Ask the Readers: What is Your Top Financial Priority Right Now?

By Ashley Jacobs on 11 August 2015 60 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Harley, Paul, and Steve for winning this week's contest!

Most of us want to save money for a lot of things, but if we try to save for everything at once, odds are we'll never have enough for any of them. That's why it can be useful to focus on one or two savings goal at a time. But because life (and finances!) changes all the time, your priorities will likely along with it.

What is your top financial priority right now? Why is it at the top of your list? What are your other priorities?

Tell us about your financial priorities and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

For Extra Entries:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:

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If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, August 17th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after August 17th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
     
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
     
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
     
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck! 

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Guest's picture
Mary

My top financial priority right now is paying off debt.

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Bethany M

We just bought our first house so my #1 priority is to stick to the new budget.

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Tiffany

My husband and I are saving up for a down payment on a house, so that's our top financial priority right now. We plan to buy around the new year, so we're really pushing hard to save as much as we can over the next few months.

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Paul

#1 priority is establishing a savings method for our new daughter's schooling

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Harley

My top financial priority is cleaning up my credit to purchase a home.

I was laid off from work in 2008 and became homeless for almost two years. I searched for work while living everywhere in my current city from stairwells to living room floors. Eventually, I found work and a program to uplift me from poverty and was able to retain a home until recently. I have now been seeking another home. My father passed away and financially, it took a toll on me. I was in the midst of cleaning up my finances, credit, and acquiring a new position with better pay.

I am very optimistic about my situation. I believe if I could continue on this path, I will be able to move forward financially on the right foot. I currently work three jobs, and am seeking to return to school. I have a temporary place to live. My dream is to own my own home and to live debt free. I live underneath my means, and have increased my credit scores by about 10% since March. I have been attending workshops through my credit union as well as community agencies to educate me more about my finances, how to take control of them, as well as the homeowner/purchase process.

I'll get there with a lot of faith!! :)

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J. Pario

Harley,

Best wishes and good luck! It is incredibly encouraging to read that someone has bounced back from such a difficult situation. Don't ever give up!

J. Pario

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Paul

Paying off Credit Card

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Elena

My top priority is saving enough for retirement.

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Brandon L

My top financial priority right now is paying down debt via snowball method. I plan to start with my lowest balance credit card, and then tackle the student loans thereafter.

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Ernest S.

My #1 financial priority is building back a realistic emergency savings.

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Jay H

Paying off debt.

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Gina

My top priority is to build up an emergency fund and then to build up a vacation fund.

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Monica

I have several that all lead to an ultimate goal: buying my first home (and at close to 50, I need to step this up!). So my goals include improving my horrible credit rating/score, paying off debt, and saving toward my down payment/moving/closing costs.

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Renee

Saving enough for retirement and maintaining a budget that prioritizes experiences with the people I love over unnecessary things.

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Guest

Mine is always the same (which maybe is a bad sign): to pay off my student loans!!

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Tina in NJ

We're in our mid 50s. With one kid finishing up college and another finishing middle school, our financial priorities are the younger one's education and our retirement. I'm happy to say we're well on the way to both.

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Denise L

My top priority right now is to get of debt. Making slow, but steady progress!

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Michelle G

Getting out of debt! Both my husband and I have quite a bit of student loan debt from attending a private college and we are working hard to pay off as much as we can as quickly as we can while sticking with our budget to make that happen.

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Shirley

My top priority is saving money for travel. I am 58, single, have no family to speak of and all my friends are married with families. Traveling is something I LOVE and look forward to. I don't want to envy my friends, I want to make a great life for myself.

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Guest

I am working on two goals right now: saving for an emergency fund and getting out of debt.

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Matt

Saving money so I can retire early someday.

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Raina

My top financial priority is probably paying off my mortgage. I bought my first house a year and a half ago. I don't have any other debts.

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Eboni Dunbar

My top financial goal is paying off debt starting with my car and ending with my student loans :) It's my priority because I recognized a month or two ago that I could have $1,000 in my pocket if I weren't paying for credit cards and student loans and my car.

Alongside that I want to save more money and invest!

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Tricia

Saving for retirement!

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Jeff

top priority is saving for retirement

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Emily S.

Paying off my student loans from graduate school and saving for a wedding top my priority list!

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Catseye

My top financial priority is increasing my income stream ASAP.

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LISA JONES

definitely i need to repair my credit. my name is VERY common. almost as bad as "jane smith" so for me i am angry that my credit report has many errors, showing me supposedly living places i've never even been. serious errors like this drive me batty. at least if i had bad credit, i want it to be really MY credit. so yeah, i'm on a hellfire mission to get the flatout wrong person's credit woes off my report!

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Betty

I am trying to build up my retirement fund. I wish I would have started this in my 20s. I also save money each year to travel somewhere.

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Kelli

Since paying off all my CC debt earlier this year my #1 priority is increasing my emergency fund. My other goal is to save more for a vacation early next year.

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Monique

Right now my top financial priority is paying off my student loan. The balance is modest, but I'm in school again and don't want the debt to snowball or become unmanageable. In fact, I really like the idea of no debt and lots of financial freedom. After the student loan is paid, I'd like to focus on saving more for retirement and a home.

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Jared

retirement, housing, travel money.

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caroline

Save more in cash to buy a rental

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Guest

Right now my biggest financial priority is saving for Disney World. I know this may sound like a luxury and pointless to most people, which I can kind of agree. But I recently found out my boyfriend is going down there for a conference, so the hotel is free for me to tag along. It will be a budget trip because I don't have a lot of wiggle room for it, but it is a priority because I love Disney and I don't know when I'll get the opportunity again.

