I buy my clothes at Goodwill. I don’t say this to act all holier-than-thou or suggest that everyone should do the same. It is just a facet of my actions defining my priorities. I don’t put a high priority on my clothing being fashionable or in style or anything like that, so I don’t spend a lot of money on clothes. I do try to find clothing at Goodwill that looks decent on me and it has to be in great condition, but if it is a color I’m not sure was the best choice or it fits a little funny, odds are I’ll still buy it if I can’t find the perfect item.
On the other hand, there were only certain areas of my particular city I was willing to buy a house in. If we had shifted 5 miles south of where we are, we could have gotten a very similar house for about 20-30% less than we paid for the one we are in. We don’t live in the “best” neighborhood in our city, but we certainly do not live in the “worst” either. I looked at the schools available, the crime rates, the availability of green space, and many other factors to determine our target neighborhoods and then bought a house within one of them.
How do your actions define your priorities? What do you spend your money on, and what do you go without or spend less on? What are you saving for, and what percentage do you save? The things we actually do with or money, versus the things we tell ourselves we should do with our money, is how we define our financial priorities. Do your financial priorities align with the ones in your head? Pull apart your budget and find out. My goal for the next month is to work on my 2009 budget and have it completely reflect our family’s priorities. I welcome everyone to give it a try.