Hello, and welcome to Your Money 2.0. I'm Thomas Fox, Community Outreach Director of Cambridge Credit Counseling. In our last episode, we discussed the importance of understanding how and where you're spending your earnings every month. In this installment, we're going to look at classifying your expenses as either wants or needs. Taking this small but very necessary step can help you identify any additional adjustments you should make in your spending plan.
哈囉，歡迎來到「你的財富 2.0」單元。我是 Thomas Fox，劍橋信用顧問的社群聯外主任。在我們上個單元，我們討論過了解你將你每月收入怎樣花和花在哪的重要性。在這段中，我們要探討將你的消費分類為「想要」或是「需要」。採取這小小但非常必要的一步能幫助你發現你在你的消費規畫中應該做出的任何額外調整。
Wants and needs are often easily distinguished from each other. But there are a few times when the line blurs and we're not really sure what might be causing us to spend the way that we do. Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, first published in 1943, can help us explain why we're sometimes unable to tell the difference.
「想要」和「需要」通常很容易被區分出來。但有時候那界線不清，且我們不是很確定什麼可能是造成我們這樣花錢的原因。亞伯拉罕‧馬斯洛的需求層次理論，在 1943 年首次發表，能夠幫我們解釋為何我們有時無法分辨差異。
The hierarchy is generally depicted as a pyramid consisting of five levels with the first reserve for the satisfaction of our basic physiological needs. These are the basic biological requirements for survival: including food, water, sleep, clothing, and shelter. I don't think any of us would argue that ensuring that these needs are satisfied motivates a fair amount of our spending, and rightfully so. They should be our first budget priorities.
Maslow suggested that satisfying the needs at the lower levels of the pyramid would enable us to move on to the next tier. In his second level, commonly described as safety needs, Maslow included such elements as personal and financial security, health and well-being, and protection from accidents, illnesses or the unknown, the type of general goals we accomplish when we buy insurance. Spending on items that help fulfill these needs may not always seem like priorities to us.
For example, many of us probably know someone who has decided not to buy insurance, preferring to spend the money on something else. Maslow felt that failure to satisfy such a need would result in feelings of anxiety, which may not be resolved even if higher-level needs were satisfied instead.
The next two levels, social needs and esteem needs, are responsible for a great deal of our spending, and not all of it healthy. The items Maslow assigned to these levels included the need to love and be loved, to belong to a supportive family or group, to have self-esteem, and to enjoy the acceptance and respect of others. The desire to satisfy these needs can often result in dangerous behaviors, particularly when it comes to the way we spend our money.
You can probably think of someone you know who spends money just to keep up with the Joneses, that is to gain social acceptance, even when doing so might deprive their family of the money they should be using to satisfy their more basic needs for food and shelter. This is an unpleasant truth within Maslow's Hierarchy that acting to accomplish social needs can often trump our real priorities. But recognizing the motivation behind such unhealthy spending is often the first step toward resolving such issues.
Let's try an exercise to help you identify your wants and needs. Make three columns on any blank sheet of paper, labeling one for needs, one for wants, and leaving the final column for items that may be difficult to categorize at first. Assign each item in your budget to one of the three columns. Try not to omit a single expenditure of any kind. Undoubtably, you may experience difficulty in assigning a clear-cut definition of need or want to some of your expenses.
If you're unsure, go back to Maslow's Hierarchy for a moment and see what might be motivating you to spend on that particular item, and then re-evaluate whether you truly need the item, or want it in a way that is symptomatic of unhealthy spending. Before you start cycle-analyzing every move you make, rest assured that there is room in this exercise for compromise.
Let's say an individual who needs cable television service, because they live in an area where there is poor reception. However, they want the most expensive package that offers every premium channel. In evaluating wants and needs, the individual may decide to keep cable service as a need, but determining that the premium package is excessive. The individual can decide to downgrade services and save money in the process, savings that can be reassigned within their spending plan.
Ultimately, this list of needs and wants should be used to help identify areas of your spending that can be readjusted. While there are may be opportunities to purchase cost-effective alternatives to many of the items you need, you can almost always save more money by eliminating wants.
Join us in our next episode as we continue to examine the development of a successful spending plan. Until then, we welcome your feedback and ask for your thoughts and suggests by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for watching, until next time. I'm Thomas Fox for Cambridge Credit Counseling.
加入我們下個單元，我們會繼續分析一個成功消費規劃的擬訂過程。在那之前，透過寄信到 email@example.com 給我們，我們很樂意收到您的回饋意見，並徵求您的想法和建議。感謝您的收看，下次再見。我是劍橋信用顧問的 Thomas Fox。
- 「查看、考慮」- Look At
In this installment, we're going to look at classifying your expenses as either wants or needs.
- 「繼續前進」- Move On
Maslow suggested that satisfying the needs at the lower levels of the pyramid would enable us to move on to the next tier.
- 「舉例來說」- For Example
For example, many of us probably know someone who has decided not to buy insurance, preferring to spend the money on something else.
- 「導致、引起」- Result In
The desire to satisfy these needs can often result in dangerous behaviors, particularly when it comes to the way we spend our money.
- 「和周圍的人比排場」- keep Up With The Joneses
You can probably think of someone you know who spends money just to keep up with the Joneses...