Definition of Wants and Needs Complete with Examples – In the article below we will explain the meaning of wants and needs and the differences too, for that, see the following information so that you can easily understand it.

In everyday life, it is not uncommon for us to find something we need. However, the problem is, do we really need it? Many times we feel like we need something, but really we just want it.

While this is often the case in economics, it's important to understand the difference. Many ideas state that needs are fundamental in complementing survival and must be addressed immediately.

Meeting the needs of living things, especially humans, is a fundamental aspect of doing business. When it comes to economics, there are different levels of satisfaction when it comes to meeting the demand for products and services. These levels are wants and needs.

What is the definition of need?

Basically, the concept of need has been defined by KBBI, namely "everything that is necessary or essential." Necessity is everything that is needed by humans to gain success. If individual needs are not met, their life may not be prosperous.

Everyone has varying wants and needs, and they are determined by the level of wealth and satisfaction that person has in their life. Even in contemporary times, a person's needs tend to change due to evolving human thinking that depends on the environment and situation.

What is the definition of need

What is Desire?

To have or achieve one's desires is to be in a state of desire. If we desire an object, we hope to be able to obtain and possess it. These are perceived needs, which are shaped by our knowledge, culture, personality, marketing and preferences.

Wants, in contrast to needs, are less important to human existence. At best, we only feel dissatisfied if we don't satisfy them.

Then, needs become wants when they are directed to a particular thing that we feel can satisfy our needs. And that, usually, depends on the resources we have.

For example, we want luxury products such as sports or travel vehicles. It becomes a desire because we now do not have adequate resources (money). And, we will probably finish it when we have enough money.

What is the Difference between Need and Want?

Needs and wants are two separate terms, but they are often difficult to distinguish. We may easily misread it, especially when we buy things.

Even if we don't really need the things we buy, we tend to overspend on the things we do want.

And, for reasons like that, distinguishing between needs and wants is very important. Choosing and prioritizing which are our needs and which are our wants becomes a strategy for managing our expenses efficiently.

As a result, we can spend our money more wisely. Let's concentrate on three elements to differentiate between needs and wants.

What is the Difference Between Need and Want

First, needs are essential to our existence, while wants are not. For example, we need food, drink, and clothing to support our existence. We all want a smartphone, but not as essential as food, water and clothing in the modern world.

In other words, our wants are often not our basic needs. They are non-binding, and we don't have to fulfill them quickly. When our main and basic needs are met, we have less room for desire.

Necessities should cover most of our expenses. Because they are needed, they become regular expenses. Desires, on the other hand, should only constitute a small percentage of the total expenditure. They contribute to our well-being, but it's okay if we don't have them.

Second, desire must have a finite character. Instead, the desire is endless. Having desires is rarely enough for us, we will constantly seek more. It is our own choice and part of our nature as human beings.

We don't just buy clothes when we have extra money, for example. However, we prefer more upscale clothing, for example, because it complements our style.

Third, needs have functions and rewards to measure their fulfillment. For example, food is a universal need that must be provided if we are to avoid hunger and death.

Meanwhile, it is difficult to determine whether a need has been fulfilled or not based on certain norms. This is a matter of personal preference, which varies from person to person.

What is the Relationship between Desire and Economics?

Because human wants and needs are unlimited, economics must overcome scarcity. Meanwhile, the resources we have are limited.

We are never happy with what we have. In addition, it is often associated with financial success (the resources we have).

We want a motorcycle, for example. We will buy it when we can afford it. But once we have a vehicle, it might be more useful. Etc. After buying a vehicle, we can want a private plane.

Faced with scarcity, we must make judgments about how to distribute available economic resources to meet our needs and wants.

What is the Relationship between Desire and Economics

Concrete Examples of Needs and Desires

The following are some examples of needs and wants:


In carrying out tasks, we need food as a source of energy. In meeting nutritional needs, we only eat white rice, vegetables, milk, and side dishes that can provide the nutrients needed by the body.


In terms of food, it is not only food that is sufficient to meet the nutritional and nutritional needs of the body, but also must be tasty, delicious, and a lot that can increase one's enjoyment of eating food.

Types of Needs

In general, we generally know that human needs are separated into three categories: primary needs, secondary needs, and tertiary needs.

While Abraham Maslow (Prihartanta, 2015) argues that everyone has some basic needs. As a result of his research, Maslow put forward a hierarchy of human needs consisting of five main categories: physiological, security, love or togetherness, appreciation, and self-actualization.

The following is an explanation of primary needs, secondary needs, and tertiary needs!

Primary needs

The survival of individuals depends on meeting their most basic needs, which are known as primary needs. These essential needs may also be referred to as basic needs.

Types of Needs

There are many types of basic needs, especially clothing, food, and shelter. By clothing we mean something you can actually wear on your body.

Then there is food, which includes solid and liquid sources of energy for the human body. The term “shelter” refers to a place that is called home and a place to relax.

Secondary need

Unlike primary needs, which must be met regardless of the consequences of not doing so, secondary needs can be met only as a complement to basic needs. Clothing, for example, is a primary need, but the design and color of a particular garment is a secondary need.

To meet secondary needs, depending on the economic ability of the person. Contrary to popular belief, these so-called “complementary needs” go hand-in-hand with needs in people's culture and way of life.

Other examples of secondary needs include the need to own a refrigerator, laptop, television, etc.

Tertiary Needs

Tertiary needs may be referred to as luxury needs. This is because the purpose of fulfilling this kind of need is only for personal pleasure, and each individual has different tertiary needs from one another.

Owning a vehicle, going on vacation, or owning a musical instrument in your possession are just a few examples. However, it is important to remember that the degree to which a person's basic human needs are met depends heavily on their social class and income level.

For the most part, these tertiary needs take the form of luxury goods. However, the needs regarding the importance of post-secondary education vary widely.

Laptop computers are included in the list of tertiary needs even though they are not considered essential by some. Laptops, on the other hand, may be a necessity for certain people who rely on them for their work needs.

In essence, each person's needs are unique and are influenced by their level of personal wealth and satisfaction. The greater the money, the higher the desire to meet needs, both primary, secondary and tertiary.

Prioritizing our most basic needs is something we should all strive to do as long as we have a rational frame of mind. Meet only the secondary and tertiary needs thereafter, with sufficient amounts for everything else.


Below are examples of questions and answers regarding the meaning of wants and needs, as follows:

What are the Similarities of Wants and Needs?

Desire is something we want from ourselves. Need is something we need in life.

What is the Relationship between Human Needs and Desires?

Need is everything that is needed by humans that cannot be postponed for the purpose of human life. Desire is something that humans seek that can still be postponed and if it is not satisfied it is not a problem either.

Why are needs more important than wants?

Because needs need to be satisfied in order to survive, however, wants are not that important and it doesn't matter if they are not met. if needs are not met, it can lead to illness or death.


We can conclude that needs are everything that is needed by humans to gain success whereas desires are determined by the level of wealth and satisfaction that a person has in their life.

Thus the information about the complete understanding of wants and needs, I hope the above article can be useful and helpful for all of you.

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