Financial Priorities: Then, Now, and Everywhere in Between

Every now and then my husband and I sit down and talk about our financial priorities, etc. We talk about things that we’d like to do or buy, and how we can get to where we want to be.

We also occasionally literally list things that we want out on paper or in a spreadsheet. My husband pulled up our most recent list, and it just cracked me up.

Here’s the majority of our list from last year.

crock pot
new drinking glasses
shower curtains

new thick fluffy towels in dark green & burgundy or brown
new salt & pepper shakers (or possibly just salt)

First, can you say “one of these things is not like the other”?

Then there’s this: Who puts “salt & pepper shakers (or possibly just salt)” on a list of things they want instead of just going out and buying some? Me, apparently.

I’m also the person that took a YEAR to buy a new set of towels — but only because I’m both very busy & very picky about my towels. (I finally settled on some bamboo ones.)

Finally, the list we came up with this week looks like this:

A car repair
Fund for new TV
Pay off house
Replace icky carpet

I guess we’ve finally learned to think big, for the most part.

Then we pulled out a list from more than 5 years ago. That list had things on it like “At least a month’s savings”, “pay off student loan”, “tune up car”, “a couch”. I remember eventually crossing those things off. What a relief that was!

Have you ever taken a trip down memory lane and reviewed your financial priorities? (Or your lists of the things you want, as the case may be.) How have things changed over the years?


  • The first list was fun, salt shaker? But it is a big contrast to the one from five years ago and the one today.

    You had big goals, then smaller-odd (sorry) goals and then back to big goals.

    And interesting look into your goals :)

    • Hehe, no need to apologize about a salt shaker being odd! I think you put your finger on one of the differences though. That first list was more about things we wanted to buy, and the very last list is almost exclusively goals (with the exception of buying new carpet.)

  • Isn’t it funny to look back at how we used to think vs. how we do now? Obviously you guys have learned to think on a bigger scale, so bravo! Now, go out and buy yourself some of that ‘Retirement’ :)

  • I like putting the big and little stuff on my list of wants–even the untangible stuff! Putting major things (a fully-funded retirement) with the little stuff (a new black purse) makes me feel better about always being able to cross something off the list. I also (don’t mock me, dammit) put on the top of my wants list that it is stuff I am willing to receive, as in, I don’t have to buy all this crap myself. It can just show up.

    I almost always get all the goodies I want and most enjoy it when they’re given to me or are found at a thrift shop. I suppose it’s my version of a treasure hunt. (And I don’t think the salt and pepper shaker thing is weird at all!)

  • CF, hey, I hadn’t thought of it that way. Being able to cross (presumably more) stuff off the list is fun. I’ve found that just the act of writing stuff down seems to help them happen.

  • ayo

    Hi Jackie,
    How are you?
    You’ve got a great blog here
    I think it’s very important proritizing ones finances with regards to important projects for now or the future and not spending on impulse.
    My wife and i did our weekly shopping list a few hours ago and i know how many things were crossed out by the end of it lol!! because we eventually didnt see the need
    Take care

  • Hi ayo, thanks. That’s pretty good about your shopping list :)

  • Hmm, your 2nd list definitely sounds a little more meaningful! :) The big stuff! Once you got that down pat, everything else will be so easy… or will it.

    I have spending paralysis just like you! That’s why I wrote an article entitled “Let Freement Reign”. Been to the apple store like 60 times in 3 months, and can’t force myself to spend money.

  • Financial Samurai, unfortunately I don’t have spending paralysis — I’ve spent a ton of money lately! I just have trouble buying specific things for some reason. I guess I want them to be exactly what I have in mind, and it takes a while to find that.