Deciding What’s Important

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

If you are going to improve your money management abilities and make your way down the path to financial freedom, one of the most important things you can do is decide on what’s important to you. Once you know what is important, you can begin to bring your spending decisions in line with your priorities, and you will notice that you are happier — and you will be able to better meet your needs (and your wants).

Stop Worrying About the Joneses

The first thing you have to do is stop worrying about the Joneses. My son is learning this lesson the hard way. His friends had these toys that he really didn’t know anything about. But he just had to have them because his friends had them. We allowed him to use his allowance money to purchase some of these toys. My son regrets buying the toys, especially since it prevented him from having enough money to purchase something he’s really interested in.

Examine your interests, and decide what you want. My son likes Star Wars, and regrets that he couldn’t get a Star Wars Lego set, since he spent his money on two Bakugan toys — something he only got because his friends like it. Getting something because someone else has it only leads to discontent. Figure out what you actually like, and then purchase things that you are interested in, rather than worrying about what others will think if you don’t get what they like. Cut items that don’t fit your likes from the budget.

What Do You Value?

Next, you need to decide what you value. Do you value time with your family? If so, it doesn’t make sense to purchase something that only you can enjoy. It makes more sense to purchase a game, buy a movie, or go on an outing that you can do as a family. Before you spend your money, it is a good idea to consider whether or not a purchase or service is in line with your values.

The same is true of donating to charities. Decide what causes you feel are important, and look for charities that reflect your values. You can also use Charity Navigator to figure out which charities actually spend most of their revenue on programs aimed at helping others. Instead of giving a little bit to a bunch of mediocre organizations that you don’t really care about, you can do more good by giving more to one or two charities that share your values.

Will It Help You Meet Your Goals?

Another consideration when deciding what’s important is whether or not the expenditure in question will help you meet your financial goals. Create some short term and long term financial goals. You may enjoy something, but if it will hinder you from reaching a more important goal, you should probably forgo it. Having a plan for your money can help you use it more effectively so that you are more satisfied in the long run.

Doing something immediate and fun may provide some pleasure in the short term, but in the long run it is likely to cause discontent if you realize you have sacrificed a goal that is important to you. Prioritize, and you will be more likely to stay on track — and be more satisfied with the way things turn out.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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