Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter


Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Money Management: Understanding Needs and Wants

Written by Miranda Marquit on May 31, 2012 in Family Money  |   No comments

One of the most important concepts in money management is understanding the difference between needs and wants. In order to successfully manage your household finances and your budget, you have to be able to ensure that the most important items in your life—your needs—are taken…

One of the most important concepts in money management is understanding the difference between needs and wants. In order to successfully manage your household finances and your budget, you have to be able to ensure that the most important items in your life—your needs—are taken care of before you focus on your wants.

Unfortunately, our society has blurred the lines between needs and wants. Many items once considered luxuries have been elevated to the status of needs—even though they aren’t exactly necessary.

What are needs?

Needs are items that you require for survival, including food, clothing, and shelter. Additionally, you could also consider items required to make a living as needs. Reliable transportation to bring you to work can be considered a need, as can an Internet connection, particularly if you work from home. The education necessary to develop the tools to provide for your family can also be considered a need.

In order to determine if an item is a need, take a step back and consider the place it holds in your life. If it were taken away, would you be unable to provide for your family? Would the loss of a second car really be detrimental to your survival? Would getting rid of your smartphone (and the expense of the data plan) lead to an inability to put food on the table? When you are truly honest with yourself, the exercise of separating needs from wants can be illuminating and can help you set spending priorities to improve your money management skills.

What are wants?

Wants are items that can make life enjoyable but that aren’t necessary for survival. Many of us feel that televisions, multiple cars, and large houses are needs—indeed, it’s easy to confuse wants with needs. We sometimes assume that comfort and convenience indicates necessity.

However, in tight situations, it’s important to understand that sacrifice—giving up some comforts and conveniences for the sake of remaining a financially viable household—is sometimes called for.

Unfortunately, it can be easy to morph wants into needs. For example, you may be able to justify buying a larger house than you can comfortably afford by pointing out that you need shelter. However, when you closely examine your reasons for stretching your budget in order to afford a bigger house payment, you might discover that a smaller house will fulfill the requirement of survival just as well—and help you remain financially solvent.

The same is true of other items. Will a cheaper car get you to work just as well as an expensive car? Can you get the education you need on scholarship at a public university rather than racking up student debt at an Ivy League school? These are questions that you need to ask yourself before you spend money on perceived needs.

Often, the items we think of as needs and as fixtures of everyday life are actually wants. (Do you really need multiple televisions in your home?) Understanding this distinction allows you to make tough choices when a financial emergency arises. Being clear on the wants that can be cut from your spending plan makes the decision easier when your family faces financial difficulty.

Is it wrong to spend money on wants?

It’s not necessarily wrong to spend money on the things you want but may not need. In fact, the comfort and convenience of wants can add to your quality of life. However, spending on wants should come only after you have taken care of your needs. This means that sometimes we can’t buy everything we want or have the experiences we want. Sometimes it means we have to save up for a few months in order to truly afford our wants.

Once you understand the difference between true needs and wants, you will be more likely to make money decisions that lead your family to financial freedom.

Steal These Dieting Tips to Trim Your Budget
Give Your Budget A PERK
Saving Money and Setting Financial Goals With Your Children
Saving Money on Auto Insurance

Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger specializing in personal finance, family finance and business topics. She writes for several online and offline publications. Miranda is the co-author of Community 101: How to Grow an Online Community, and the writer behind PlantingMoneySeeds.com.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.

No comments yet

Leave a Comment

Name :

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.