Needs vs. wants

Published On May 21, 2013 | By Maria Fredgaard

Rigth now I live in about 600 sqf (55 sqm), I would love to live in a 300 sft home or an RV. Often when I mention living in a small space, people who have kids respond: “but you don’t have children, when you have children it’s not possible to live in a small space”. It’s true, I don’t have children, but I don’t really see kids or not as the real challenge.

The challenge is: Not to focus on the size of space you live in, but to think about what you really need.


Learn the difference between Needs and Wants

I have thought about this a lot, and for me it looks like this: I need a dry and warm place to live, I need privacy – a place where I can close the door. I need food. I need my husband, I need God, I need people around me who love and accept me. Needs vs. Wants.

In my opinion, I do need a little extra money to have some fun, so I can go to the movies, out for a drink and stuff like that. I need time, time to process, time to look out the window, time to take a walk. And then I need freedom.


Freedom for me links to many different areas of life. Finances is a big worry for many people, myself included. I never thought too much about it until I wasn’t able to work full time anymore.

I had been working too much for too long, so I had to take a few years taking it very slow. But off course that puts a strain on our finances.

I always thought of my debt like “I will handle that later, in a few years I will be making more money – and then it will be gone in no time”.

I don’t think like that anymore, reality caught up on me.

Maria Cypress

Me on Cypress

Geographical freedom is very important to me. I need to explore a new country every so often, if I don’t I feel like i’m dryin up. Seeing new places, experiencing other cultures, tasting different food and listening to music I’ve never heard before, gives me a sence of being alive.

It keeps me humble and open-minded. Travelling might not seem like something that belongs on the need list.

But here is the thing about the list; you decide what is a need in your life…what do you need to breathe and smile?

Dare to question these?

Try to forget all the things you are “supposed” to need, and dare to question them.
Do I need:

  • a big house?
  • a car or two?
  • big flatscreen tv?
  • a manicured garden?
  • an important career?
  • a big bedroom, or a big bedroom for each child?
  • everything to look perfect in my life and my house?
  • the latest gadgets, including the newest iPhone?
  • brand-name clothes for me or my kids?

How many of those things do you really need to be content? And what happens when you have acquired it all, are you happy then? Is having all that stuff worth what you have had to sacrifice to get it?

Make your own list of Needs vs. Wants

What does your list look like?

What are you willing to sacrifice to make the most important one or two things become a reality?

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