Bankrate.com has an interesting article about how certain things we deem “needs” more likely belong in the category “wants” or even “entitlements.”
Jay McDonald writes,
A lot of us in wealthy, overspending America are either born or raised with a tremendous sense of entitlement. We say to ourselves, ‘I work hard or, I work at a job I hate — at least I should be able to have a Starbucks coffee every day or eat out for lunch.’ But of course, those are not needs, they’re wants. They’re pleasures.
A more theological treatment can be found here.
Personally, about 10 years ago, I had been buried under a pile of credit card debt that took a lot of discipline to pay for. I wish I had this perspective during those childish years of plastic swiping foolishness.
McDonald lists 12 things many Americans feel entitled to that can be a big drain on your budget.
12. The Daily Latte; this costs about 100 times the price of a home brewed variety.
11. Cable TV. This costs up to $780 per year.
8. Bottled Water. This is one of the funniest scams ever perpetrated on the American public. Honestly, planet earth’s most abundant resource is bottled and sold for more than the cost of a soft drink. Buy a Brita filter.
7. Second Car.
6. Cell Phone. This is a tough one, because certain professions require constant contact. But a teenager? No way.
5. Lawn Service.
4. Clothes (excessive)
3. Private School
2. Childhood parties
1. Pet Grooming.
This is just a start, but most American middle class people could probably find several places to trim the budget and be more frugal. I know I could.