For example, we need food, clothing, and shelter. Under food, we need safe, healthy food. That’s it. We may want high-fat, high-sugar food, but we do not need it. In fact, most of us would probably be healthier if we had less. Under clothing, we need functional clothing for what we do. We may want name brands, but we do not need them. Under shelter, we need something that will keep us safe and healthy. We may want a house so we can compete with our neighbors, but we do not need it.
I think that one benefit of separating needs from wants is that we can make better decisions. If we truly need it, then we get it or do it. If we just want it, then we can think further about whether or not it is the best use of our resources.
Another benefit is that it can help us achieve a feeling of gratitude. We all have so much more than what we really need, but do we recognize it, let alone appreciate it? If we focus on all that we do have, rather than the wants that we don’t have, we will enjoy life more.
What are your needs compared to your wants?