We've all heard the saying, "put your money where your mouth is," but what if we started trying to put our money where our heart is instead.
What do your current spending habits say about you and your values? If you looked at your finances from previous months, would the things you're spending your money on be the same things you claim to be the most important in your life?
Some of the things I value are my faith, loved ones, and travel. However, when I took a peek at last month's financial statement, a lot of my money went towards Starbucks and Amazon purchases. So, I set out to realign my finances with the things that I value, and these are a few steps that I took.
Make a List of Things You Value
Make a list of all of the things that are valuable to you. When making this list, try not to think about financial terms; that part comes next. Think about what you love and what makes you happy. Think of the things that would still matter most to you if money wasn't an object.
Once you've got your list, put it in order of importance. Here's mine as an example:
2. Family and Friends
Review Previous Financial Statements
Now that you've created a list of the things you value, it's time to reflect back on the reality of how you've been spending your money. Although I stayed within my monthly budget, I was shocked at how much I allowed myself to spend on things that don't really matter to me and how little I spent on things I claim to be important.
Of the list of things I value, I had budgeted for tithes and girls' nights. However, I wasn't saving at all for future travel. If money makes the world go round, how was it possible that I wasn't budgeting any of mine to one of the things that are important to me? So, I made an adjustment.
Readjust Your Budget to Reflect Your Value
If you're ready for your spending to reflect what you value, you've got to adjust your budget. I did this by re-evaluating my budget and reallocating unnecessary spending to my new valued category. I decided that it made more sense to save the money I'd been spending at Starbucks and put it towards a travel budget.
When reallocating funds, make sure you're taking money from areas you can afford to take from; don't skip bills or make a smaller monthly payment to save extra money for your new budget. Always make sure your needs are taken care of before allocating funds to a "want" category.
All in all, money is a big proponent of our daily lives, and you want yours to reflect what is important to you.