It’s but a cliché to speak about our needs and wants having far evolved particularly since the dawn of the digital age, but to say that we share the same needs and wants is an overgeneralization.
Needs and wants are still on the personal levels, varying person to person.
You need a car because of the nature of your business, but I don’t need it, not yet. You want the latest iPhone maybe because of your social nature. I just don’t want it even if I can.
It is therefore only us, having the realization of our economic being, who can distinguish what we really need and what we just want. And that makes it interesting.
With that, I have here a short list of common spending temptations, some which I have given in to and, in most situations, just based on wants, that I think require serious control and resistance, or else will eventually become habits that ruin the budget.
Before you jump into reading though, always remember that — it’s your money, and it’s your decision what to do with it — but keep on learning about effective budgeting as it is all worth it in the long run.
 GrabFood — I’m not in the mood to cook dinner tonight. I just got home, and I feel dead tired from working all day. Let me check the app what I can have in less than thirty minutes. I’ll just charge it to my card and pay on the next billing cycle.
 Office Snacks — Let’s grab some donuts and milk tea. Okay, so who’s placing the order? I’m in. Just tell me how much to pay and when to join you downstairs. After all, I wasn’t satisfied with my lunch, neither the dessert.
I can’t have the same 3-in-1 coffee and pancit bihon available at the cafeteria.
 Angkas or GrabCar — I have to be at the office at exactly eight. I always oversleep, and here I am struggling again to flag down a jeepney in a morning rush. I can’t afford getting late again; otherwise, my boss will give me another face.
 Banking Fees — I need a transfer, as in right now. Can’t it wait? My GCash runs out of fund, I need to pay what I borrowed from a friend yesterday for lunch, and I almost forgot it.
I don’t have the energy walking to my bank’s nearest ATM machine. I’ll just withdraw somewhere more convenient. Bottomline, I always overlook managing my banking needs.
 Fast Food for Lunch — Sure, it’s just once in a while. Yes, my taste buds also get tired of the same adobo and menudo at the nearby carinderia. Anyway, it’s payday this Friday, and petsa de peligro is finally over in days.
I can still afford Jollibee’s two-piece Chickenjoy Solo and Jolly Spaghetti with what’s left in my wallet.
 Friday Nights Out — I need to be updated about the latest office gossips. I overheard something fishy going on in the department. Let’s grab a few bottles of San Mig Light, talk curiously about it, and even laugh as necessary. There’s no problem splitting the bill. I’m in.
 Online Shopping — Hello, everything is on sale! Let’s me pretend that I don’t remember the last time a Lazada courier knocked on the door and handed me over a parcel. That’s a long time ago. Last week?
Let me check what I can add to cart today. I think I need what I just saw on TikTok. What was it called again?
 Smoke and Beer — It’s chill-out night. Tomorrow is Saturday, meaning no work. So, I’m on my weekly scheduled ‘me’ time with a bottle of beer, a few smoke sticks, and a recently added Netflix movie.
I can even watch two movies tonight or have the second trip to the store for another bottle. I can sleep all day tomorrow.
 Small Loans — Short again, here’s my forgetful friend borrowing twenty pesos for his payment at the counter. I don’t know if I’m just lucky always having coins in my pockets or unlucky for not having the courage to say ‘no’ as he doesn’t remember and pay me for such at all. I think I have to change my lunch buddy.
 Grocery Ecobags — Okay, I’ll take one (no stuttering). It may be environment-friendly, but not economical if you forget bringing one. It’s just for five or ten pesos, but I have been keeping dozens of them already in the kitchen cabinet. Can I rather resell them to the grocery?
 After-Work Street Food — Just a skewer of fish balls and then, another. I can’t wait for dinner, or I just can’t resist the temptation of joining the swarm of young people around a food cart and making some tusok-tusok.
 Tricycle Rides — It’s just a five-minute walk, but I rather take the tricycle. I always forget my umbrella, and I can’t endure the scorching heat of the mid-day sun. I’ll just sweat and smell bad before I get there.
 Keeping Up Appearances — I think I need one for a complete getup. I’ve seen my friends having this already, and I just need it. My neighbor has it. I should have one. It’s trendy, and it’s all around. Anyway, it won’t hurt much my budget.
Nip these spending temptations in the bud before they become habits.
Studies have found that habits, even the bad ones, once established are difficult to kick. They may have developed because of the outcomes that trigger the brain’s ‘reward centers.’ When we suddenly stop them, dopamine (the brain chemical) creates the craving to do them again.
Have you also been giving in to these spending temptations? Tell us in the comments.
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