Building a Savings Plan

Priorities

Let's talk about your priorities first. Thinking about your priorities and what is important to you will get you in the goal-setting frame of mind. Think about who you are and 'what makes you tick.' Then, make sure your goals are in line with what you are all about.

Balancing Between Wants and Needs

Wants are emotional. There is a deep feeling behind your wants. You want to be loved. You want to be secure. You want to feel good. Your wants are not necessary for your survival but they are important for how you feel about yourself.

Needs are requirements. Things like food, shelter and medicine are needs. You can't survive and grow without them. You also have financial needs, like an emergency reserve account, adequate health insurance and a regular savings program.

Keep in mind the difference between your wants and your needs. For example, do you want a new car because you don't like the old one, or do you need one because the old one is falling apart?

We're not saying that you should not have goals for the things you want. We are saying that asking yourself if you really need it will help you to prioritize. And since few of us can have everything that we want, knowing your priorities will help you determine what needs to be done next and what has to change.

Common Priorities

To help you think about your priorities, or what's important to you, we've given you a list of common priorities. Print out this list if you like, and then go through it and put an 'X' in the appropriate column – most important, kind of important or least important. Feel free to add your own.

Ranking

Priority

Most Important

Kind-of-Important

Least Important

Starting a family (having a child or children)

Funding College Expenses

If you're a partner in a two-earner couple, making sure you're making the right financial moves

Providing Day Care for your children

Taking care of elderly parents or relatives

Planning around separation or divorce

Buying your first home

Selling your home and buying another one

Buying a second home, vacation home or a rental property

Getting a big investment portfolio

Making sure health costs are taken care of

Taking care of your family if you die

Taking care of your family if you become disabled

Spending less

Reducing debt

Achieving success in your career

Planning for a comfortable retirement

Achieving financial confidence

Reducing your income tax bill

Giving to charity

Having a good estate plan

Traveling

Other priorities: