writes to motivate greatness. She is “a massage therapist, ‘Jill of All Trades,’ lover of life, and a female entrepreneur.” She admits she is especially interested in “seeking better tomorrows”. I look forward to working with her in the future. :D Connect with Carrie on Twitter: @thegirlburgan.

Blair MacGregor from CostRefuge, the premiere destination for the cost-conscious consumer. The site is still in beta, but shows some real promise. They plan to revolutionize “the way consumers & brands interact with one another”. Be sure to visit regularly as the site will continue to be updated. Connect with him on Twitter: @costrefuge.

And last, but certainly not least we have PayOffDebtApp.com who has so kindly offered to give away 4 free Debt Snowball applications for iPhone (2) and the Android phones (2). If you have an iPhone or an Android phone I am extremely jealous, but if you have debt this app will definitely come in handy, so I’ll sleep good at night knowing you will be ridding yourself of awful debt.

OTHER MANAGE YOUR MONEY POSTS

  1. Manage Your Money Sign Up
  2. Manage Your Money Pre-Challenge Post: On Paper On Purpose
  3. I Love You…Like A Blogger!
  4. WEEK ONE CHALLENGE: Manage Your Money – Wants Versus Needs
  5. WEEK TWO CHALLENGE: Teamwork, Accountability, and Kids
  6. WEEK THREE CHALLENGE: Death By 1000 Cuts
  7. WEEK FOUR CHALLENGE: GET OUT OF DEBT!
  8. BONUS CHALLENGE: Think Ahead and Stay Determined
  9. FINAL POST: TBA April 1st

About Brad Chaffee

28 Responses to “Manage Your Money: Wants Versus Needs”

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  1. Wow This is awesome ! I may come back and try to get in on this. I currently have about 1700 going towards my debt snowball so anything thats in my budget im certain is a need and im probably missing a few screws lol.

    But because you are so detailed I am intrigued to comeback and see if I can cut some more! Plus I like prizes!!

    lol don’t count me in yet but I shall return!!

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Good to hear Mikki. :) Just so you know you have till Wednesday at midnight. Would love to have both my FPU accountability buddies here on this challenge. :D

  2. Laura says:

    Today’s Challenge:
    1) I have three categories that are much more Wants than Needs: Eating Out, Entertainment (usually movies), and Target! (yes, Target has its own category, which is a combination of needs and wants)
    2) I could always work on lowering the amount of energy we use in the house; we bought solar panels to help… that was probably a want that I classified as an almost need/investment. Other wants is a debt I owe my mother that she keeps telling me not to worry about, but I do..
    3) The debt to my mom is about $450/mo. The other categories usually total about $200/mo (slightly varying depending on if people are visiting)

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Eating out – a big one for us! :) We cut it down to $100 a month which is still high, but we plan to go down $25 next month too to try and get it eventually to $50. I love to cook so I need to suck it up and just do it. I can cook better than Applebees, they are just more convenient. We need to cut the convenience out of our life and it will save us tons.

      Got to be careful with the Target shopping sprees, unless of course you are truly buying needs there. LOL I like that you have your own category for Target. You and my wife would get along wonderfully. Having your own category for it means you are in fact telling your money what to do and that is a great thing! Keep that up!

  3. Laura says:

    Weekly Bonus Challenge:
    4) “that saving money for your future is not going to keep you from enjoying life”
    5) Just the other week, we bought a shredder… perhaps not the biggest justified purchase, but still an unnecessary purchase. I have access to a shredder at work, and although my boyfriend doesn’t, he can just give me his papers. We decided we really should have one at home for all of our business papers and credit card junk mail etc. Luckily, we went and got a cheap one at Target for now…

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      I will admit that a shredder may not be a need but at least it wasn’t a new car with a huge monthly payment right? ;)

      Still it’s something to keep in mind the next time you are out and decide to buy something you may not need. It all adds up in the end.

  4. Kams says:

    I have several categories that are wants (or at least part of them are) that I tend to classify as needs. 1- my mortgage payment. only 1/2 of this is actually needed, the rest of the category is from my wanting to eliminate it as fast as possible. 2- my cell phone – I feel like I need the security, but there are other ways around it if I didn’t have the money to pay for it. 3- Groceries. My husband and I buy lots of extras that aren’t necessary, but we do enjoy (snack foods, expensive produce out of season, etc). I also have coffee (yep it’s got it’s own budgeting category), take out, and electronic subscriptions that could be cut out if needed.
    Technically, these could all be eliminated. The last three that are clear consumer wants you save about 150-200 a month if eliminated, and the top three would shave another 400 as well.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Kams it sounds like you are on the right track here. I LOVE the fact that you are wanting to kill that mortgage as fast as possible too! That is AWESOME! The grocery issue could simply be cut back but you wouldn’t have to quit it all together. Maybe cut your grocery budget a little each month, and try not to budget extras in with the regular grocery budget. Instead budget about $100-$125 per person for groceries and then use a different category for the extras. If your grocery budget is $250 per month, but you normally spend about $100 extra on the goodies, try cutting down the goodies by $25 a month to see how it goes. I do not think cutting the good stuff out completely is necessary as we all have our stuff that allows us to stay motivated, but I would seriously consider splitting the two up. As it is now, with both essential groceries and extras lumped into one budget category it is hiding any potential waste that may occur. Simply because in our mind we can always rationalize anything that fits into the grocery category even if it shouldn’t be there.

      One final thought. How does the savings you could enjoy sound to you? What could you pay off or throw into savings with that much extra a month? ;)

  5. Laurie says:

    1# How many “wants” did you incorrectly classify as “needs”?
    Either cell phone or landline? Do people “need” both? We have a really inexpensive cell phone plan ($37 a month for 2 basic phones) and during the last year I’ve had the phone, it has come in handy, but I don’t ever use 50 minutes a month. The landline I have because I have Verizon internet and to have internet without a phone…shoot, I forgot what the customer service person told me. One of these should be eliminated. I think.
    2# Do you have any “wants” that you labeled as a “need” that could be eliminated from the budget? How many?
    See above.
    3# How much extra money would you have each month if you eliminated the “wants”?
    Between $10 and $20 a month.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      LOL, I like how you asked if people need both. I would say there are some slim instances that they do. I for one consider my cell phone a need before I would a land line, which I don’t have. Your cell charges are pretty low. If you have to have a land line to have internet, then you don’t seem to have a choice, unless you can live without your cell phones. Even though they are REALLY cheap, every little bit adds up.

      Just based on your answers I would say, you are in good shape with your spending, unless you labeled a want a need, and didn’t mention it. It sounds like that is not the case though, so great job.

  6. Brad Chaffee says:

    Laura, Kams, and Laurie – GREAT JOB! Thanks for diving in head first, that’s what I like, mostly because that’s what it takes.

    For the record, I plan to wait until the deadline is up to post my own thoughts regarding my budget for this week. I do plan to jump on here and encourage and congratulate everyone, and to discuss any questions, concerns or anything really. :)

  7. Donna Korzun says:

    This made my head spin!
    1. I labeled 4 wants as needs.
    2. Of course, I could eliminate at least 4 different items.
    3. The total of the 4 items is $299!
    I could hardly believe this total for #3. I do think that it would be hard to live without the cell phones, at least for my husband since he is on the road daily and wants to check in with me at times.
    If I really understood myself and my relationship to wants versus needs I would be able to save and be prepared for the next crisis.
    As to buying something. My husband and I decided we NEEDED a new 37 inch flat screen TV since ours was an old tube type which was probably going to die and nothing would be on sale at the time. Well, we bought one on sale of course and 3 weeks later I lost my job! Now those payments are squeezing us tightly. We could just kick ourselves, twice at least. My hope through these exercises and sharing is to really get to the root of why I Need things that are really Wants. I want to get away from this crisis living. It is so stressful now that I am unemployed, still on disability (I lost my job when I went over the family leave time) and do not know when I will be ready to work again. I wish I was money smarter. Help!

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Donna, great great comment! You sounded like you were looking yourself in the mirror as you typed and that is the fastest way towards change. You are on your way. Keep being honest with yourself and challenge yourself to think outside of the box.

      We currently have two of those tube-like televisions. It took some getting used to but we sold our big flat screen model when we decided to become debt free. It hut us at first but in the end it was one of the very things that made us realize we could in fact live without that big giant wonderful tv. It was a wonderful transformation moment for us because it really taught us to consider more carefully what we consider needs.

      Great comment thanks for sharing! ;) You hang in there Donna, trust me!

  8. 1. I had 3 wants as needs.
    2. I could eliminate at least 1 or 2 of them. I could eliminate the cable tv since I hardly watch TV, or at least cut it down to the smallest package. I could also cut my cell phone out but I’d have to convince my wife of that first.
    3.I would save an extra $120 a month.
    Bonus Round
    1. If you understand saving money you can avoid crisis living.
    2. I can name many times I bought something I didn’t really need. For me it was when I was on my honeymoon in Aruba and a timeshare rep convinced me to buy a $4500 timeshare. It came complete with a 16% interest rate and all. Luckily I was able to pay it off right away. I thought it would be great to have for vacation purposes but realized early on that it was sucking more money out of my wallet then it left in. After 6 long years of owning it I was finally able to sell it but at huge cost. I was only able to get 10 cents on the dollar in return for selling it. However I was happy to be rid or it. This indecent has helped me realize that I need to take more time in evaluating my buying decisions.

