Financial hacks for defining your priorities

3 MIN READ | #blog

It’s a weekly dilemma: As the work week comes to an end, it’s time to think about what to do on the weekend. Whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s or beyond, single, in a relationship, or married with kids at home, there’s so much to consider and juggle. Do you catch up on chores that need to get done, make plans to see friends and extended family? Or wait — does spending some time at home relaxing sound like the most appealing option right now?

What’s important?

It’s nice to have varied possibilities, but sometimes it’s hard to know what to do next. This is true whether you’re trying to avoid the pangs of FOMO or setting financial goals. Maybe you want to indulge in some expensive hobbies, take a dream vacation, eventually get married, start or expand your family, save for a home, and retire some day. But which of these things is most important today?

Steady progress

As we all know, you can’t do it all at once. Over the course of your lifetime, however, you can potentially seize many opportunities. It’s a matter of defining — and maybe re-evaluating — your priorities, and developing a plan. One way to attain life goals is to begin by taking stock of what matters, and then check how it matches up to your current behaviors. For example, a life goal, especially one like retiring well, may feel distant. Yet it’s the steady accumulation of savings that can help toward retirement. See how your money can be put to better use with our priority calculator.

Making a plan

If retiring well is a long-term goal, there are other goals, of course, that are more short- and medium-term. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, for example, could fall into the short-term category, while having a child or buying a house, or perhaps a vacation home, might fall into the medium-term category. All these goals can be defined and mapped out in a grand plan, so you work toward achieving them — rather than assuming that one day they’ll “just happen.”

Defining your goals

When you define your goals and create a written plan, you’re adopting the behaviors of financially and emotionally confident people. Another key behavior is to enlist the help of a financial professional. Just like your life priorities are personal to you, your relationship with a financial professional should match your style. For example, do you prefer to discuss your financial goals over email, or are you more comfortable communicating in person, or over a Zoom meeting? 

Reflect your values

In any relationship, it works best when you “get” one another. This holds true in working with a financial professional. Does your financial professional reflect your values? For instance, if you care about giving back and creating community, you’ll appreciate a financial professional’s community involvement, including hosting events to bring people together. 

So where do your priorities lie, and do they align with your behaviors? There’s no one size fits all; once you figure out what matters most to you, you’ll be on the way toward achieving your goals and objectives.

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