We all have values. And yet, do you ever feel like – after collecting alimony, receiving child support, and working hard – you really haven’t put any of your money towards your personal values? If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone.
After all, Gallup found that just one in three Americans have a household budget, and just thirty percent prepare a long-term financial plan. Budgeting is rare enough, but creating a spending plan that aligns with your values is even less common. And yet, by identifying your values, examining your habits, and then rebuilding your budget – you can easily create a spending plan that supports what you hold most dear – yes, a spending plan that supports your values, and even makes your biggest goals a reality.
7 steps you can take today to align your spending plan with your values
- Reflect: Write down a list of your values. Be bold. Include everything that comes to mind.
- Select: Now, select three of those values that feel the most important to you.
- Share: Communicate your values with your family, so that you are all on the same page.
- Notice: Without placing any judgement on yourself, become aware of what you spend money on.
- Track: Get specific. Track your expenditures and observe where your money is going.
- Judge: Go through the spreadsheet and ask yourself, “is this expenditure really in line with my values?”
- Reinvest: When you find places that your spending could be better invested, make the change.
In his awesome New York Times article, Carl Richards points out, “… the secret really – is awareness. If you don’t take the first step of noticing where your money is disappearing to in the first place, you’ll never find the money and time you could be investing elsewhere.”
Start noticing where your money is going today and take the first important step towards a value-driven spending plan.