Everyone has some sort of financial priority in their life. Setting priorities can be very good for a person or a family. If you know what you are striving for, then you most likely will try a little harder and put more effort towards it.
Without priorities, then everything would be all over the place. How would a person even know where to start, where to end, when things are going run, etc.? How will individuals know when to celebrate completing a goal as well?
Maybe you want to eliminate all of your debt, give a higher percentage of your income to charity, go to school, pay off your house, retire early or just have financial freedom. Each person is different in how they value different things in their life, and their different financial priorities. One thing to keep in mind that even if financial priorities are similar, you shouldn’t always compare yourself to others. Different people complete their goals differently of course.
How to set financial priorities for yourself:
1. Decide what you value the most.
Make a list of what’s important to you. You probably have a very long list of things that you want to accomplish. What honestly cannot wait another second? Try to determine what should be done first and what can wait a little while. You can sort through the rest of the financial things you need to do as well, and maybe you can contribute to the rest equally but put most of your might to your top priorities.
Think about your future and think about where you want to be and what you want to have done. This is the first step!
2. Let people join you.
If there are others, such as family and friends, who might have similar priorities as you, then let them join you. You and them can most likely push each other to achieve your similar goals. Talking about things out loud can also be helpful.
Also, sit down with your family to make sure that everyone is on the same page. If everyone agrees on the financial priority, it will make it much easier, and of course, much less arguments.
3. Make sure your goal or goals are possible and realistic.
Creating a goal of paying off all your debt in one year when you know it’s absolutely not possible, then it’s probably not a SMART goal. A smart goal is specific, measurable, achievable, rewarding and track-able.
If your goal is not possible, then you are most likely spending way too much time (and wasting time) on something that will not work out in the end. And then you are also sidetracking other goals that you should be working on as well.
Instead of trying to pay off your debt right away, plan to make more money this year to begin repaying it. This goal could involve upgrading your education so that you can start applying for more lucrative positions or completely change your career.
For example, if you currently work in the nonprofit sector and would like to advance within the industry, earning a Graduate Certificate in Project Monitoring could be exactly what you need. Once you have this additional education, it will become much easier to reach your other financial goals because you can command a much higher salary.
4. Keep track and always adjust.
You should constantly be keeping track of your goals. Try to set maybe a certain time for when you will track how you are doing. Maybe daily (if you want to be very on track), weekly, monthly or some other amount of time.
This way, if something does happen to be OFF track, then you can try to adjust it. It’s of course much better than waiting to see how you’re doing a year later and figuring out that you are way off track what you wanted to be.
5. Be prepared for things that will throw you off track.
In the end, something will most likely come up. If something sidetracks your goal or priority for a little bit, don’t let it ruin everything. Realize that things will come up and not everything can be scheduled perfectly.
What are your priorities?
What’s on the back-burner for you now?