Do Your Money Habits Align With Your Values?
Last weekend, I started an intense coaching training program with CoachDiversity Institute. (It’s so awesome!) One of the most impactful sessions was when we mapped out our top five values. Once we identified our most important values, we had to admit whether or not we are currently living true to those values.
To be honest, I had never really thought about this before. I always knew I felt better when I was making a difference, but I never sat down to identify the values that are most important to me.
It turns out, one of the key ways to find fulfillment is to make choices that follow our values. Values are beliefs and principles that make what we do in life worthwhile and meaningful to us. Your goals will be a lot easier to attain if they line up with what you believe in most.
So how can you align your money habits with your values?
1. Choose your top five values.
Think about what brings you the most happiness and excitement. What makes you feel like what you’re doing isn’t work? What values might those things be connected to?
My top five (at the moment) are connection, community, impact, understanding, and independence. If I hone into my value of independence, my goal of running my own business full time feels much more attainable. It even feels inevitable. Once I realized how important connection and community are to me, it also became much easier to make new friends and join organizations that I care about.
Here are some more examples for you to choose from: abundance, acceptance, balance, compassion, courage, expression, fulfillment, humor, learning, power, respect, spirituality… the list almost is endless.
So, what are your top choices?
2. Analyze your current financial habits.
Take a look at your last three months of spending. You can do this by skimming through your old bank statements, or through a program like Mint. (It might be faster and easier to use a program that can categorize your expenses.) Identify where you’re putting most of your money. Are you happy with where your money is going? Are your patterns setting you up for success and helping you live your values?
If one of your values is abundance, but you constantly feel stressed and lacking around money, you are likely not living in line with that value. How can you make improvements in this area? Perhaps you need to get a higher paying job, or perhaps you need to reassess how you think about money.
3. Identify how your values translate into financial goals.
Now that you’ve figured out what your values are and where your money is going, you can develop new habits and goals! If your current habits don’t line up with what you want to do with your life, you can change that. And I think you’ll find yourself more motivated to make those changes.
Perhaps you want to spend less on cab rides and more on experiences like concerts or travel. Funnel your money to the things that make you happier. Maybe you’re working in a job that underpays you and doesn’t fulfill your emotional needs. Start networking and job searching.
How can you make your money work for you? What goals can you set that will help you to live a life that is happier and more fulfilled?
4. Work towards those goals!
Now that you know how you want to live your life, and the steps to get there, get started! Need support and encouragement? Join Money Circle!
This post was originally published on MaggieGermano.com and shared with permission.
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Maggie is a Certified Financial Education Instructor and financial coach for women. Her life’s mission is to give women the support and the tools that they need to take control of their money, break the taboo of discussing debt and income, and achieve their goals and dreams. She does this through one-on-one financial coaching, monthly Money Circle gatherings, and speaking engagements. Passionate about many issues affecting women, Maggie also serves on the board of Collective Action for Safe Spaces, is a member of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington’s Developing Leaders Program, and was trained as a salary negotiation facilitator by AAUW.