Have you ever thought about what’s guiding your financial decision making?
It may be that you’re reacting to what’s already happened. Maybe you’re avoiding making financial decisions. It could be a fear or anxiety that is guiding you.
For me, my financial decisions were guided by my scarcity mindset – the belief that there’s never enough.
That left me at a place where I was paying my bills and taxes, but I wasn’t investing in myself, and I wasn’t saving for my goals.
Now, I use my core values as my guiding compass for my financial decisions. That means that my financial decision making is fueled by the things that I value most in the world.
Have you ever discovered your top 5 core values? It’s an exercise in my free Money Goal Workbook. If you don’t know your values, you can grab that workbook here.
My top 5 values are family, happiness, freedom, wellness, and authenticity.
With that knowledge in mind, I can align my money with my values, and so can you!
You can use your values as a guidance system to set your money goals, make financial decisions, and create your plan.
I like to start by listing out my values, and then get clear on what life would look like if I were fully living out that value.
Here’s what this looks like for me, as an example:
Family: dates with Drew (the hubby), growing our family, taking time to visit family and spend with friends, family vacations, be in community with fellow lady business owners, and staying judgment-free with loved ones.
Happiness: Quality time with loved ones, vacations, nature, experiences, laughing, adventures, learning, and feeling light and free
Freedom: Being able to do whatever I want whenever I want. Part-time hours with a full-time income, travel, lots of family time, and exploring my interests and passions.
Wellness: Being mindful, personal development, coaching, fitness, meal prep, meditation, journaling, education, massages, positive self-talk, spirituality, reading, and exploring new ways of healing.
Authenticity: Use my voice, set boundaries, stand up for myself, don’t be afraid to be me, release fears of judgment, and release fears of not being loved.
This is not only a guide for financial decision making but for life decision making as well.
The practice of aligning my money with my values has allowed me to become a better version of myself and spend and save in ways that bring me joy.
Every time you’re faced with a financial decision, you can gut check yourself – “is this financial decision aligned with my values?”
It feels SO GOOD to be making values-based decisions, as opposed to listening to the “shoulds.”
Some common questions I get related to this exercise:
“What if I have two competing values and only a certain amount of money I’m working with?”
Choose the value that feels best at the moment. The one that is best taking care of you. Money is an abundant resource, and you’ll always have an opportunity to put money toward that other value. Sometimes we have to make choices based on priorities at any given moment.
Make the decision that makes the most sense for you at that moment and know that you will come back to your other value when the time is right. You can also still make decisions aligned with that value that doesn’t require money.
“How is paying my bills aligned with my values?”
In my case, paying my bills would fall under wellness. When I’m comfortable with a roof over my head, food in my belly, and the lights on, I am well. That is the foundation that allows me to explore the forms of wellness I listed above.
So which of your values can you connect to paying the bills? Maybe you have a value like “security.” There’s nothing more secure than knowing that you’re needs are covered.
To discover your core values and complete this exercise, download the Money Goal Workbook. You’ll also get 5 other juicy money goal exercises.