Needs and Wants
We use the following definitions of Needs and Wants in all our programmes.
A Need is something you can’t live without. For example: water, food, shelter.
A Want is something you would like to have but can live without. For example: new trainers, sweets, headphones.
Some items do not fit neatly into either a need or a want. For example, having internet can be seen as a need for many, despite the fact that we do not depend on having internet to survive. A mobile phone is also something many people have grown reliant on, especially for work. For things like internet or a mobile phone, you can explain that there are ‘High Priority Wants’ that are more important to us than other wants. It is good to have a discussion around this and for young people to understand the difference between the needs for our survival and important wants.
We use the following method of creating a budget in all our programmes.
- Establish what the income is, either through earnings or other means.
- Young people work out which items are needs and which items are wants. They can create a list in order of priority to help them.
- Young people should work out the budget for their needs/fixed costs first, including contributing to their savings.
- They should then work out if there is any leftover discretionary income. If there is remaining discretionary income, they can include their lower priority wants into their budget.
Budgeting helps us understand our priorities. It is good to get the young people to discuss the consequences of prioritising saving money over spending money things they value. Whilst prioritising saving means potentially missing out on experiences in the short term, prioritising your wants could mean that you are unable to afford your needs in the long term money. It is financially healthy to have a balance of priorities.