What’s a Fleeting Want?

A fleeting want is an impulsive buy for something that will only give you a temporary moment of enjoyment.

Wikipedia’s page on impulse buys include:

An impulse purchase or impulse buy is an unplanned or otherwise spontaneous purchase. One who tends to make such purchases is referred to as an impulse purchaser or impulse buyer.

Marketers and retailers tend to exploit these impulses which are tied to the basic want for instant gratification.

There’s nothing wrong with purchasing something that you want and can afford in itself. You should, however, consider why you want something. 


What’s a Genuine Want?

A genuine want is a desire for something that can improve your quality of life. For some, it’s giving or making a gift for a loved one. While you don’t technically need it to survive, your quality of life improves. 

Instead of nit-picking on what other people choose as their genuine and fleeting wants, try focusing on yourself. The main reason is what we see others doing isn’t the whole story.

Some people make spend money on things we consider unnecessary and frivolous, but it is something near and dear to them that they CAN afford. 

How can you discern between the two wants?

Here are some suggestions on what to ask yourself when you’re making a purchase:

  • Is the item going to improve your life in some important way?
  • Does the item help you meet one of your life goals?
  • Will it simplify and/or enhance your life?

My weakness, believe or not, is magazines and books. I’ve worked on this by using my local library to check out books first before I just grab a bunch books at the book store or online. 

Do you struggle with determining what is a fleeting want and what is a genuine want? 

Photo Credit: Martin Kingsley