Driving through a nearby town last week I saw a new home being built in the midst of several new vacant homes for sale. I thought, “Why would someone be building a new home in the middle of all the new homes for sale?” There certainly must be a home that is already built that would suit them. Why not buy one of the homes that were for sale. My answer. We still want what we want.
We are a society of spoiled individuals. I’m sure that one of those homes for sale would come very near to the expectations of the individual building the new home but there must be at least one thing on their list that the other homes did not have that they wanted. People don’t want to compromise when it comes to their want list. They have confused wants and needs.
Everyone needs shelter, food and clothing but they don’t need a brand new home with all the perks, expensive specialty coffee and designer clothing. Who needs a $700 pair of shoes when a $20 pair will serve the same purpose. When my son was in first grade I first noticed the importance that people placed on labels. He was teased because he didn’t have the “expensive shoes to have” or the clothes with the “right label”. He had his needs met, clothes on his back but certainly not his wants at that point in time.
Last week we had a customer and his daughter come in to our business to shop for a car. She said that she needed a new car. We don’t sell new cars but we knew she was referring to a new car to her but used. She is a college student driving a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix with 85,000.
My husband asked if there was a problem with her car that she needed to replace it and she said she needed to replace it because she felt it was depreciating in value as it neared 100,000 miles. I listened as my husband explained the depreciation of a vehicle over time, especially the difference between a vehicle you already own and one you would purchase with a high sticker price.
When it came right down to it, there was no problem with the car she was driving. Mechanically and appearance wise the vehicle was fine. It met her needs very well since she wanted to replace it with a newer car very similar to what she is already driving. She has her wants and needs confused. Her car met her needs, basic transportation, but not her wants. She wanted something newer, something different to look at.
My husband told her she didn’t need a new car that her present car should meet all her needs until she finishes college without worrying too much about depreciation. The smile on the Dad’s face was priceless. He didn’t want to be the one telling his daughter she didn’t need a new car. Why as parents are we disinclined to tell our children no when at times it is the best answer?
We still want what we want even if we can’t afford it or need it and that means for our children as well.