Financial Literacy for Everyone

Needs and wants

Financial goal setting means to save for what you really need as well as what you want.

A need is something you cannot live without, something you must have. A want is something you would really like to have but can live without. Wants are things that make people happy or may make life seem a little easier or a little more special.


  • We need clothes to keep us warm, but is an expensive, fashionable T-shirt a need or a want? (Want)
  • Is a pair of school shoes a need or want? (Need)

Distinguishing between your needs and wants helps you to decide where best to spend your money, so that you will have enough to save too.

Make a personal financial goals list. In it you can list:

  • What you want or need to save for;
  • How much you will have to save; and
  • How long it will take you to save the specific amount.

Personal financial goals
Want or need
How much to save
How long will it take?
Save money for a new school bag R50 5 weeks (save R10 a week)
Save money for ____________
Save money for ____________
Save money for ____________
Save money for ____________
Save money for ____________