Aligning Your Financial Goals With Your Personal Values
People often struggle with the relationship between their money and their values. Some see money as a necessary evil to get through life, while others feel that having more money will buy them happiness. Though money can’t actually purchase happiness, there is a strong connection between the things we value in life and how we use our money.
Do your spending habits align with your priorities? Do your future plans match how you are purposefully using your money right now? These are just a few questions that can help you connect the dots between your money and your values. At Rosemeyer Management Group, we are passionate about helping people discover their personal values and then apply them to their financial decisions. Here are some quick ideas to get that process started.
Identify Your True Values
Start by separating your values into two categories: the values you were taught, and the values that truly make you happy. There may be some overlap between the two, but the goal is to find out if there is a difference between the values you think you have and the values that are truly meaningful in your life.
For example, you may have been taught to work hard and pour your soul into a corporate job that pays well, but maybe it’s not bringing you any personal satisfaction. In reality, you might find more fulfillment from a nonprofit job that pays less but whose mission and good work you believe in. To start this process, psychologist Jim Taylor recommends answering the following three questions:
- What do you choose to do in your life on a daily basis?
- What activities are you passionate about that bring you true joy when you participate in them?
- What experiences and people cause you to feel deeply engaged and connected to the world around you?
Digging into these questions can uncover the values you hold that truly fulfill you and bring joy to your life. If you’re constantly unhappy, whether that be from your job, your financial behaviors, or something else, this is a sign that you may not be living according to your true values.
Understand Your Money Mindset
You also need to take stock of your money mindset. Your money mindset has been cultivated from your life experience. You may have learned good financial habits from your parents. You may have even learned bad financial habits if you watched your parents fail financially. Whatever your experiences have been with personal finances, they are the key to understanding why you behave the way you do around financial matters.
Understanding your money mindset is important because it allows you to grow intentionally. Identifying a toxic or substandard financial mindset is the first step to changing that mindset. By knowing what you want to change, you’re in more control over how and when you change it.
Be Honest With Yourself
Here’s the hard part. You need to be honest with yourself about the alignment of your values and your money mindset. It’s tough to be honest with ourselves. It takes hard work. But it’s been said throughout history that self-reflection is one of life’s most difficult yet rewarding endeavors. (Socrates’ famous statement comes to mind: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”)
Reflecting and being honest with yourself about the disconnects you’ve identified will help you get on the right path to healthier behaviors and goals. If this process leads to greater fulfillment and an easier time reaching your realistic financial goals, it will all be worth it.
Sync Your Ideal Life With Your Lived Life
After all this reflection, your ideal life probably looks a bit different from your day-to-day life, your reality. To reach that ideal lifestyle, you must sync your “living life” with the values you identified that actually make you happy. Remember that these are the values that connect you to the activities, experiences, and people which bring you the most fulfillment.
Only then will you be able to create financial goals that truly reflect your values. When financial goals are connected to your values, your finances become the tool that allows you to reach the real goal, rather than being the end goal in and of itself. From this vantage point, you’re ready to experience long-lasting happiness.
Does Your Advisor Value Your Values?
The last key to values-based finances is to find someone to help you that connects with and cares about your values too. If you have an advisor that doesn’t see and respect what you value, you’ll probably have a hard time accepting their advice. It might take some time to find the right person to partner with, but once you find someone that puts the things you are most passionate about first, you’ll notice a huge difference.
At Rosemeyer Management Group, our mission is to help you define your goals and values and then create a plan that works for your present situation and every step toward your future. Schedule an introductory appointment online or by calling us at 608-348-2274. For any questions, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
Regan Shipp is an investment advisor representative at Rosemeyer Management Group, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor based in Platteville, WI. Regan is known for building relationships and looking at the whole picture of her clients’ lives to provide personalized, comprehensive wealth management services and advice. She leaves no stone unturned as she integrates investment strategies, risk management strategies, tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning to design a plan that will help her clients pursue both financial success and freedom throughout their lives. Regan strives to educate her clients so they can feel empowered to take the actions necessary to achieve their goals. Regan is passionate about making a difference in people’s lives and loves journeying with her clients and seeing them reach new levels, surpass goals, and create wealth they might not have known was possible. Regan has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and agricultural business from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.