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Published: Mar 10, 2020 10 min read
Sam Island for Money

One of the most crucial money conversations you can have with yourself is determining the difference between your “wants” and your “needs.”

These decisions vary for everyone, but in general, knowing what’s essential to include in your monthly budget (like bills, groceries, and medical expenses) makes you less likely to live above your means.

Figuring this out can be harder than it sounds. Personally, I consider my monthly gym membership and fiber optic internet to be necessities. A gym membership provides me with a healthy lifestyle and helps keep me sane after a long day of sitting in front of a computer screen. And as a content specialist, fast internet allows me to work from home without having to worry if the number of videos I’m uploading, or documents I’m editing, will slow my workflow.

Then there’s my iPhone X. A $1,000 smartphone might not be the most affordable option for a mobile device, but it is pretty important for my full-time job. The high-quality camera lens has saved me from lugging a professional camera to work events, and the 5.8 inch retina screen allows me to view and approve social media graphics on the fly.

But is it a “need?”

To get to the bottom of this, I decided to do something I haven’t done in a really, really long time. I turned it off for a full 24 hours.

Here’s what I learned.