Master Your Money Bootcamp: Prioritize your financial goals

Business Insider

Moyo Studio/Getty Images; Alyssa Powell, Insider

Welcome to the second week of the Master Your Money Bootcamp on deciding what you want. This week, we’re prioritizing!
Exercise 2: Choose which goals come firstIf you joined us for last week’s challenge, you should now have a list of things you want to accomplish with your money. They can be as grand as retiring early or as small as paying off your $1,000 credit-card balance. If it’s on your list, it’s important to you.
But chances are, absent a financial windfall, you can’t accomplish everything all at once. Or even over the next few years. That’s why we need to prioritize.
This exercise may be tougher to tackle if you share finances with a partner. Competing priorities may lead to some difficult conversations, but in order to accomplish goals on either of your lists, you have to get on the same page.
The goal for this week: Decide which financial goals you’re going to put time, money, and resources toward first.
1. Look at your list of goals and separate them into three categories:
Must doCould doWould be nice to doSomething urgent, like paying off credit-card debt or building an emergency fund, belongs in the first category. Buying a vacation home may fall into the second or third categories; after taking care of your urgent goals, leftover money will be funneled toward the next most important goals.
This exercise requires some forward-thinking. Retirement may not feel all that urgent when you’re in your 20s or 30s, but it’s a goal that requires decades of saving and investing consistently.
2. Next to each goal, write down when you expect you’ll need the money (either your age or the year). If it’s a recurring goal, such as taking an annual vacation, note that.
We’ll come back to this in week four.
As a reminder, here’s what you’ll accomplish in this month’s Bootcamp (we’ll link to each exercise as it goes live):
Master Your Money Bootcamp: Decide what you wantExercise 1: Dream bigExercise 2: Choose what comes firstExercise 3: Identify what’s standing in your wayExercise 4: Figure out your price tag and timelineVirtual Live Event: HomeownershipFor each exercise, you’ll get a detailed explanation of how to complete it and why it’s important. Use the hashtags #MasterYourMoney and #MasterYourMoneyBootcamp to share your thoughts, progress, and connect with others across our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram as you make your way through each exercise, then join us for the live events.
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