I've had the chance to meet with others recently to help them with budgeting. It is fascinating to see how many different priorities people can have with their finances. Some put a nice home as a priority. For others it is having nice cars. Vacations make the top of the list for certain people. Eating out can also be a big thing. Convenience is king with the busy lives that most of us lead.
One of the most important things I have discussed with my friends about budgeting is the key to spend less than we earn. No matter what your priorities are in your spending, it is vital to keep in mind our future financial goals. Our immediate budget decisions will ultimately determine if we are on track for our long term financial goals.
I love the challenge I recent gave to a young couple. It was to simply analyze the last 2-3 months bank statements by categorizing every expenditure. This helped them see how much they had been spending at gas stations. They had made it a priority to regularly stop at the convenience store for that drink. Inevitably the purchase would include more than the extra drink. The follow up visit with this couple was cool to hear how they had made a decision together to adjust that priority . . . at least some.
What are your financial priorities and why? I'd love to hear from you.