For a moment, think of your asphalt as though it were a hospital emergency room. Hospitals use triage, "a process for sorting injured people into groups based on their need for or likely benefit from immediate medical treatment. Triage is used in hospital emergency rooms, on battlefields and at disaster sites when limited medical resources must be allocated."
It might seem a silly stretch to compare asphalt maintenance to important life-saving decisions, but some of the same principles can be useful. A common approach to maintenance (of all kinds) is to employ a so-called "worst-first" strategy. This dictates that the items in the worst disrepair should be addressed first. This isn't always the most prudent method, however. With limited budgets, a better approach is to sort problem areas into groups based on their "likely benefit from immediate treatment." For example, it may make sense to forego expensive repairs on one half of a property in the short term to provide low-budget preventative solutions on another corner of the property that is still in good shape.
According to the Asphalt Institute, the top three contributors to asphalt damage are "water, water and water." While we cannot control how much water falls out of the sky, we can employ strategies to manage water flow and drainage efficiently. Thankfully, many of the solutions related to water drainage are also low-cost propositions, including installation of berms, repairs of sinking or damaged catch basins, installation of trench drains or subsidiary catch basins and dry wells.