Better Budgeting: Make Room for What Matters the Most

Make Room for What Matters the Most

Living a Better Life® (from the editor's desk)
by Michelle Jones

In the quest to be successful and acquire more, one can lose the very things that are truly most valuable in life. Take a moment to prioritize what matters the most and make room in your life to get it done.

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It is a common misconception in society that we have to earn more money in order to live a better life. It may take years to realize that the most precious and valuable things in life, are indeed free!

What are Your Priorities? 

Earning more money?  Building a bigger house?  Having more quality time with your kids, or just to hang out with friends?  Volunteering more time and/or money to charity? Travel the world, vacation in Tahiti? Start your own business? Retire early?

Make Room

Once you determine what your top priorities are, start making room in your life for them. You might even be surprised to find that by paring down on the less important things, we can often create more time (and money) for the things that matter the most.

We all have a purpose for being here. Is it to have bigger and better things, or more money in the bank?  I highly doubt it. Though Donald Trump might disagree.

Some of the people I admire the most in this world finished their life with practically nothing in the bank.

It's just not about the money folks. Do what you love, do what you're here for, and make the time for what matters the most.

Whether you have children or aging parents to care for, whether you're a young student, married or on your own, rich or poor, take a good look at your life and try to work more towards achieving those things that are most important to you and your true purpose for being here, whatever they might be!

Money Matters

Your list of most valuable matters may include things that require money. A LOT of money. It's okay to have those, just keep them prioritized.

Some examples are:

College tuition to get/finish your degree.

Getting out of debt (paying off credit cards, student loans, medical bills, etc...)

Purchasing a car or home of your own.

Saving and investing for retirement.

Funding a college education for your children.

Increasing your charitable contributions or signing up for that mission trip to Africa next summer.

Paying for special activities for your children (sports, dance, art, music, or even private education)

Family vacations and travel.

And a gazillion other things that can drain our bank accounts if we don't plan wisely.

Our dreams and hopes can be endless, but by prioritizing them and setting goals they have a better chance of becoming a reality.

Challenge

Sit down and really think about where you're headed. What are you working for, and are you working so hard that you're not enjoying the beauty and blessings that are already all around you. That free stuff I'm always talking about!

Write down what your dreams and goals are, then prioritize them in order to eliminate some things.

Some examples are:

Make some inexpensive improvements on the house you're living in now, instead of buying a bigger one.

Drive that old car for a few more years, saving thousands of dollars for something more important.

Use as many of our money-saving tips as you can to free up more of your time and money each month, that's what we're here for!

There should also be a several goals on your list that don't require any money at all, as I said earlier, the BEST things in life really are free.

Know Where Your Money is Going

Whether you have $100,000 or less than $10 to your name, it's important that you know where your money is going. Then you can compare that to your goals and make adjustments where needed.

If you are not sure where all of your money is going, I encourage you to take the next 30 days to find out. Keep a log of where every penny goes. Then at the end of 30 days, start looking for the changes you can make in order to create a surplus for your goals.

If you need more help with budgeting please feel free to use our free budgeting worksheets!

Debt

If you have unsecured debts (credit cards, credit lines, medical bills, etc...) paying those off should be one of your top priorities. You may also need to make some changes in your lifestyle to get those debts paid off, but I promise you it will be worth it.

Take a quick inventory of your bills, how much are you paying each month in finance charges? Instead of looking at those interest charges as just another figure on your bill, think of them as income that you are losing--because one way or the other, you are paying that interest in cold hard cash, and with compounded interest on top of that.

It has always been our goal to provide you with as much information as possible, so that you will not only survive whatever financial difficulties you may be encountering now or in the future, but that you will even be able to Live a Better Life right through it!

Moving up and up just seems to be the normal way of life, at least for our baby boomer generation. The houses are getting bigger and bigger, and the costs are going through the roof.  (No pun intended!)

It just seems normal to increase our living standards as far as we can go. We not only want bigger and better houses, we want bigger and newer cars, furniture, appliances, clothes, and vacations too. The list can go on and on. But just because we want it, doesn't mean it's the best thing for us. Can you just see the bills rising, the debt snowballing? That is certainly NOT what we want!

Remember your priorities and REAL purpose for being here? Surely they have little to do with these types of things.

Make room in your life for what matters the most!

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Copyright © 2001, 2005, by Michelle Jones. All rights reserved.

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