Finance

Finance Fridays : Know Your Priorities

Personal finance is a great way to realize where you’re priorities lie. Making smart, intentional decisions with your money reflect what’s important to you. Whether it’s for the moment or the future, your priorities will help guide your actions when it comes to money.

Goals

Most people make goals based on what they most want to achieve. You prioritize what steps you need to take to accomplish said goals. Financial goals help you focus on what you need to accomplish at a given point in your financial journey.

Wants vs Needs

A perfect example of knowing your priorities is being able to choose between wants vs needs. Being able to identify between buying something because you need it or just because you want it can sometimes determine if you stick to your budget. And when a budget is tight, those decisions become crucial. It’s very easy to fall back on to credit and then spiral into debt.

To keep myself accountable when shopping, I’ll make a list of what I need to buy. It helps me to not forget anything, as well as to help me to not go beyond said list. I also keep a list of things I would like to buy, so I know what to save up for or add it to my budget.

Budgeting

Knowing your spending habits will help you create a budget that works in your favor. Do you need to prioritize paying down debt over saving? If your saving for multiple things at once, how do you decide to split funds between items? Do you love to shop for clothes or do you prefer to spend money on eating out? These and many more factors will help you decide what categories your budget needs to have. These factors can also change over time, so make sure you review your budget at least once a month.

Change Is Inevitable

Your priorities will eventually change. So your behaviors and attitudes will most likely change as well. When you pass a financial milestone, it’s always a good idea to see if you need to make any changes to your money routine. If your priorities have shifted, you may have to re-work your routine/budget to fit your new reality.

Do you agree that knowing your priorities can help you make good financial decisions? I feel that I’ve been having to be highly conscious of every purchase I make as hours at work have been sparse. When you are working with very little, prioritizing where to put your money is key. What do you think is crucial to making smart money decisions?

Disclaimer: I am not a financial expert or advisor. I am just someone who believes talking about personal finance is important. And that talking about it helps erase the taboo of talking about money with others.