When it comes to managing your money, you have to know what your priorities are. Did you realize that you are already doing this? When you don’t buy a new sweater so that you can buy your child a new pair of shoes, you are setting a priority. When you buy a new television instead of paying the electric bill, you are setting a priority. What are your current priorities saying?
You honestly have to sit down and think about these things. I know that it doesn’t sound like a lot of fun — you will have to face some truths about yourself. However, when you set priorities and take a good look at what you spend and why, you are able to change and adjust your money situation.
You have to sit down and write out your priorities in order to stick to them. If you see that your current priorities are hurting you financially, you are going to have to rearrange these priorities.
It really is quite simple. Start with the basics. You need food, water and shelter. You need to pay all of your bills on time each month. You have to get to work and back. Don’t put your scrapbooking hobby above your utility payments. Know absolutely what you can and can’t afford to spend your money on.
Take a good look at your bills. There are some bills you have that aren’t necessary. You have to pay your loan obligations. That is already set in stone. But you can cancel your cable bill. You can eliminate all the extras on your phone bill. These things may not be as important as saving for you daughter’s college education or paying off your debt.
Here is a basic list of what your priorities should look like:
Groceries and medical needs
Secured bills (loans)
Unsecured bills (credit cards)
Keep in mind that if your financial situation is tight, every time you spend a dollar you are assigning it to a priority. If you spend the week’s grocery money at the casino, you are saying that gambling is more important than feeding your family. Money is limited. You have to have priorities to ever accomplish anything with it. Know what your priorities are. When it comes to debt, make paying it off a priority. When it comes to savings, make it a priority. When it comes to treating yourself, make it occasional.
When you have priorities, you can set goals and stick with them. When you are shopping, it is easy to see if something fits into your priorities or not. Use your priorities to help control your spending and help you manage your finances wisely. They will help you sort things out. Getting a good picture of what you need and want from your money can help you see things differently. It can bring the necessity of budgeting and management into focus. It is worth more than just money. It brings peace of mind and success as well.