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Budget Lessons from the NFL Draft

I’ve been watching the NFL draft all evening, then sat down to write tonight’s post. The hubby asked if I was planning to write about the draft.

My first thought was, “What does that have to do with personal finance?” Then, it hit me — kind of a lot.

The way the NFL Draft works is kind of how we go through our budget. You have two schools of thought in the draft. Some teams will trade up — giving up current players and more of their draft picks for earlier draft picks. Others will trade down — giving up early draft picks for the chance at more overall picks.

And, that’s exactly how we approach budgeting. What do we have to give up to get what we want? How much of our luxuries are we willing to let go of to fit more of the rest into our budget? Do we want to give up a lot of the little things for one big one?

We traded up big time several years ago, when we made the decision to put our girls through private school. We gave up cable. We let go of the dining budget. And, we traded vacations for school tuition. We have prioritized health & education to the exclusion of other expenses, just like NFL teams have to prioritize their needs going into the draft.

It’s been fascinating to watch — the excitement as the clock ticks, the surprise when a team doesn’t select who you thought, the sheer joy on the guys’ faces when their name is called. I just can’t get enough. And, now I can’t stop thinking about what it means for my budget.

Maybe we need a new quarterback around here. What would you trade for your budget?

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