Differentiate between wants and needs

I believe this current recession while extremely difficult has been a blessing in disguise in certain ways. It has now brought back the age old lesson of needs and wants.

For the last 20 to 30 years the economic prosperity here in Cayman can be rivalled by few and we have seen many Caymanians become very well off and a standard of living among the highest in the world. This is something to be very proud of considering the humble circumstances that existed only a generation ago.

However, while all this money and wealth was coming in a lot of us (myself included) blurred the lines between needs and wants to where all of a sudden things like shopping trips, new cars, and new everything was seen as a need because of the notion of ‘keeping up with the joneses’.

In my view, there are three basic needs and the rest are wants. The three basic needs are food, shelter and clothing. Everything else that we receive after is merely a want or a luxury. That’s why I feel the need to offer some alternatives to people who feel that due to less money being available that all of a sudden they will have to drop some of these needs and wants completely.

1) Food- Instead of going to restaurants or fast food places why not cut back on that and cook? You might be surprised at just how much fun and relaxing cooking may be as well as the creativity that you get to use every time. Simply choosing to try your hand at cooking more of your meals can help save money as well become another skill.

2) Vacations- Instead of opting to fly overseas and endure the serious cost that will naturally come with that, why not look to Cayman Brac or Little Cayman as an alternate way to vacation. You will get all the peacefulness and relaxation of being away from Grand Cayman without the lofty credit card statement that will follow.

3) Entertainment-Instead of spending $25 on two movie tickets alone, you can go to your closest video store and rent a couple movies, get food and beverage and watch the movie in the comfort of your own home all for about $25 dollars.

Once we start to scale back on unnecessary spending we can really appreciate just how blessed we all are and take these habits forward when the recession is over.

Brian Ebanks