Mother Polka’s Musings – Need Or Want

by | Bride, Mother Polka's Musings



Being aware of money, beyond the amount you get in your pay cheque every fortnight is crucial if you want to be the master of your own destiny, financially.

The usual things like setting up a system that works for you, to ensure that bills are  budgeted for and paid on time,  working out with your fiancé what will be joint money and what you will each keep as ‘your’ money, how much you need to save to get the big items, like a house, should be ‘given’ in couple’s life.

However, if we look beyond the physical aspects of money, we can start to tap into our attitudes about money. Have you secretly, now that you are getting married, sighed with relief that ‘he’ will be there to manage the finances, because, let’s be honest, you never had enough or you didn’t care enough? Has fulfilling your own ‘needs’ been paramount, over paying that pesky bill? Has that night out or buying that dress been more important than saving for your future.

Do you see your fiance as your ‘ticket to ride’ – oh, he will pay the bills, and make sure there is enough money in the account to do so. Yeah, I will just use my money to buy the things I want – his money is our money, my money is my money?

If you are serious about a strong financial future together then it is prudent to look honestly at these attitudes. What is it that you both really want in your future? House, new car, children – how are you going to provide in the best possible way for each of these? What will you need to sacrifice in order to save for the house deposit, to buy the new car? How will you provide for your time on maternity leave?

One of the best questions you can ask yourself when shopping is, ‘Is this item a ‘want’, or a ‘need’?’ Prepare to be surprised as you honestly consider each purchase. There are so many times the item will be a ‘want’ and not a ‘need’. Are you prepared to sacrifice something else in order to fulfil your ‘want’? Will you put this purchase on a credit card to worry about and justify to yourself later? In buying this item am I going to feel the tiniest bit guilty?

It is said that you need to have at least 6 months worth of savings in case you or your partner lose your job. To do this, most of us will have to really question our ‘wants’ and ‘needs’.

We live in a world of instant gratification, where the pressure to have the latest and greatest of everything is always present. But being really honest with yourself about your true material needs is so enlightening, and comes with more than a touch of empowerment.

Want more? Check out these posts from the archives:

  • Kent wedding photographer says:
    February 6, 2010 at 2:17 am

    You raise good points here. As a photographer I see many clients who are in debt already before they get married. They obviously want the best for their wedding, and feel like they have to spend a fortune on pleasing others rather than themselves. Keep things in perspective.
    A wedding is both a ‘want’ and a ‘need’ for most couples – but beyond that the real take away is the memories for years to come.

  • Clare says:
    February 8, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    I trust there’ll be a follow-up article with advice for women who are the potential high earners/ are marrying a profligate man with no financial sense?

    The assumption that financial problems in a relationship stem from traditional stereotypes surrounding gender, income and marriage is outdated.

    The sole financial advice I was given upon my engagement was from a friend’s mother (happily married, for what it’s worth). Her words? “Get a pre-nup. Yours is the first generation where the wife has the potential to earn more than her husband and women aren’t doing enough to protect their income and their assets.”

  • Mother Polka Dot says:
    February 8, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I write from my own experience and about things that mean something to me. Unfortunately I can’t write about pre-nups and ‘profligate’ men as I have no personal experience of that side of a wedding.I know that many women do earn as much as or more than many men, however, I am trying to encourage a change in attitude to money – whether that means determining ‘want’ from ‘need’, a pre-nup, investing money,or planning purposefully for the future.In my experience there are still women entering marriage who are very happy to leave the finances to their husband, just as there are savvy women who will continue to handle their own finances and very much hold the reins for their own financial future.

  • Chadwick Danchetz says:
    December 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Well Said!

    Couldn’t have said it better!



We ask that the comments you leave on our site are respectful of each other and the personal stories that are told. We reserve the right to remove any comments that do not fall within our site policies.


Are you a robot or a human? Let us know by answering the below! *

Trackback from your own site.