Aligning Your Money Habits With Your Values

“With self-discipline most anything is possible.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Week Seventeen

Here is your opportunity to see how the things you surround yourself with reflect what you stand for. Think about all the things that you already own or interact with. By the end of this exercise, you will have discovered how they contribute to your self-expression and support your forward progress.

1) My current financial situation
a. How much money do you currently have available as a resource?
b. How much does your current lifestyle cost?
c. What frustrates you about your current financial situation?
d. What are you grateful for in your current financial situation?
e. If you were advising your best friend about the exact same financial situation what would you tell them?

2) Systematically consider your main expenses.
a. Think about utilities, gas, electric, water, insurance, cable, phone and data services.
b. Consider home and yard upkeep costs.
c. Include possessions in the main rooms of your residence (bedroom, living area, kitchen and bathroom and perhaps even garage).
d. Add any other routine costs that you have
With each item consider its role in your life. Be completely honest. Record the extent to which it represents a criteria that you value (a priority).

3) What do items that do not appear to represent your priorities have in common?

4) My ideal financial situation
a. Exactly how much money would you like to have available as a resource?
b. Exactly how much money do you want to earn?
c. How would you like to earn it?
d. How would you like to invest your ideal earnings and money resources?
e. What else do you need to know about investment?
f. How much would your ideal lifestyle cost?

5) How would you adjust your consumption based on what you have learned?

In this exercise you have discovered further how your expenses are connected to your priorities, the criteria that you value. This awareness benefits you with clarity on the necessity of these costs and in identifying those that are not actually that important to you. It also aids you in considering alternatives for those that are essential. Now you also know what your current and preferred future financial pictures look like, both quantitatively and qualitatively. In other words, you now know actual amounts and how you experience your finances. You have contrasted your financial situation now to what is desired and discovered the gap that you need to close.