“Need” and “want” are two different ways to desire something.
We NEED to spend money on food, rent, and car necessities.
We WANT to have a nice meal, a smooth car ride, and an income with some leeway.
But there are many cases where we buy what we WANT and not what we NEED.
In poverty, needs are hard to come by. What most would want is to get above the poverty line and to get the help they need.
Early in the semester, our class played a game that is no shopping spree; it’s called “Spent.” In this game, you are at the bottom of your life savings and have to survive a month with just $1,000 to your name. It is harder than you think, as in the game — as in life — you get very unlucky and need to make some difficult financial and family decisions.
I used to wonder why people would have to keep buying new versions of things that they got not that long ago. A big part of that reasoning is that those who are in poverty are unlikely able to dedicate their budget to investing in an expensive item, and so they resort to buying a cheaper product. I figured that if I were put into the situation where I were to buy either buy a cheap product now or invest in a better, more expensive product, I would choose the latter.
When I played Spent, I ended up going with the cheaper options, because I knew I would reach ultimate poverty faster if I spent the “extra” on quality when I could buy food or pay a fee.
In the long run, those bigger investments could save someone money in the future, but at the same time, buying a cheaper option runs less financial risk. Some may also prefer to buy a cheaper option if this product were to be ruggedly used everyday. Yes, the cheaper option would break sooner, but it would be less satisfying to break a more expensive item and have to replace it, than replace a cheap option.
I need and want another link for you all, so here is another money game (or quiz), and it has less consequences).
By Leah Myers