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evegrimm's avatar

How do you deal with your "wants" that aren't "needs"?

Asked by evegrimm (3714points) December 5th, 2009

For instance, there are several small companies that I patronise that have many holiday-themed items that I would love to purchase, but as of right now, it’s not in my budget. These are limited edition items that will be going away soon-ish, which always makes me want to snatch them up before they disappear!

Do you have any tips/tricks for dealing with this 21st century ordeal?

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24 Answers

Gokey's avatar

I don’t buy anything that does not have any real functionality. Most of the time.

Capt_Bloth's avatar

I indulge my wants and screw myself over in the end. The only trick I have is use me as an example of what not to do.

jrpowell's avatar

Sell off your old stuff to buy the new stuff. Have a garage sale. My sister has boxes of shit that was neat at the time and now it just makes moving a pain in the ass.

Sonnerr's avatar

A tip that might help you is this:


At starbucks there are limited edition coffee thermoses that only come around this year. They cost about 20–30 dollars each. My friend Anonymous bought 2 and sold one for double the price on e-bay when they weren’t being sold at starbucks anymore. He made his money back and scored a thermos.

marinelife's avatar

Imagine yourself in July wearing shorts sipping iced tea. Do you care whether you have one of those things? If not, don’t buy it.

Sonnerr's avatar

@Marina I second that. If you its not going to change your life for the betterment of your future, don’t give into the seduction.

rooeytoo's avatar

If I can afford it, I buy it. Life is short, might as well enjoy it.

As @johnpowell says, you can always donate it or sell it later, whatever it might be.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Like @Gokey, I rarely buy anthing that isn’t functional. I will make exceptions when gifting others but only if I can pay for the thing up front, no credit splurges.

dpworkin's avatar

Easy. No money.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I have a whole house full of “limited edition must-have” impulse buys. No one wants them; I can’t sell them at a yard sale or on e-Bay. Ask for them as gifts if you feel like you absolutely can’t live without them.

The odds are, if you didn’t see the item, your life would be just fine without it.

smartfart11's avatar

Buy all the stuff you need and then if you have extra money buy the cool holiday thangs.

evegrimm's avatar

@PandoraBoxx, so true, but how do you deal with them once you do see them?~

marinelife's avatar

@evegrimm Tell yourself you will not be a victim of marketing. That’s all you are responding to a marketing message. Limited edition. Hurry, this offer will not last. One day only sale. Designed to press every one of your buttons!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I think of all the crap I have at home that’s smothering me, and I walk away.

Right now, shoving the box full of the Mayberry RDF Limited Edition Christmas Houses to the back of the stack in the basement. The kids hate them, I have no good place to put them… I would give them as the Ugly Elf gift at work, but the perceived “value” would be too high…Maybe I should just leave the box on a neighbor’s doorstep, ring the bell, and run…

LostInParadise's avatar

Erase from your mind the image of some upscale boutique where the items are being offered and think about some cold and indifferent corporation producing them.

Think of all those corporations pushing items on you as part of an evil conspiracy designed to suck the life blood out of you.

Picture the items as being mass produced in some Chinese factory.

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t quite get what is going on here, is it somehow noble and superior to deny yourself life’s little pleasures?

My house is filled with art that I have collected since I was a kid. It makes my heart sing to look at it or touch it. Would I be a better person if I had not acquired it?

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@rooeytoo, it’s about buying things you can’t afford on the basis of it being “limited edition” and “on sale.” It’s not about collecting art. It’s about collecting things marketed as limited edition collectibles.

evegrimm's avatar

@LostInParadise, that doesn’t work for the things I “want”. The companies that have the items I am lusting after are very small, and if I lived in Cali (or wherever the others are based), I could easily meet the one or two (or a handful, in BPAL’s case) people who make these items.

But that is a good idea. :P

@PandoraBoxx, do you feel that way about things that aren’t inherently dust collectors? I’m not disagreeing with you; on the contrary, you are right on. But I still wonder. And do you have any vices?

@rooeytoo, I like your explanation. :P

rooeytoo's avatar

oooops I just dealt with the question as it appeared in the header. I did read the rest but apparently my brain was out to lunch when I did. I was off topic, sorry!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@evegrimm, Hmmm. I tend to spend money on other people than than myself. I never shop for myself until necessity dictates it. I give a decent amount of money to charitable causes and the arts. I like to eat out, but I rarely drink when I go out. I am nearing the tail end paying tuition for children’s educations. My house needs maintenance, and funds are needed for that before tchotchkes. I would like to travel, and having money for that would be preferable to having a bunch more stuff.

The items I have purchased for myself tend to be original pieces of art. My last impulse buy was three years ago at a pottery show; I spent $300 on 8 pieces of pottery by three nationally known potters. I’ve given away all but two of the pieces as gifts. I rarely go shopping just to “look.” I feel decadent because I own 7 purses.

Whenever I hear “limited edition collector’s item” I have visions of the Bradford Exchange plates that my father would send my daughters for Christmas and birthdays. Did he really think there was a market for china plates with baby animals on them?

evegrimm's avatar

@rooeytoo, that’s okay! It’s great to get more than one perspective on the topic, and I found your reply helpful and interesting.

@PandoraBoxx, you sound very wise. :) I do understand where you are coming from, but as I rarely have to worry about purchasing things for other people (I live alone and am a student; I make most of the gifts I give for birthdays and holidays) I enjoy buying relatively inexpensive items for myself. I’m not talking about plates or (egads!) ceramic light-up houses, but rather high-quality oil-based perfumes, hand-made cold-process soaps, personalized tea/coffee cups, and decadent caramels and toffees.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@evegrimm, I probably would pass on the cups unless I needed one for work, but the other items sound more like “tasteful necessities” to me…

evegrimm's avatar

@PandoraBoxx, what great taste you have! :D

Harp's avatar

I imagine having to explain the purchase to my wife, who is arguably the most self-denying person on the planet.

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