English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I thought 'providence' might work, but it doesn't seem to quite fit the bill. The sentence I'm trying to complete is:

"Needs are those things that preserve life, health, home, and [word-goes-here]."

share|improve this question
To provide fiscally, you need a job, so maybe: Needs are those things that preserve life, health, home, and employment. Or "ability to provide" is a common enough phrase (42 million hits on Google): Needs are those things that preserve life, health, home, and the ability to provide. – JLG Oct 12 '12 at 16:25
Employment is not necessarily needed to be able to provide fiscally. E.g., the very wealthy that live off investment interest. Maintaining that interest-bearing principle would be just as much a need to them as a job would be to us pleebs. I'm definitely looking to define the ability itself - not the specific means that provide it. – Felix T. Katt Oct 12 '12 at 18:11
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You could go with something like "Needs are those things that preserve life, health, home and

  • financial stability
  • solvency
  • the ability to provide (as @JLG said)
share|improve this answer
I like 'solvency'. That's, I think, the closest to what I'm looking for. – Felix T. Katt Oct 12 '12 at 18:05
@FelixT.Katt FYI, solvency is defined as having assets in excess of liabilities; able to pay one’s debts. It is also financial jargon that will very likely not be understood by the layman. – coleopterist Oct 12 '12 at 18:51
@coleopterist - it's pretty standard English here. Definitely not technical jargon :-) – Rory Alsop Oct 12 '12 at 20:52

Doesn't the cliché go something along the lines of health, wealth and happiness? My suggestions would be:

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.