Posted 18 May 2023
Does Your Spending Align with Your Values?
Many of us are familiar with that first step of creating a spending plan and listing out income and expenses, but have you ever thought about how your spending aligns with your values? It can be easy in the world we live in to not think about where, to whom, and what money is being spent on. According to Forbes.com, “More often than not, people slide into convenience spending. In other words, they spend money on things that make life convenient- even if those aren’t things that actually make them happy.”
Aligning your spending with your values starts with having an understanding of what your values are. Take some time reflecting on the things that are important in your life, or if you need more inspiration, you can search for lists of values to find ones that resonate with you. Create a list or vision board that highlight your values and review them often.
Once you have your values established, you can start to evaluate any spending that may not be synced with them. For example, one of your values may be community, but you find that much of your spending is happening at large chain businesses instead of locally owned businesses. You may consider changing where you spend to support the local economy if building community is an important value. You may be more interested in knowing what companies do with the money you spend. Learning this kind of information may take more time and intensive research, but knowing this information may leave you feeling more empowered with your money in the long run. Spending changes are not going to happen overnight, so start with small changes that relate to the values you find the most important.
According to financial therapist, Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, “Spending in alignment with our values can lift those uncomfortable feelings associated with our money.” This may also create a shift in focusing on spending that bring joy and happiness to our lives. You may even find yourself reframing or renaming your spending categories. For example, you may think of your monthly student loan payment as an investment in your education instead of a dreaded bill you have to pay every month. Get creative! Renaming your sending categories can help remind you of your values and the reasons why you are spending.
Ultimately, the goal of aligning your money with your values is to help you feel in control and improve your view of your money. Remember all changes take time, but small changes over time can make a big impact.
©2023 Reseda Group LLC, used under license.