This article takes a very detailed look at money values and what this means to different people.
It also reveals some powerful tips that can help you determine what your money values are.
Why Money Values?
Money is deemed valuable.
However, it is not the money itself that is actually valuable. It is the government that generates those coins and currency that makes it valuable.
The government’s solvency and ability to honor the use of the nation’s currency is what brings it value.
Money is simply a commodity or a reflection of a nation’s financial integrity.
Speaking of the value of money, perhaps an uncomfortable question, is what values does the spending of your money portray about you?
For example, if you donate regularly to a charity what is that saying about your value of money as it pertains to helping other people?
Or perhaps, if you spend your money on continual education does that speak loudly about the importance of education to you personally.
What Does Money Values Mean?
Money values are the choices that an individual makes regarding their decisions that are reflected in their earnings and expending of money.
These money values are shaped by a number of factors.
Some of those factors included how we as young impressionable children were shaped by our family’s environment as it relates to financial decisions.
Additionally, as an individual grows and matures and sets out on their own path, there are various experiential factors that help to shape or possibly reshape those initial money values.
Why Money Values are Important
Money values are important because they can negatively or positively affect our relationship with money and consequently our approach to spending, earnings, savings, etc.
An individual will most likely want to perceive money as something positive and to be respected.
This in turn will allow the individual to utilize their hard-earned money well and save and spend in a wise fashion.
Also, money should be a reflection of what we as individuals value in life.
Therefore, our expenditures and our relationship with money should mirror those values that have been instilled in us or have been learned or subsequently altered.
If there is a contradiction in one’s values with how they spend their money, this can create confusion and affect the individual’s financial Northstar.
Consequently, there may be friction and conflict which can create a negative impact on the way an individual handles or views their money.
10 Tips to Help Put Your Money Where Your Values Are
1. Identify What is Meaningful
To properly align one’s values with the monies that they spend, it is important to identify what the values of an individual are.
A quality tip in aligning one’s money values with their relationship with money should be an introspective exercise in which the individual sits down and lists those items in life that are meaningful to them.
Some of those meaningful values of life could include the importance of marriage, parenting, pursuing a successful career, friendships, health, education, etc. These values are just a sampling of what may be reflected in one’s own life.
2. Your Goals
A meaningful part of this exercise can then be the listing of associated goals that can reflect the personal values of an individual.
For example, if an individual values education, then a goal would be to earn a higher degree or take advantage of continued education opportunities.
Once the goals are created that reflect an individual’s value, then the process of utilizing one’s money in the achievement of those goals and reflecting their personal values is indicated.
It is also important to recall values that were formulated during one’s formative years.
What impact did the parent’s perception of money and their use of money have on the individual?
Do those perceptions and values carry over into their adult life or has the individual chosen not to embrace the money values of the major influence in their life as demonstrated through their parent’s actions.
3. Look at Your Bank Statement
A revealing way that an individual can determine whether their money spending habits are in alignment with their financial Northstar is to review their bank statement.
This may be a painful experience as represented in black and white, will be the actual expenditures of money expended from their checking account.
The candid assessment of these non-discretionary expenditures as lining up with one’s actual spending of money can be a significant revelation.
They either will align with the individual’s value system, or they will not.
This exercise is not meant to shame or hurt the individual. It is just simply an objective to look at how one’s money is being spent.
4. Look at Your Credit Card Statement
It’s also important not to forget the credit card statements.
This same exercise can be accomplished by looking at the listings of expenses utilizing one’s credit accounts.
Again, the same questions need to be asked and candidly assessed and evaluated.
The question is do the expenditures as reflected in credit card purchases line up with one’s values as it related to money expended?
Once the individual has survived these exercises and is comfortable moving forward, it is time to prioritize.
The goals that were established based upon the individual’s values in relation to the use of their money needs to be listed in priority from top to bottom.
The purpose of this exercise is to align one’s values once again with actual expenditures.
If education is important to the individual that would be priority number 1. Or if a family has the highest priority that would be priority number 1.
In either case, whatever items are prioritized above the other those should see significant support of the money that is being spent from the household’s budget.
6. Evaluate Your Lifestyle
At this point in the process, it would be helpful for the individual to look at their lifestyles.
Examples of a lifestyle that are chosen could include:
- The type of vehicle that the person has chosen to drive
- The groceries that are purchased
- The type of home that the family is living in and the associated mortgage
- The various hobbies
- The charitable organizations that one has chosen to support
All of these lifestyle choices are a reflection of the way that individuals have chosen to spend their money.
