Buy Nothing: Wants Vs. Needs

What I didn’t buy on Wednesday:

  • Shoes to qualify for the free silver tote being offered by DSW for shoppers in April. (Recycled the flier once the challenge occurred to me — it was something of a relief to do so! Even though the free tote is a really great deal!)

What I did buy:

  • A massage from my massage therapist, who comes to my house once a month for a reasonable fee.

This purchase raised the question of “wants” versus “needs.”

In my case, I think the massage was a “need.” My back and neck get tied up in knots. Last month, my massage therapist asked if I was getting headaches from my neck. I said no, and later realized that if I think about it, I often have a low-grade headache that I am used to ignoring. Today, though, I woke up hurting a lot. I was in enough pain/stiffness to feel a little nauseous, and my hands were shaking a bit. I took some ibuprofen, drank water, took Little Cheap to school, drank water, worked for an hour, drank water, took a hot bath, drank water, got my massage, took more ibuprofen, drank tons of water, and I feel a little better.

Massage = need.

What I might *want* is a massage and a good hot-tub soak at a beautiful posh spa, rather than in my own cluttered living room where the dog barks at the mailman partway through. But that’s not a need.

It’s an OK compromise for me.