Put your money where it matters
How to set your financial priorities
Hey there —
As a kid, what was that one thing you saved every penny of your allowance to buy? 👛
Whether it was a skateboard, an American Girl doll, or as much candy as you could carry from the convenience store, you knew exactly what to do with the contents of your piggy bank.
But as an adult, financial planning gets a bit more complicated than calculating how many king-sized Snickers bars you can afford. 🍫
Thankfully, there’s plenty of expert-backed advice to help answer our burning financial questions. Like…
📊 How do I budget for expenses, savings, and spending? Try the 50/30/20 rule.
🏠 What percentage of my income should I spend on rent or a mortgage? Keep it at no more than 28%.
💵 How can I begin to build financial stability? Start by saving a $500-$1,000 emergency fund, then tackle your debt.
💼 How do I start investing? Take advantage of any matching 401k benefits your employer offers and/or invest in a target retirement date fund.
But once you’ve implemented sound foundational practices like these, there’s one important question you probably thought about as a kid but sometimes overlook as an adult:
What do you want to do with your money?
If you’re balking at this suggestion, you might be thinking, “But isn’t being a responsible adult about doing what I should with my money over what I want?”
Yes, when it comes to making wise financial decisions, there are times that self-control absolutely needs to override desire (like when you’re deciding between dropping $400 on T-Swift tickets or paying your share of the rent).
But money isn’t just about building security — it should also bring you joy.
Instead of assuming financial responsibility is a one-size-fits-all formula that demands you cook all your meals at home and put every extra penny into savings so you can buy a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in the suburbs…consider what your unique values are.
As Maia Monell, co-founder of the Nav.it money app describes this mindset:
🤝 Are you passionate about supporting a certain cause or charitable organization? Divert some of your extra funds into a monthly donation.
🍽️ Do you love fine dining or meeting up with friends for drinks? Then get thrifty with the meals you do cook at home and allot more money for eating out.
✈️ Do you want to travel the world? Maybe you’d rather invest your money in being a digital nomad than in making a down payment on a house.
This isn’t to say there won’t be periods of time where you’ll need to make sacrifices to maintain your financial stability.
But putting your money where it matters most to you — by ensuring your budget reflects your personal values and what you actually want — will help you set smart financial goals and release spending guilt.
Not only that, but it will give you more motivation to actually stick to that budget — and see to it that your money helps you live your best life. 😃
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Try this 30-day money challenge to get smarter and be more successful with your money
by Emmie Martin
You know we love a good 30-day challenge, so how about one to help you boost your bank account? 🏦
CNBC Make It has put together this step-by-step, month-long guide to help you take stock of your personal finances and make money-saving improvements.
There’s one actionable step for each day, along with helpful links and tools. And if this newsletter already has you considering what your personal money values are, you’re all set to check off day one.
5 signs you’re actually pretty good with money
by Jessica Stillman
It can be easy to get discouraged when your bank account seems at odds with your financial goals. Thankfully, your bank balance isn’t the definitive ruling on your level of financial literacy.
If you’re struggling with feelings of failure when it comes to managing your money, here are five signs that you’re actually doing okay.
Spoiler alert: it’s less about how much money you have, and more about how intentional you are with it. 👍
Don’t just spend your time, invest it
by Joe Pinsker
It turns out the concept of “investing in your future” doesn’t just apply to money. It can also be a powerful (and anxiety-reducing) mindset when it comes to time. 🕐
Recent research shows that shifting our perspective from “spending” time to “investing” time can help us fill our calendar with more rewarding activities and avoid guilt over a perceived lack of productivity — leading to a happier, more satisfied life.
“When we invest money, we tie up our present resources in exchange for future gains. But investments of time have the advantage of paying out in both present enjoyment and far-off benefits.”
Written by Ashley Martin
Edited by Matt D'Avella