I sometimes blab on this blog a bit, but I have an important question for you this time. What is important to you? What matters in your life? Do you really know? In the next week or two I’ll write about three ways you can find out what is REALLY, truly important to you… regardless of what you think really is… So stay in touch! When you objectively gage these things in your life, it might give you a better idea on were your priorities are… really are. Here is the first gage:

Money: Where do you spend yours? Clothes, cars, going out to eat, charity? Do you spend it frivolously or are a hardline budgeter? I would encourage you to write down what is really important to you in life. Family might be one. Your health might be another. Maybe helping those in need? Maybe you do put down the car you saved up for over the course of a year or two… if you put something like that, that is just fine.

Now get out your checkbook and credit card statement. Take the last 3-6 months and add up how much money you spend in each “category” of your life. Food, transportation, vacations, savings, household needs, etc. Does this list reflect what you thought was important to you? Are you spending money on things you were completely clueless about?

I’m not going to dive into this too deep right now, because for you to get some enlightenment (and everyone gets some level of enlightenment if they really do this exercise), I’d rather you dive into your financial records and see what is REALLY important to you… not just what you wish.

For me, security and savings were top on my list… I thought. Years back when I did an exercise like this, I found out I was spending all of my “savings” money on an expensive hobby I had. What did that really tell me? My hobby was more important that building a shelter if things got bad in my life financially. It effected how free I felt, how much stress I felt and just plain old how I felt from day to day.

After taking this big hard look, I didn’t throw out my hobby, just readjusted how much money I spent on it. As of today, I hardly take part in that hobby… but you know what, I have an amount of savings (and growing) which helps me financially and emotionally weather bad things which always happen to pop up in life.

So enough said, get out your financials and add them up… it will take you 60-120 minutes, but will change your life in some impactful way. I don’t mean for you to get anal retentive and add up every cent, but by doing a loose categorization of your expenses, you’ll get my point in this entry. Deal? Next time I’ll talk about another gage which will open your eyes even more… but even more importantly, it will help you re-prioritize what you really WANT to be important.