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What Really Is Important To You?

What is most important to you? What are your goals? Any discussion about savings, spending, budgeting and/or retirement should begin with those basic questions. For example, your goals may be:

  1. Spending time with family
  2. Developing a fulfilling career
  3. Raising children who are kind and self-sufficient
  4. Guiding your children through college without debt
  5. Having the flexibility to be able to stop working, if necessary, by age 60

 Then look at where you spend your money. Let’s look at the cost of the above:

  1. Free
  2. Brings in income
  3. Free
  4. $x savings per month
  5. $y savings per month

 For many people, their top spending categories do not align with their goals. Expensive cars, dining out, vacations and entertainment should not be prioritized in a budget matching these example goals. Instead, prioritize your time so you have date nights with your spouse and one-on-one time with each of your children. Prioritize your money so you are saving at least 15% of your income toward retirement and a smaller sum monthly into a 529 college savings plan for your children.

 If other expenses are taking over your budget, then you might need to rethink what your goals really are, and deliberately match your spending to what is really important to you