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"3 Effective Strategies to Align Your Spending with Your Priorities"

Person knowing what matters to them

When you allocate most of your money towards what truly matters to you, you gain a sense of control over your finances. This leads to a more fulfilled life and a greater satisfaction with your spending choices. It’s also empowering to stick to your personal finance plan when its objectives are aligned with your life's aspirations.

Because life priorities are deeply personal and can vary significantly from person to person, it’s crucial to be aware of your own unique values and aspirations. 

  • If you need to know your personal values, consider working with us. We can help you discover them.

What do you truly desire from life? What kind of lifestyle do you envision? What are your most cherished life goals? Take a moment to reflect on these questions. Does your current spending reflect these aspirations?

Follow these steps to help determine if your finances are in alignment with your priorities:

1.      List your priorities. You might notice different levels of priorities as you write yours down. Your basic priorities include having a place to live and plenty of food to eat.

  • However, you’ll most likely include some “necessary” priorities to ensure a strong future for yourself and your family, like maintaining good health or providing your kids with a good education.

  • Also, list things you love to do that seem more like “luxury” priorities, like reading, traveling, or playing golf. These might be on a lower priority level than your basic priorities, but they’re still important to you, so include these as well.

2.      Now, write down how you spend most of your money. Where does it go? Although you may get annoyed that much of your money goes toward the mortgage or paying rent, the fact is that we all require a roof over our heads.

  • You might consider the type, size, and expense of your home and whether you’ve gone too far regarding house expenses. If so, where you live, and the mortgage/rent payments might require re-evaluation on your part.

  • Maybe a good portion of your dollars goes to other necessary expenses like groceries and paying your utilities. But what else do you spend your money on?

  • Do you play slot machines on Saturday for fun and end up losing money? Maybe you love to shop and use shopping as a pastime that ends up costing quite a bit. Perhaps you spend $20 a week on coffee and snacks or $30 a week having drinks with your friends.

  • Thoughtfully consider where your money goes from week to week and write it down.

3.      Finally, compare your lists. Take a look at your first list, the one with your priorities. Ponder each item; does every item accurately reflect what’s important to you? Now, examine your second list, the one showing where your money goes. Do the lists appear connected? Does your money go mostly toward your priorities? 

  • You might be shocked to learn that, even though you listed certain priorities like providing a good education for your children or having a comfortable home, you’re spending $100 plus a week on eating out instead of starting an education fund.

  • What if you listed reading as one of your priorities yet spend nearly $100 a month on cable television you don’t watch much? Or if you do, it’s the same three channels that you’d actually get on a basic cable plan costing less than $40 a month.

  • In either case, you’ve got to ask yourself, “What are my true and real priorities?” and “Why aren’t I putting my money toward the things that matter most to me?”

Celerbating success

By clarifying your priorities and being mindful of your spending, you can start directing your money towards what truly matters to you. This shift in focus can lead to a more positive relationship with your finances, as you'll have more funds available for the things that bring you joy .

Then, you’ll like the way you feel about your finances as funds become available for your favorite things.

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