Want Spending is Why There Are So Few Millionaires

Rich Habits
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Your best friend just put in a beautiful granite kitchen countertop. They have a little get together with you and other friends to show it off. As you drive home, you can’t shake the desire building inside of you of having one too. That want, that desire, when left unchecked, becomes a seed and that seed will eventually germinate.

The next thing you know, come hell or high water, you find yourself putting in a new countertop.

According to Wisonart, a home goods manufacturer, 34% of all home improvement/renovation projects are initiated in an effort to keep up with a friend, family member or neighbor.

Human beings are hardwired to want what others have. It’s literally built into our genome, our DNA.

The Want Gene is one of the reasons why so many individuals fail to live within their means, fail to save and accumulate so much debt.

This Want Gene is set loose by the brain’s limbic system, a part of the primitive brain that directs your emotions and impulses.

The good news is you were bestowed with something called the prefrontal cortex, a more sophisticated and newer region of the brain that has the ability to overpower the Want Gene. In fact, the prefrontal cortex is the master or, CEO, of your brain.

The prefrontal cortex’s greatest weapon over the primitive brain’s hardwired emotions/impulses is the Awareness Gene. This Awareness Gene, when turned on, overcomes the Want Gene, turning it off whenever it rears its ugly head.

But the Awareness Gene is a switch that must remaine turned on. When it is used repeatedly, it stays turned on and remains vigilant in suppressing the Want Gene – it becomes the master over the Want Gene.

Unfortunately, most individuals give into the instinctual, hard-wired emotions/impulses of the primitive brain – allowing their Want Gene to run their lives. That is why most people live beyond their means, are unable to save, accumulate debt  and struggle financially.

How do you keep the Awareness Gene turned on and the Want Gene turned off?

By having a life plan.

The prefrontal cortex loves to plan. By creating a life plan, that plan becomes your GPS, guiding you in all of your decisions. Your life plan turns on the Awareness Gene and forces you to evaluate every potential spending decision, in order to ensure it is consistent with your life plan.

Without a life plan, you allow your Want Gene to take control of your spending decisions, which always has disastrous consequences.



  1. john C Salter on August 19, 2020 at 9:35 AM

    Thank You !!

  2. sam on August 19, 2020 at 12:56 PM

    Great Article Tom….it is the first I have heard of the use of the prefrontal cortex with Wants vs. Needs.

    A maxim I think on “is it a want or is it a need?”


  3. Carolyn Walker, ALF on August 20, 2020 at 2:20 PM

    Very interesting Tom. I hadn’t heard anything like this before. Thankfully I have a good Awareness Gene, always on, mostly out of necessity. Thanks for sharing!

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