Therefore, the question that needs to be asked are these a good reflection of one’s money values?
For example, if supporting a children’s charity that provides educational opportunities to underserved children would align with one’s prioritized value.
This, if in fact, education is a priority.
It is important to remember that even though there may be a sinking feeling in one’s stomach about these expenditures, it is paramount not to be hard on oneself.
If these expenditures don’t match up with one’s priority and mirroring one’s value, things can always change if need be.
7. Create a Plan
At this point in the money value process, it may be time to create an alignment plan to mirror or reaffirm one’s reflection of their spending of money in association with their values.
The purpose of the plan would be to match one’s money values, with their current financial habits, and to devise a strategy that will align all 3 of these aspects together like a tripod steadying a camera.
8. Work the Plan
Once the individual’s values have been determined and a clear picture as to whether those values are being mirrored, action needs to follow planning.
Therefore, it is time to work the plan to ensure that one’s spending and saving of their money reflects their value system.
For example, if an individual has as one of their priorities their marital relationship, then perhaps, they would want to, as their goal, strengthen that relationship even further.
To make this alignment happen then expenditures for a date night may need to be developed so as to align the value process together.
Or perhaps, a marriage enrichment seminar would need to be annually budgeted for.
This would align the value placed on the marriage, emphasized by the financial commitment to strengthening that marriage and prevent money fights, and then following through on that marriage strengthening by putting their money where their value is.
9. Does Your Money Make You Happy?
Aligning one’s spending and saving with their money values can seem like an overwhelming and daunting task.
It is important to remember, however, not to walk on eggshells as it relates to expending one’s money.
Although money cannot buy happiness, it can bring happiness.
This happiness can be seen on the child’s face when a gift is presented or in helping out a neighbor with a small loan or even spending one’s money, what may seem frivolous, on the happiness of a loved one or for yourself.
Money is earned to bring us happiness. Happiness could be an emotion that could be part of one’s value system.
Therefore, it is important that happiness also aligns with one’s spending of their hard-earned money.
10. Rinse and Repeat on the Valuable Stuff
Yes, it’s as simple as repeating those things that have helped you.
The more of those you repeat, the more successful you will be.
Personal Story of Money Values
In regard to our money values, I just received an e-mail from a retailer who sent me a product.
I was happy with the product, and it is working out well. The e-mail today said that they were issuing a refund and thanked me for returning the item.
I subsequently chatted with a sales rep and told them that I was happy with the product and that I did not need the refund.
The amount of the refund was $9.40
Although, not much of a big deal, the point is your money value, regardless of the amount, and is that if you pay for something and you’re satisfied with the purchase then no refund is necessary.
And so, I reached out and tried to explain to them that the item was not returned, and I was satisfied with the purchase.
They resolved the matter by thanking me, telling me that the refund was on the way and that I could go ahead and keep the item.
Money Values FAQs
Are There Some Money Values and Associated Spending Habits Better Than Others?
To answer this question requires judgment.
That judgment is based on how an individual spends their money and whether those expenditures are being true to their inner core beliefs.
Therefore, this question then only be answered by the individual themselves spending their money in accordance with their internal values.
Then perhaps those expenditures may be questionable.
Can Money Values Be Changed?
Absolutely, money values can be changed.
That individual evaluating their expenditures and aligning those expenses in keeping with what they value.
If found not to be properly aligned, then yes, the individual can make the needed changes.
Specifically, those changes can be and modifying one’s values towards the use of money.
Secondly, they can change their spending habits to align with their core values and being more true to themselves as it relates to financial spending.
It is always possible for people to modify their thinking and subsequently modify their spending habits in whichever direction they wish to proceed.
You Can Do It
As individuals, we are the sum of our teachings, experiences, and influences that have contributed to who we are.
Money can be a great revealer of how we act and interact in this world
Money can be a true reflection of what we value as it relates to our spending and savings.
It is also important to remember that who we are is not set in stone and if we want to bring about change, that can happen by readjusting our attitude and approach to our particular way of thinking.
This is especially true when it comes to modifying our approach to the use of money.
We are people of integrity.
Each of us has values that are reflected in our interaction with others and with ourselves.
Also, a strong reflection of our values is mirrored in how we utilize the commodity known as money.
There is no right or wrong answer, generally speaking, as it relates to the use of our hard-earned money.
However, if one wishes to adjust their values it can begin by looking through the window of finances.