Monday, September 17, 2012

On Wants and Needs

It’s difficult to have a new house. Your old things no longer look desirable.

So the lists are starting to come in.

“Ma, let’s have Wi-Tribe” (P1,000)

“Or cable?” (P600)

“I want cable!”

“Mahal, we really should replace that table.” (P2,000) “What we really need for the new house is for the boy to have his own bed” (P3,000). “I need new school shoes” (P500). “Also, hub’s health insurance” (P 1,000). “And Yana’s nanny ” (P1,000). Church’s Building Fund is due! (P1,000) “The credit chard is billing us P1,200 for the membership." (P1,200) “What do you mean our portion of the electric bill is P1,500!? (P1,500)


I know we are not alone here. The "I wants" are always part of the expenses. The "I needs" are part of life.

Funny enough, I am not worried.

Stressed, yes. Worried, no. Because I can always ignore the wants and just focus on the needs.

I know there will always be ways to overcome financial problems. We just came out from a very big financial responsibility, and I thought we wouldn’t be able to do it. My greatest fear is to stop the construction halfway. I was not prepared but through my family’s unconditional support and high optimism, yes we’re able to finish the house construction and live in it comfortably at the very least. By “finish” I mean the kitchen sink and toilet bowl were already in place, and with running water and tiled floor. Forget about the windows because we covered the holes with plywood.

But the debt is still a debt, right?

So we need a plan.

If we cut everything to the bone, we could pay off our loans half by next year. But that would mean no eating in restaurants, no movies, no cable, no Wi-Tribe, no additional gadgets, or major purchases all year.


And more importantly, giving 10% of our income, even if it looks like a stupid thing to do when you are trying to get out of debt, could be the smartest thing we could ever do. Although we were really trying our best to squeeze it in our budget, we became unfaithful these last three months. I say, we failed to handle it perfectly.

But we could do that. We will do that -- if we have to.

With debts or without debts.

He should always be part of our lives, much more our finances. Budgeting, borrowing and debt, saving, tithing and other financial topics are important, but our attitude about money is more important. Once our way of thinking about money lines up with God’s, it’s much easier to tackle the practical matters.

Need I say more?


  1. So the house is done, congratulations! I totally agree with what you said on attitudes about money. And I'm happy that you are also putting importance on paying off debts. A lot of people tend to ignore theirs and live in denial, ending in a lot more problems later on. Keep it up, I know you guys can do it!

  2. Thanks for the warm words! I could have kept it as a secret but I thought I could share a gem of wisdom with someone who can read this blog that's also going through the same challenge. It's not easy, but as you said, we can all do it!

  3. Hello Ms. Malou,

    I like your concept on segregating needs and wants generously and it is really important to give share to God who made all the good things in our lives :)