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I Work Hard, I Deserve This…

I work hard, I deserve this.

How many times have you heard that phrase said by people who buy something new and expensive?  Why do we feel the need to let people know we deserve a particular purchase?

Ever heard about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?  Below is a great image that shows the hierarchy visually.

Maslows Theory

Image By FireflySixtySeven

The original hierarchy of needs five-stage model includes:

  1. Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.
  2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.
  3. Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, affection and love, – from work group, family, friends, romantic relationships.
  4. Esteem needs – achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect from others.
  5. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

1-3 we actually need in one form or another to be happy and sustain life.  You may have heard of the study that showed happiness did not increase once people earn beyond a certain point.

Essentially after you have met your needs without worry, all the non-essential purchases do not really make us any happier.

Marketing and peer pressure has found ways to make us believe some purchases fall into categories they do not belong.

When someone says they need 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, because they have 2 kids and need an office.  That is not a need.  We need shelter to protect our family from the elements and keep us safe.  Beyond that, we get into areas that do not fall into #1.  We are now into #4, because we look at these purchases as an extension of ourselves.  A bigger home means we are more successful, we get respect from our family and peers.  We feel better.

I hear people say they need a new car, because it will be safer and less likely to break down.  The nice new car falls into #4 again and #5.  We feel fulfilled and it is a status symbol for us to have a nice car.  I know, we have a 20 year old Honda Accord and as long as we take it in for a yearly checkup, it does not have major issues.  🙂 Although, nobody ever tells me cool car when they see it.

You do work hard however, and you do deserve “Freedom”.  By budgeting and resisting the urge to keep up with the Jones family, we reduce stress and improve our lives.

Do you know what happens when your debt is all gone, you are investing, and you have a fully funded emergency fund?  You get to save play money!  Once you get to this point, this is where we can get some of those fun things we felt we deserved, but now we have the capability to purchase without risk.

You can save money to get that bigger home if you want or buy that Harley!  The key is we budget for them and we do not rush to purchase things where we end up sacrificing our freedom or increasing risk for our family.

Remember, we do deserve a happy and free life.  Time to enjoy our family and friends instead of buying more things, we enjoy the extra time vs. more money to enjoy our lives together.  If we buy new cars, have cell phones with data plans, and a big home, we would have to give up more of our free time to fund these things.

Things are not nearly as important as time.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Linda Shirley February 29, 2016, 3:58 pm

    I always enjoy your blog. It gives me something solid to chew on for a few days. I’m a late bloomer and appreciate the free information and lessons that people like you mentor…not knowing where it will land.

    Thank you.

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