The Battle of Need vs Want

One of my tactics lately on miscellaneous purchases is to make myself wait. If I can hold out for 30 days and the urge to own the item is still pretty strong, then I’ll pull the trigger. This is really hard when you come across something that’s on sale for much cheaper than normal and you’ve somewhat convinced yourself that you “need” it. For example, a pair of $150 heels I’ve been eyeing for several months recently dropped to $90. Great price – I have to buy them, right? Rather than jumping on the deal, I still held back from making the purchase. After two weeks I realized that money would be better spent elsewhere. Like on running shoes a new laptop battery.

Exercising restraint for a few weeks is difficult but I’ve found that 9 times out of 10 the thing I once needed should have actually been classified as a want.

you can't always get what you wantIn February I was caught up in the excitement for the impending lottery openings of a few bigger fall marathons like NYCM and Marine Corps. Reading blogs and being active on Twitter sometimes causes major race envy and this was a standard case. I needed to run a fall marathon! Houston in January 2015 seemed incredibly far away and I wanted to get back to the full marathon distance sooner than that, which had me crunching numbers and scrutinizing my budget looking for a way to finagle a trip to NYC in the fall. I realized if I was diligent about putting every extra dollar aside, I could run the race.

Marine Corps Marathon

 But after taking a step back for a few weeks, I don’t think I really want to. There’s underlying anxiety about being able to finance the trip. The thought of eliminating concerts, dinners out, and any semblance of a social life for the next 8 months in exchange for one ridiculously expensive weekend in NYC just isn’t that appealing. Running NYCM in 2014 is certainly a want, not a need.

Houston Half Marathon Medal

The race I have my heart set on is Houston. It was on the half marathon course earlier this year where the urge to run 26.2 returned. I’m determined and ready to make my comeback. So Houston is where that comeback needs to be! None of my race times are fast enough to qualify for guaranteed entry so I’ll be entering through the lottery once again. And if I don’t get in, there’s always the possibility of running for a charity. But I’ll cross that road when I come to it.

So that’s that. I NEED to run Houston. [and Houston NEEDS to let me in!]

What’s your current “need vs want” battle? 



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  1. Let’s just address the first item: you wear heels?!

    Ok, now we can move on.

    I try to do the same thing with purchases. I went to Kohls over the weekend, loved a dress there, didn’t buy it. Decided today I needed it. Went to buy it, and think I’m going to return it. Completely wasted my lunch break. Guess it was nice to get out of the office, but meh.

    Now onto the last item: run Chicago. 😉 There’s a hostel for $117 a night there. You can bunk in a room with 6 other strangers. What’s not to like?

  2. so excited that you will (hopefully!) be returning to houston! i would LOVE to go back (at least to race the 1/2 anyways!) but probably won’t know for sure until may.

    now that we’re living in a big city again i feel like i’m encountering want vs. need constantly! i have been pretty good so far, but sometimes it’s just hard to realize that maybe you DO need more work clothes instead of running gear!

    i’ve had my eye on these shorts for the past two weeks that i saw at runners roost. i’m loving the pattern and the cut/wear seems pretty decent too!
    courtney recently posted…2.14 running recapMy Profile

    • I will keep my fingers crossed that you’ll be able to return to Houston in 2015. You would absolutely SMOKE that 1/2 course, it’s pretty much made for PRs 🙂

      I’m having a hard time with the “work clothes vs running gear” issue, especially since I’ve been able to weave so many different Oiselle tops into my business casual wardrobe at the office. Still dreaming about those heels though… 😉

  3. Race registrations are always a want vs. need battle for me. But I recently struggled because I desperately wanted/needed to go to Germany for a friend’s wedding this summer. Unfortunately, we’re trying to move around the same time of year (always expensive but hopefully will end up saving money on rent) and I really want to put money towards paying off our DVC loan early. That was a TOUGH battle, but ultimately Germany became a want that just isn’t going to happen :/.

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