I heard an interesting concept on the HerMoney podcast: that wants may be needs after all. Author Sarah Newcomb makes the argument that what we normally refer to as "wants" are really meeting fundamental needs.
Thinking about this through my own budget lens, my Theatre Tix category comes to mind. Do I need to see Hamilton? I would joke that yes, yes I do, but of course, that's an exaggeration. But thinking about it, planning for it, imagining it when I listen to the cast recording...it fulfills my needs for participation, leisure, creation, identity and freedom.
So maybe, when looking at the categories where you tend to overindulge, ask yourself, "what need(s) does this satisfy? Are there other ways I can create that satisfaction?" And bonus: coming up with new ways to minimize these expenses will also satisfy your fundamental need for creativity!
Some people, for instance, won't listen to cast recordings until after they've seen a show. I prefer to spend $10-20 on a cast recording before I shell out hundreds for tickets to see if it's something that interests me. I tend to meet friends for lunch instead of dinner to save both time and money. Lunches are cheaper than dinners or even drinks sometimes, and it doesn't interfere with my schedule for picking up Riley after work. I don't subscribe to music services because I have enough in my iTunes and Amazon Prime libraries to keep the music varied without another monthly bill. (Plus, I still listen to Hamilton more than half the time, anyway!)
If this sounds daunting, remember two things:
1) We adapt all the time. Technologically alone, we all try new things on a regular basis. Instead of thinking of this as a sacrifice, think of it as an adaptation.
2) This is an opportunity to get more of what you want: you get your needs met, plus you get to save money for other needs/wants.
And hey, when you come up with solutions and plop down the $$ for that "want", you can honestly say to yourself, "I need this!"