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Kimberly Palmer: How to Balance Competing Savings Goals

In this April 3, 2019, file photo a tip box is filled with U.S. currency in New York. Deciding how to prioritize different savings goals can be overwhelming, but financial experts recommend ordering them by urgency. Most people need an emergency fund first, followed by other goals such as saving enough for retirement, buying a home, traveling, saving for college and paying off debt. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
In this April 3, 2019, file photo a tip box is filled with U.S. currency in New York. Deciding how to prioritize different savings goals can be overwhelming, but financial experts recommend ordering them by urgency. Most people need an emergency fund first, followed by other goals such as saving enough for retirement, buying a home, traveling, saving for college and paying off debt. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
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(AP) -- Saving money sounds straightforward — set cash aside for a future purpose — but in reality, people often face competing savings priorities. We want it all: the travel, the house, the flush savings account. So how do we figure out which savings goals to put first, especially when we’re working toward so many things at once?

“You’re also still trying to live and have fun and not eat ramen noodles every day,” says Al-Nesha Jones, a certified public accountant and founder of ASE Group, a full-service accounting, tax and advisory firm in West Orange, New Jersey. Saving is further complicated by the fact that we’re currently facing economic uncertainty, higher prices on everyday items and a tumultuous stock market.