It's not how much money you have, but what you do with it that counts. Studies show that if you focus your spending and saving around what's important to you, you can live a happier life. See for yourself by considering these three steps:
1. What three things matter most to you?
We all have different money goals, but the emphasis here is on you. Does homeownership top your list, or are you ready to pack your bags and travel the world? (Just because your friend wants to buy a shiny car doesn't mean a new set of wheels needs to be one of your priorities.) Think of your budget as a plan that allows you to customize the way you spend your money. Put yourself in the driver's seat and let your values guide the way. If it's important to you, you'll find a way to save.
2. What do you believe about money?
What you believe about money could impact what you do with your money. Some people think it's just there to be spent while others think it should only be saved. And even though everyone's beliefs are different, they're all born from experiences. So dig deep into your own story and figure out why you feel the way you do about money. Understanding how your money past is fueling your money present can only help your money future.
3. How do you prioritize your "what matters most" list?
Got your list handy? Good, it's time to prioritize. Knowing how to get the most from your money is key. Look at saving for retirement, for example. (Note: If that's not on your list, we strongly encourage adding it.) It's easy to live in the now and push a long-term goal like retirement aside, but keep in mind it's the one thing you'll benefit from most if you start saving sooner rather than later. Don't take that for granted.