Wants & Needs and What You Can Thoil
Posted by Gail | Filed under Smart Shopper
I meet people every week who can’t tell the difference between a Need and a Want. Needs are the things we must have to keep body and soul together. We need a roof over our heads, we need food in our bellies, we need to be loved. Wants are the things we really like. While we need a roof, we want a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house on a nice lot, with parking, schools close by and not too much traffic. And while we need food, we want the pasta with asparagus, asiago cheese, leeks and a touch of pernod.
The people who confuse needs with wants, claim that they “need” a vacation, a full-out cable package and a cell phone; they simply can’t imagine their lives without all the extras we’ve come to know and love. But honestly, folks, since none of these things stand between you and a grave, they aren’t needs, plain and simple, no matter how often you say it.
‘Course, never getting any of the good stuff is a bummer. Wants are fine. It’s not a matter of only satisfying your needs and leaving all your wants to wilt from a lack of attention. I’m all for satisfying wants. It’s a matter of making sure all the Must-Haves are dealt with first, and then looking to your Wannas.
But what if you’ve satisfied all your needs, and you have a whack of money in the bank. Off you go shopping with your friends. You look at a lovely new coat. Very fashionable. Great colour on you. But you’ve got three coats in the cupboard at home, and you’re unconvinced that another will make your life better. You just can’t thoil it.
Thoil? Thoil? What the heck is thoil? Gail, have your flipped your fingers around?
Hey, it’s a relatively new word to me too. Thoil is a Yorkshire word that I recently discovered and fills a hole in our language of Needs and Wants. It means “to be able to afford something, but to be unable to justify the expense.”
While you may have taken care of all your needs, and have the money sitting in the bank to buy that new coat, if you can’t justify the expense, you might say, “I just can’t thoil it.” You can afford it, you just can’t justify spending the money. Sure, you’d love to have it, but what you may have to give up isn’t worth it.
People sometimes think that folks who don’t easily part with their money are tightwads, misers, cheapskates. Whole cultures have been labeled as “cheap” because they don’t easily toss their money around. So what is it exactly that goes through a people’s head when they weigh up “spending money” against “having money?” How do some people come to “spend” so quickly, while other’s agonize over every cent they must part with? And how do people who choose to share a life together cope with their different definitions of Needs and Wants, when only one person experiences the idea of Thoil?
I like a nice pair of shoes as much as the next girl… well maybe not quite as much, since I’m not prepared to spend $250 on any pair of shoes, no matter how beautiful. I can’t thoil it. And while I love beautiful bedding and will drop a bundle on high thread-count sheets, two sets are all I can thoil. Yes, I have the money to buy more, but I can’t justify spending more because I already have what I want and keeping the money in the bank brings me more satisfaction than having yet another set of sheets in the cupboard.
The next time you go shopping and get the itch to spend, as you weigh your desire against the comfort of having money in the bank at the ready, just in case, think about your needs and your wants. And then think about if you can thoil that new whatever. It’s an extra step that can help you decide if the Impulse Monkey is riding your back, or if you’re buying from a “good” place.