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How to Decide Your Budget Priorities

I recently watched a video called, “Wanting What You Want.” It was less than two minutes long—but I can’t get it out of my head. (In a good way, not like, “I can’t get that Spice Girls song out of my head!”)

In the video, Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach, talks about this idea of wanting what you want. His premise is that there is never any reason that we want what we want, except that we want it. And if we try to give a reason we’re making it up. You want what you want because you want it. Period.

He goes on to say that if you accept this truth and own it, it becomes a very easy way to relieve yourself of a lot of unnecessary burdens, guilt, and/or justification. It simply isn’t necessary. You want what you want because you want it.

This answer may drive other people crazy, but it is true, and it will free you up.

The more I thought about it, the more it resonated with me.

Case In Point: I Wanted A Tesla

About two years ago, my ‘02 Honda Civic finally bit the bullet, and I needed to get a new car.

If I had to get a new car, I decided I would get the one I really wanted—so I splurged and got my dream car: the Tesla Model S.

I didn’t make this decision lightly. In fact, it was an internal battle of sorts, because I harbored some weird pride in driving such an old car. It felt a bit odd to jump from a 14-year-old Civic to a 2015 Model S, but I jumped. And I love it. It is my most favorite purchase ever.

But, Why?

I hadn’t really reflected on it prior to this moment, but when I brought the Tesla home, (or should I say the Tesla brought itself home. This car can drive itself, people!) I did field a lot of questions: Did you buy it for the environment? Did you buy it because it’s so fast? Did you buy it for the technology? Did you buy it because it looks cool? Why did you buy it?

The truth is I didn’t have a good answer because I felt uncomfortable just saying the fundamental truth, “I just wanted it.”

Wanting What We Want

Those two little minutes on wanting what you want were really liberating for me. This is what I’m always telling people about priorities, isn’t it? I can want what I want. You can want what you want. No justification necessary.

(Now, if you’re budgeting with a partner, it becomes a little more layered. You’ll have to make sure you’re working together, on the same page, etc.)

So, thank you, Dan Sullivan, for a powerful reminder that your priorities are yours and yours alone, and you don’t have to tolerate any judgment or justification. You want what you want, I want what I want, and it’s as simple as that.

Wanting What We Want + Budgeting = Contentment

This really gets to the heart of why budgeting is so powerful. You can want what you want for no other reason than that you want it, but if you want it and you actually want to get it, you need to make sure your money is aligned with those wants. Want what you want and budget according, and holy cow, you’re off to the races! (In my case, you’ve probably already won the race, as I am driving a Tesla Model S.)

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How to Decide Your Budget Priorities