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Katie

My top financial priority is balancing my emergency savings and college loan repayment.

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An G

saving as much as we can for retirement, savings and college for our 2 girls.

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Jamie

Unfortunately my top financial priority right now is getting a job so we can be a dual income household again.

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J. Pario

Paying off the mortgage.

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Donna

I am helping my son pay off his student loans so he can have a life. That is the best and foremost goal for me right now.

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Elizabeth

My top financial priority is being able to put more than $25 a month into my ROTH IRA account. I am in my mid 20's, and I work for a financial planner. She has truly taught me the value of being proactive and that it is NOT too late to start planning for retirement. I want to be able to say "c'est la vie" when I'm 55.

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Amy R

Hired full-time after a year and a half of not having a steady job, I want to rebuild the cushion I depleted during the period of unemployment/freelance work.

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Mitchell

We have worked hard to buy our home (we recently moved to another one) and to build an emergency savings. The major financial priority is to save something for our children's education while saving enough for retirement without bonuses or raises or cost of living increases.

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npflaum68

I recently had to give up my job due to medical issues, so my priority is to cut back on expenses and make my savings last as long as possible.

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Ann Marie perry

My biggest financial priority is saving an 8 month emergency fund and saving for college for my son...only 2 years away!

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Robynn

My priority is saving enough money in the next 3 months so that my husband and I can go to Central America to live for 6 months or so without having to work.

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Sean

Saving up for down payment on a house, while saving for retirement.

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alona

Retirement :)

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Guest

My top priority for the next 2.5 yrs. is to continue reducing our spending. We sold our home after ownership for 25 yrs. We've reduced our utilities and other expenses by moving into a modern loft apartment with less square footage than our home. We've cut our cable tv. I'm working a second part-time job in our building and am saving every dime of that money. My ultimate goal in reducing our expenses is to retire before the age of sixty. This will happen in 2016 as we have been financially prudent all of our lives.

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SmArtsyChick

My top financial priority is getting my emergency fund up to speed. The goal is eight months and I'm about to approach two. My job is great, but unstable, so before I can focus 100% of my energy on paying down debt I have to keep my focus on my emergency fund. I'm still paying down debt, but that top priority belongs to the emergency fund.

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Michelle D.

My top priority right now is saving for a new car.

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Donna D.

Saving for retirement.

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Tracey

My top priority is eliminating my home equity line debt so my actual monthly mortgage payment will lower and I can put that extra money into savings.
And also at the top of the list is getting my younger two daughters through college with minimal student loans.

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Tabathia B

My top priority is to put some aside for savings/retirement, pay off any past debt/bills and to save for a home

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Guest

My top financial priority is paying off credit card debt.

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Abby

My top financial priority is paying off credit card debt and student loan debt.

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Suz_Glo

Definitely saving for our retirement. We are trying to choose the right investments to maximize our money's earning potential now and 30 years from now.

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Lizbeth

I'm retired now so my top financial priority is to hire a fee-based planner to help me determine how to make the most of my retirement assets.

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Liisa R

Catching up on taxes and then paying for the rest of law school in cash.

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Susan Smith

My top financial priority right now is saving for retirement.

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Sue

Pay off our mortgage, our only debt left!

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Jennifer

We're expecting a baby early next year, so my top financial priority is protecting ourselves financially (life insurance, will, etc.) -- all the things that weren't as essential when it was just the two of us!

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Amanda H

Top priority is figuring out a budget that works so we can pay off a bit of credit card debt and hospital bills soon.

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Maura

Saving for retirement.

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Guest

Saving for grad school and contributing as much as I can to retirement!

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Jillian

Our biggest priority now is paying off the debt we incurred while my husband and I were both unemployed. We're working now, and excited to get back in the black!

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Chelsea

My top financial priority is paying for school, hopefully I'll be graduating in December and sitting for boards to become an Registered Nurse soon after!

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Noel

We have several right now: 1. DH needs a new car and we always pay cash. We have enough for it, so now it's just a matter of holding it aside. 2. We're saving up a down payment for our second rental property. Almost there! 3. Just overall investing and increasing net worth.

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Jae K.

My top priority is learning as much about investing to secure a comfortable retirement while saving for a down payment on a house.

My initial priority was the down payment but knowing how to juggle financial priorities and understanding the requirements for long-term stability through efficient investing has a much larger impact in the long run. A pretty house is nice but what's the point if I'm stressed about student loans, bills and retirement income.

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Lynda

my top financial priority now is to build an emergency fund

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Stefanie

I just moved across the country for a new job and used most of my liquid savings to do so! The priority now is to save for travel in the future and add to the emergency fund once again.

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Natalie Merino

My goal is to pay off all debt, including my student debt by the end of the year. I am on track and have more financial goals for next year, like travel more and see the sights! :)

Anything is possible.

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Alissa A

My top financial priority is saving for retirement!

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Rebecca B. A. R.

Right now I want to pay off the personal loan from my mamal for my car. I'm hoping to have it paid off in around a year.

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Christina

Paying off debt from renovating. Because - debt stresses me.

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Happy Love

Pay off debt.

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Margaret Davis

Our top financial priority is making ends meet!! We are fighting tooth and nail to pay the bills every month without incurring additional debt.

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Brittany

Get rid of credit card debt so I can focus solely on my student loans!