By Heather Marshall, CFPC, MPP; Educator, AAA Fair Credit Foundation/Utah Saves
As the old adage goes “Actions speak louder than words.” On the topic in question, it is fair to say spending is an action that implies values. Which explains why the nature of finances can be so personal, and challenge us to ask the question, what do we value?
In asking these questions, spending becomes a means of self-examination shedding light on our actions and our values. Sometimes they don’t add up and when they don’t add up life can get off track. Such as if you value health, and yet find on your bank statement a lot of transactions related to unhealthy fast food. Thus, prompting the questions:
Does your money care about the same things you do?
Is your budget going towards things you really care about?
In which case steps can and should be taken to realign spending with what we value. Such as:
- Review expenditures and categorize them to see where the money is going. Know where you are now so you can make a plan going forward.
- Recognize there may be some items in your budget that need adjusting, but will take time to achieve. For example, moving closer to work to cut down on travel and provide more family time will require time and planning.
- Set goals to getting your money on track.
- Make your goals visible. When you have the impulse to spend on something you really don’t value, you can stop yourself because you have visual reminders around you. Create visuals with pictures of your goals on the wall, on our computer, on your phone. Keep it readily in front of you.
Remember, money can enable a lifestyle of values and goals that reflect us. Now that you are aware of these tendencies and about what you value in life…go make your money care about what you care about.