16 Dec How to Align Your Values With Your Money
Hi, it’s your Hendershott Wealth Management team, and last week we jumped feet-first into this idea of behavioral finance.
Your feelings can have a profound impact on how you invest, spend, and act or react with your money.
It’s human nature to care deeply about what happens to our money.
The challenge is knowing what we believe to be true – and what we want to be right about ourselves and the world – is what we value.
Aligning your money with your values is a good step toward greater financial success.
Doug Lennick, CFP®, in his book titled, Financial Intelligence, How to Make Smart, Values-Based Decisions with Your Money and Your Life, believes, as do we, that when we pair our money with our values re, we have a much higher chance of succeeding in accomplishing our financial goals.
It may be easy to recall a time when you made a money decision that wasn’t aligned with your values.
When we make financial decisions disconnected from our values, it’s a textbook setup for regret.
That’s why aligning your money habits with your values is the best way to protect your financial future from money mistakes.
A question we received after part 1 of this series is “I know why I need to align my money with my values, but how do I do that?”
How to Align Your Money With Your Values
To align your money with your values, follow these steps…
Step 1: Get clear on your personal values.
Take some time to think about your values. Ask yourself, “What is most important to me in life?” Or go here to go through the Values Exercise.
You could also use a piece of paper or notes app on your phone to write down your values.
If you have a partner, ask them to go through the exercise and write down their values and share your values with each other. It may be eye-opening to understand your partner’s values as they relate to their historical spending patterns!
Step 2: Keep your list near you and visible.
How do you remind yourself of your values? It may sound like an odd question, but with your new list detailing what matters most to you, there may be a new realization.
- “I didn’t realize contributing to meaningful work was something I really want to be a part of.”
- “I DO love adventure and traveling more than I did a few years ago.”
- “I’m so excited because I now know that financial security is one of my top values.”
Having your values list posted on your bathroom mirror or as your phone’s locked screen background is a helpful reminder.
If you’re a Post-It person, like some of us are, you can write down one of your values on each note and post those notes throughout your home, car, and workspace.
Step 3: Filter every financial decision through your values.
Are you ready to make a big purchase or investment? How do you know it’s the right choice for you right now?
You likely have some emotion tied to that decision.
This is where you circle back to your values list. Take a few deep breaths, identify the emotion, and decide if that action fulfills on any of your values.
We are emotional creatures – it’s easy to be emotional – it takes more for us to be logical.
Your list will help your brain protect your heart.
Step 4: Make smarter financial choices.
When you apply your values to every financial decision, you can make better decisions without regret.
The path to being financially successful lies in embracing these steps and living and acting in alignment with your values.
Yes, it may take some time to build these new habits and ways of thinking about your money. That said, through neuroplasticity we can make new and productive habits.
If you stay committed, you have the opportunity to rewire negative habits into healthier habits that will support you in making financial decisions that are in your best long-term financial interest.
Whether it’s having a nest egg for your retirement, saving for your dream vacation in Italy, retiring early, or simply enjoying the same life you have right now with greater peace of mind, living in alignment with your values may be one of your best investments.
What may be more difficult to know is what to do when tough financial times are on the horizon.
We’ll cover that uncertainty in the third and final part of our Behavioral Finance series coming soon.
To your prosperity,
Your Hendershott Wealth Management team