Our priorities

Everyone has priorities, and everyone's priorities are different. Mine have continuously changed over the years, as my values and expectations for my life have changed. As the resident planner/organizer in our marriage and household, I am constantly thinking about what we should prioritize, which challenges we should tackle first, and what aspects of our life are most important to us.

At one point, my priorities centered around getting a super high-paying, high-demand job, buying the biggest house, the nicest clothes and basically "keeping up with the Jones'". My priorities have changed SO much since then. I'm really not as interested any more in obtaining status symbols, like that huge house just for the sake of having a huge house. Did you know that for the last couple of years, we have toured homes by multiple production builders and consulted with multiple custom home builders? We did learn a ton through that process about which builders we love - and don't - and what we will be looking for in the future, but how naive we were to think we were going to build a house next year. I wish I had that cry-laugh emoji right now.

What a joke! We don't have any kids (yet), so why in the world would we put ourselves into debt that massive for a 5 bedroom house when we would only really need one or two bedrooms for the next few years?! HA. We spent a couple of years with priorities centered around 1) building an emergency savings fund and 2) paying down our student loan debt. Our priorities now center around 1) saving money for a down payment on our first home (AKA a reasonably-sized and reasonably-priced home in which we can build equity, without digging ourselves into a huge hole in order to keep up with the Jones') and 2) paying down our student loan debt.

We have actually done pretty well in focusing on these priorities by taking some of Dave Ramsey's budgeting advice and 'customizing' it to suit our lifestyle and goals. (I find some of his advice to be really unrealistic for the average, middle-class American.) We basically give each other a fairly low, strict budget to spend on non-necessities every week, and put the absolute maximum we can at the end of every month into our savings and onto our student loans. To me, our loans are a much bigger priority than our savings, because I'm not obsessed with getting an expensive house - and because student loans gain interest faster than our savings accounts do, and financially it doesn't make sense to prioritize saving money when you have student loan debt.

We'll probably still build a home in a few years, once we have paid off our student loans and we have kids that are preparing to start school. Right now, though, that sort of investment doesn't make sense for us. We are quite enjoying living our simple life, engaging in our hobbies, and traveling, rather than focusing so much on belongings and material things.


  1. I love your posts! :) We follow Dave Ramsey's budgeting advice as well, but I agree some of it just isn't realistic!


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