  9. Bucksome says:

    1. Deciding if some things were wants versus needs was more difficult than I imagined. i put charitable giving as a need although might think it was a want.
    2. I don’t think so as I was pretty realistic. Maybe our food budget could be cut as it’s higher than your estimate ($500 for 3 adults).
    3. I came up with $623. That would mean eliminating gifts, entertainment, cable, blow money and vacation.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      LOL Bucksome, one could make a pretty good argument for charitable giving being a need. :)

      As far as the food budget goes, sometimes we find it hard to meet that recommendation too, but mostly because we are slackers. LOL If you want some GREAT ideas on how to cut that down The Frugal Girl has great ideas about doing that. CBN News recently did a story on her actually that I found quite inspiring!

      $623!! Wow! Imagine if you only save even half of that? That would be awesome right? :D

  10. Dorothy says:

    1. As I look over my budget, I see a couple of things I put in the “needs” category that are wrong: Internet and TV (which I included with the phone bill). We are actully dropping our land line, and switching to a cheaper sat. tv plan. which will help–but the internet and satellite are definitely in the “want” category. I put the “kids” envelope in the “need” originally, but realized I fill it so I can give them money for their “wants” mostly.
    2. We could eliminate about half of the “kid” money, the Sat. TV, land line, cut our “blow money” and “entertainment” category.
    3. We could easily save $243/month with very little pain involved :)

    Bonus:
    If you understand wants vs. needs, and planning your spending, you can more likely avoid crisis-living.

    A few years ago, we decided we were going to sell our house, so we “needed” to remodel and update so we could get more money out of it in a competitive market. Spent a ton of money on plastic to upgrade–didn’t end up putting it on the market for various reasons, including the massive credit card debt we racked up getting it ready to go on the market–STUPID!!!

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Dorothy – GREAT job! This is exactly what I was hoping for when I created this lesson for the series—to get people to examine their own habits and behaviors when it comes to spending their HARD-EARNED money! I am so excited about your findings! Are you? :)

      Please keep up the great work! :)

  11. Am I signed up for this challenge? I can’t remember. (Talk about not on paper, not on purpose!) ;)

    Ooch. You hit me on a bad week. (And yes, that’s “Ooch”. With two “oo”‘s.)

    Okay, so here’s the wants’ total (aka “indulgences”) for the month: $702.50

    But wait! I can explain!

    We just finished our initial debt snowball last month (can I get a W00t?!) And a good chunk of the above number is going toward two things I said I would do once we hit that goal: karate lessons for my son; and one “1” massage for moi. So…
    The Breakdown:
    $350 = 3 months of son’s karate lessons (pre-paid)
    $60 = one massage
    $50 = cable (almost forgot this one)
    $112.50 = daughter’s dance lessons
    $50 = going in “entertainment” envelope
    $30 = going in “booze” envelope (just being realistic here)
    $50 = blow money for me

    Yes, we have internet, but personally I do not consider that a “want”. It’s too essential for finances, paying bills, homework for my teenager, and staying in touch with my hubby who’s deployed. So there.

    We have pre-paid cell phones stocked up one year in advance thus no monthly bills for that.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      You are if you have:
      (from the original post)
      *subscribed to Enemy of Debt. (There will be a secret password at the end of your email/rss feed that you will need to claim your prizes.)
      *gone to Pocketsmith.com to sign up for your FREE Basic Membership.
      *leave a comment in the sign up post stating your intention to actively participate.

      LOL it looks like you have planned your expenses on paper on purpose, which I would expect nothing less from someone with a blog titled Budgets Are The New Black. Haha! :D You could be a great example and give some really great advice here if your up for it. Please feel free to link to your own articles on budgeting! :) Oh and Welcome to the challenge! :)

      I think you are already subscribed, but be sure to dot he other two requirements to make it official. ;)

  12. Julie says:

    1. I think I had 2 wants that I classified as a “need”. One of those was the college fund for our daughter, and the other was charitable gifts.

    2. I guess I could get rid of the charitable gifts, but I do not want to compromise on a college fund for our daughter. I have a sinking fund for charitable gifts because I tend to give in large lump sums, but it averages out to $250 a month. Other wants that I could get rid of would be:
    -cell phone (120 a month) – I could downgrade this plan because my husband and I both have cell phones provided by work, but I don’t feel comfortable using work phones for personal calls.
    -restaurants (400 a month) – we really need to lower this bill. This is because we don’t like to bring our lunch. I could lower this by a lot if we just brought our lunch at least 2 days a week!
    -blow money (400 a month) – I could lower this, but then DH and I would be very sad. We currently have no debt other than mortgage so I think this will stay where it is (200 per person).
    -netflix (15 a month) we don’t have cable, though so this is our only at home relaxing entertainment. I’m not ready to get rid of this, yet.
    – vacation fund – (215 a month) – This is really mostly to see our families and such. I guess we could cut this if there is a dire emergency, otherwise, it stays.

