Want Vs. Need Mentality in a World of Materialism

Want Vs. Need Mentality in a World of Materialism

Want Vs. Need Mentality in a World of Materialism

“It’s so cute!”

“It’s a perfect fit!”

“I need to upgrade.”

“Oh, I’m sure this will be useful.”

Or, if you’re me, “I really need a new book.”

These are all things we say to provide some slight alleviation of guilt as we shell out money for something we don’t REALLY need.  We are surrounded by more than we need in almost every aspect of our lives, and yet we still fight the desire for more.

What is it that fuels this desire?  Why are we so lost on this crazy cycle of discontent?

Lessons from a Child

It’s a weird phenomenon, actually.  Let’s use the example of a child with too many toys to help us understand what’s going on:

Picture a child of two or three years old, and place that child in a room that is packed with toys.  This kid can’t focus.  She wanders around, picks up one toy and plays with it for a few moments, then grabs at something else.

She becomes fussy, unable to choose something to play with because there are so many choices!  Now, take that same child to the toy store.  She wants All. The. Toys.  And she probably throws a fit because she doesn’t get them all.

She takes one toy home and it joins the plethora of other toys and she rarely touches it.  Her room is never tidy because there are too many toys and not enough space.  Her attitude is often grouchy and she never focuses on one thing for more than a few minutes.

Now, let’s take that same child and put her in a room with only one toy (I promise you, she will survive).  After some time of poking around and exploring, the child realizes that she only has one option, and so she picks up the single toy and spends an extended period of time exploring that toy and enjoying it.

Yes, there is a period of adjustment when she probably fussed and cried and wanted all her toys back.  However, once this child realizes that she only has the one option, she makes the best of it.

We All Have Too Many Toys

Like the child in the above example, we have too many toys.  The problem is that we are over stimulated to the point that we can’t narrow our focus down to appreciate what we already have.  There’s always something new and shiny and awesome that will just make our lives better!!

The problem is, most of these new shinys don’t actually make our lives better.  They weigh us down and create heavier burdens that we have to deal with.

The world tells us that we need more, bigger, and better all the time.  Commercials fly at us, stores stock their shelves to entice us, and we haven’t learned how to say no.

Want Vs. Need

A “want” is something that you desire but that isn’t necessary for you to function.  It’s something you can survive without.  It could be a new pair of boots when the old ones are just fine, or an extra serving of ice cream after dinner.  You definitely want it, but you don’t NEED it.

A “need” is something that you really can’t live without.  Food.  Sleep.  Warmth.  Not ice cream (sorry).

A “want mentality” is a mindset that sees the world through the filter that there is never enough.  The wanters of the world always think they must have more!  More clothes!  More toys!  More ice cream!

Wanters are never content.  There is always something else that they MUST HAVE.  A bigger house, a newer car.  The latest gadget or the trendiest clothes.  These people are lost in their world of wanting and they never truly enjoy life.

A “need mentality” is very different.  Those who function based off of their needs are more successful and far happier because they only go after what is truly necessary.  These people weigh decisions based on quality and long-term value, rather than on a fleeting desire.

The Freedom of Less

Over the next few months, we’ll be digging in deep to really start understanding the simple truth of living a life with less.  I’m not going to tell you that you have to throw out all of your worldly possessions, but I do want to challenge you to evaluate those possessions and decide if they are really as important as you think they are!

I’m going to be spending some time writing up the curriculum for a three week long challenge that will start at the first of the year.  In the mean time, I’ll be posting here weekly with some thoughts and insight into this topic.

I want to hear your thoughts as well and make sure that we are doing what will be most helpful for you, so please let me know what you’re struggling with.

Are you in?  Sign up here to get on my mailing list and join the challenge when it rolls out!

The Freedom of Less – Join the Challenge!



Please follow the party hosts on social media.

FF Party Hosts


Pumpkin Apple Butter Recipe @ MommaDJane


This burlap pumpkin wreath is perfect for fall & all the way through Thanksgiving. You can also use this to make a plain burlap wreath to embellish however!

Sherry’s favorite – Burlap Pumpkin Wreath @ Crafts by Amanda

German Chocolate Popcorn has all the flavors of a German Chocolate Cake but easier for snacking! | Take Two Tapas

Donna’s favorite – German Chocolate Popcorn @ Take Two Tapas

Flannel Covered Books for Autumn Décor

Heidi’s favorite – DIY Flannel Covered Books for Autumn Decor @ Sadie Seasongoods

Maple Pecan Squares - So addicting! They are a cross between a butter tart and pecan pie.

Debra and Lacie’s favorite – Maple Pecan Squares @ Simply Stacie

Working towards reducing chemicals in your home? These easy DIY wool dryer balls are an awesome way to reduce chemicals when you do your laundry!

Liz’s favorite – Easy DIY Wool Dryer Balls @ Busy Being Jennifer

These tray decoration ideas are perfect for Thanksgiving! Cut the file and apply a decal for a farmhouse feel! Free template for cutting with a Cricut!

Cristy’s favorites – Tray Decoration Ideas for Thanksgiving @ The Country Chic Cottage

If you’re linking up and joining the party, please grab a button or link back to Reflecting Beautiful or one of the party hosts (right-click on the image and save the image to your computer):


If you’re a featured blogger, please grab a button to place on your blog (right-click on the image and save the image to your computer):


All features are pinned to Olives & Okra’s Funtastic Friday board.

We will also share your post on social media if sharing buttons are readily available on your post.

Help grow the Funtastic Friday link party. Tweet about the party, please!

Disclaimer: By submitting a link to this blog hop, you are giving me permission to share and/or feature your blog post and image on social media and on my blog, Reflecting Beautiful. All links shared will either link back to the blog hop (link party) or to your blog.


  1. Post as many links as you like
  2. Family friendly posts only
  3. Old posts are welcome
  4. Comments are greatly appreciated
  5. Show fellow bloggers link love

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge