Finding your financial priorities is the most important place to start organizing your financial life.
So, how do your financial priorities stack up? Do you know what your financial priorities are? Taking inventory of the major components in your life is critical if you want to live a successful financial life. It is important to find these "buckets" before you can even begin prioritizing them. If you haven't figured out what yours are let's fix that here, right now.
Most faiths would probably guide their faithful to seek guidance for all things through their faith. This is probably the best place to start and determine what #principles and priorities should guide you as you live your life and as you take inventory of the areas of your life. And if you're not spiritual at all, I hope this first aspect hasn't stopped you. Perhaps replace the word "Faith" with "Principles" and examine how you lead your life, how you make decisions, what you're willing to accept, and what you'd rather forego. It should be mentioned, that some faiths encourage sharing financially through tithing, charity, or other ways of giving back.
For any of us who are married or in a devoted relationship, it would be important to prioritize this aspect of your life second only to faith. Putting anything else ahead of your #relationship could be disastrous. It is tempting, and selfless, to put the focus financially on children and other family members before your significant other. However, over time if the primary relationship is not solid and continually reinforced the other people in your life may cause cracks to form in your marriage. A strong marriage to start can help make every other relationship that much richer. Making space on the calendar and in the budget should be a priority. If you're single or dating this is an area that could quickly have a deep effect into your spending so would be good to examine how you're going to invest in your relationships early on.
Whether immediate #family, family pets, extended family, or even in-laws there are a variety of people in your life that are important and should be high up on the list as you plan your life financially. Setting aside money for education and childcare for your kids, birthday and holiday gifts for many in your immediate and extended family, as well as creating memories through the way you spend your money all should be considered in this area of your life. Determining which of these related expenditures are #essential or #discretionary is worth classifying when the budget you may be developing begins to take shape.
Shelter is something that would follow close behind your relationships. It doesn't matter whether you rent or own, providing shelter is important not to take for granted and to ensure you seek out shelter that is appropriate for your current stage in life and within reach financially. There are expenditures that would be incurred just for owning or renting your home. These #ownershipcosts would be in place regardless of how you use your home, such as your rent or mortgage as well as insurance. Then comes the expenses that are directly related to how much your home is utilized. Speaking of which, utilities come to mind, referred to here as #operatingcosts. If you own your home, even if the bank is helping you with financing, it is important to look ahead down the road for the future expenses of maintenance and replacement activity, what I like to refer to as #reservedspending. In other words, you should reserve money today in a safe spot so that it can be used later on when you need to address an issue in your home.
Finances would include any area of your life where money is spent towards. But, what I'm referring to here are financial priorities or #goals. Saving for a home, funding the purchase of a car, putting money aside for an addition to your family, or saving for education are priorities worth looking at early when setting up a budget and guiding where you want your money to go.
For those paying attention, you may point out that we haven't really touched on the earning of income. Income is important to support any financial goal no matter the priority. Whether you're self-employed, an employee, or the boss, income through work is an important area to explore and really understand well in order to maximize what you are earning. But working for the sake of earning income alone is pretty lackluster. Working in a #career that you, or your spouse, have goals, motivations, and talents is what I'm referring to in this area. It is important to do reflect on the area of your life you spend the most time out of the home. Sharing with each other your hopes and dreams as well as why you're going to work in the first place is a valuable exercise.
Hobbies or Personal Interests
A life with diverse activity is one worth pursuing. This also includes living life with company of #friends. Having personal interests to spend time pursuing, whether a hobby or labor of love can provide a lot of fulfillment and be areas of your life you make a priority to devote funding. Consider time and money spent in these areas in relation to all the other areas of your life.
And if all those areas above are falling into place in your life, then you may have interest in exploring the world around you. You may consider this a hobby, but regardless if you are fortunate to have the wherewithal to travel, determining how you're going to support this interest is worth looking at closely. We have ideas and techniques to help make this easy.
Perhaps you already have a good grasp of the areas of your life that are most important to you and even have them prioritized. I appreciate your time reading this post. If you started with few insights into your financial life, hopefully after reading through this list of suggested areas ideas have come to mind. Take some time to think through your list and what areas of focus you want to make a priority. Bonus points for talking this through with your significant other.
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