    3. $1400

    4. Do you have any “wants” on the list, that are above obvious needs? nope.

    BONUS:

    1. If you understand that saving money for your future is not going to keep you from enjoying life, you can more likely avoid crisis-living.

    2. When my husband and I first got engaged, we bought a house in a bad neighborhood because I wrongly thought we needed it. In retrospect, we should have rented for a while and saved up to put 20% down on a nicer house in a better neighborhood. 4 years of PMI and annoying neighbors later, we were able to sell it and break even (thank goodness). When we bought our 2nd home, we made sure we had 20% down and also that our new home was in a good neighborhood with good school districts and that we could afford it on one salary.

  13. We have already begun doing this, we do not spend money on anything but needs anymore (household, utilities, debt). We even look at items we would like to purchase as “wants” but our needs always take precedence. We also realize that once we are done with debt forever, that we will have a time and place for our wants.

  14. Kim says:

    Hello! I’m happy to be in this challenge. Here are my responses to the questions:

    1. How many “wants” did you incorrectly classify as “needs”?
    I found six categories that are more “wants” than “needs” on my budget:
    charitable gifts, cell phone, restaurant fund, Christmas gift fund, entertainment, blow money

    2. Do you have any “wants” that you labeled as a “need” that could be eliminated from the budget? How many?
    – Well, we only have $10 per month going to our charitable fund for now (we hope to increase that as we pay our debt), and we like the feeling of giving to others, so I would hate to eliminate this from the budget. I suppose it could be eliminated, though.
    -We spend $60/month on our cell phones. I see this as a “want” and would love to eliminate it from the budget, but my husband believes we need the phones.
    _Our restaurant fund is only $20/month, so we take the kids out to eat once each month. It could be eliminated, but it seems a bit extreme not to eat out at all. And sometimes, I just feel like I need a break from all of the cooking!
    _We save $45 per month for our Christmas spending. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing we could spend a lot less at Christmas, so I think this amount should be reduced.
    -Our entertainment fund is $20 per month. Not too much, really, and it is important to take our 2 young boys out for some fun each month.
    _My husband gets $60 per month and I get $20 per month for our own spending money. Most of the $60 is going to restaurants during my husband’s work days. That could be reduced if I spent more time packing lunches for him.
    So, I suppose all of these could be eliminated. If not eliminated, I could at least reduce the amount of money going to each category.

    3. How much extra money would you have each month if you eliminated the “wants”?
    If I eliminate all of those, we would save an extra $235 each month. Wow. That’s quite a bit.

    Do you have any “wants” on the list, that are above obvious needs?
    No, I don’t see any wants above above obvious needs. Except that if we eliminated some of the categories I listed above, we would have more money for saving and cutting debt.

    BONUS QUESTIONS:
    4. If you understand __________________________, you can more likely avoid crisis-living. (Fill in the blank)

    If I understand that saving money for my future is not going to keep me from enjoying my life, but that it will give me a life to really enjoy, then I can stop spending money on things I don’t need and can more likely avoid crisis living.

    2. Share a story of when you knowingly bought something you know you shouldn’t have bought, but did, because you wrongly rationalized it as a need.

    When my husband and I were about to have our first child, we bought into the whole idea that we needed all of these various baby items such as a bassinet in addition to the regular crib, a Boppy pillow, a Pack ‘N Play, a play mat, etc. We purchased all of these things because we thought we needed them. We realized later that we didn’t need any of those things and we wished we hadn’t spent the money on all of those things.

  15. Challenge Questions:
    1. I had one “want” labeled as a need, cars. Don’t get me wrong, we have a lot of “wants” in our budget, but I categorized them as “wants”.
    2. No, we cannot eliminate our miscategorized “need” – the cars – from the budget. We live in Houston, public transportation would take hours and I value my life…
    3. We spend about $780 a month on “wants”, so we’d save $780. BUT, those were carefully chosen and valued “wants”, so we will not be eliminating them. We save between 35%-45% of our joint income and live on the rest. We can do this by prioritizing what we choose to spend our money on. You can check out our actual budget (all money disclosed) on my blog. :-)

    Bonus Challenge
    1. If you understand “that saving money for your future is not going to keep you from enjoying life”, you can more likely avoid crisis-living.
    2. I guess our number one purchase that wasn’t actually needed is our house, but we have no regrets. Most recently, I justified buying a vegetable chopper…it is awful and smushes things…I would suggest saving $5 and chopping your onions yourself. :-)