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PRIORITIZE YOUR SPENDING

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Sorry to burst your bubble, but you can’t have it all. Even millionaires don’t have everything they
want. However, you can ultimately get most of what you want (and all of what you need)—if you
prioritize spending.
By this, I mean look at all your wants and needs and prioritize them. Needs are simple: a roof over
your head, food, clothing, transportation, entertainment, and health care. When it comes to your
wants, expand on them. How big an apartment/house do you covet? How nice a car do you desire?
What type of clothing? Restaurants: four nights a week? Extravagant vacations? And, of course, much
more.
Now comes the difficult but necessary part. What is most important to you? If socializing is most
important, then budget more dollars toward social events and eating out. If you like home
entertainment, then prioritize a large-screen TV. If a nice car is important, then compromise on the
size of the apartment you rent. However, realize you can’t have it all unless you can afford it. You
will have to prioritize and have trade-offs.
Let me give you a real-life example, me at the age of twenty-five. I think fondly of the days when I
lived in a family’s two-hundred-and-fifty-square-foot basement and had a one-burner stove and a
mini-refrigerator. I didn’t spend a lot of time at home, so I didn’t need a heck of a lot more. It was
what I needed at the time, and living in this small space allowed me to spend my money on other
things that were more important to me: savings and entertainment. Those were numbers one and two
on my prioritization list.
As an aside, if you don’t make savings a top priority of yours, it will never happen, so make sure it is
number one or two on your list of priorities.
You are the only one who knows what’s most important to you. Remember that: What is important to
YOU? Not what is important to the Joneses next door.

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