I was at the gym the other morning and another woman hopped on the machine next to me. I nodded a hello and she said hello, I took one of my earbuds out so I could hear what she was saying and she started up a conversation. Normally I am not one to talk at the gym, for one I have a hard enough time keeping my balance and this is my time to zone out and read a book. I took out my earbuds and shut off the music I had playing so that I could oblige her, you never know she may have needed someone to talk to, so I wouldn’t feel right about ignoring her.
As we got to talking, she told me all about her son and his current state of not knowing what direction he wanted to go, he wasn’t sure about a college program so he had stopped attending, and the story continued. After a few minutes she mentioned her need to earn a bit of extra money, I mentioned that I blog a bit about earning a little extra. Before I could get too far into any of what I do to earn those extras she scuffed it off and said it was too much work for too little and she needed real money.
Now I do understand, very clearly, that what I do with point programs and the like is not earning enough to make a care payment each month so I can understand what she was meaning to say. She continued to tell me about the money needs she had and the ideas she had about renting space in her garage or maybe even getting a roommate. This was quickly followed with the notion that she lacked the time for actually getting anything done about it.
At this time I had finished my workout so I went and grabbed the cloth to wipe the machine down and as I did so I made one last attempt to offer something and simply said to her, my best advice would be to try to not think too much about how much needs to be done or the time it would take and just try to do.
She of course had another response to this. Her reply was that she already had an ad out about the garage and someone had responded and she was just waiting for the next steps of conversation and she had already spoken with a friend that was considering the roommate spot.
I was just baffled at this point and headed to get ready for work. As I was getting ready I just struggled with processing the whole conversation I had just had. There are a few things that I think are really important about it that I wanted to mention.
- Apparently this lady really needed someone to talk to because I am not sure any of the conversation made any sense with any other parts of the conversation so I think she just wanted to chat. Maybe? I am hoping anyway. If that is the case, I am glad I listened to myself and took my earbuds out to do so.
- There is a big difference between needs and wants. I am not sure where her money thoughts really stand but I am not sure she really did either. She noted a need to pay bills but what bills and the importance of what was being paid for was not mentioned. When we are at a point that we struggle to pay bills, we should really evaluate what those bills are, and decide if they are needs or wants. If they are wants it may be the wrong time to have them and we should try to eliminate them. If they are true needs, then we should do everything we can do provide them.
Because of this conversation, I wanted to try to evaluate what I can to try to simplify my life. Here are a few areas that I am going to be trying to clear away the wants and work down to just needs.
- Clothing – It is easy to think we need to have a closet full of clothes for any given occasion. I know that I enjoy having an array of shirts to wear to work so that I feel like I am not wearing the same thing all the time. I also know there are many ways to have a minimal wardrobe that allows for a variety of looks. I did recently go through many of my clothes to pair down, but I think there is still some wiggle room to remove those that I am just never going to wear for one reason or another.
- Bags and purses – I used to sell Thirty-One so I have a fairly large collection of items. I love the variety and there are a few that I have always felt would be great for something someday. That day had not come, or the practical use for me is just not really there. This is another area where I have gone through the items once before and even sold off a few items but I have not done anything about the items that did not sell right away. I think it is time to go through again and make another attempt.
- Kids toys and clothes – I have had two boys so far and I do wish to try for another baby (at some point, not too soon) but I know there are several things that we were handed down from others that just never looked right on either boy, didn’t fit our general style, or just don’t work for our house structure, and so on. I have a nephew on the way that may enjoy some of these items for sure.
These are just some of the areas I am sure I can think of more. Not only will going through these areas provide a clean up of the wants in our lives and focus on the needs but it may even provide an opportunity to fund new needs (or maybe wants, depending).
Are there areas that you feel you maybe confusing your wants for needs? What do you think you could go through to try to focus back on the needs and help clear up potential clutter (physically or mentally)?