Do Your Values Match Your Spending?

Do Your Values Match Your Spending?

April 28, 2021

Actions speak louder than words. We've all heard it said before, but have you ever considered the phrase as it pertains to your checkbook? 

When it comes to values, it can be particularly easy to talk a big talk, but not necessarily walk the walk to match. This stems from a human desire to see our moral convictions reflected in our values. But the truth is, many of us have values that have nothing to do with morality. And that's okay. 

It's not uncommon for people to feel guilt for some of their more materialistic values. For example, we might like to tell people that we value spending time in nature, hiking and camping, (and it may be true,) but we might be less inclined to admit that we value living in luxury; a comfortable California King bed, an HD plasma screen TV, a membership at an expensive golf course with scenic views... 

While it's not necessarily a bad thing to value "the finer things in life," it's important to check in with yourself from time to time to make sure that your values aren't conflicting with one another, and, of course, that they're aligning with your pocketbook. 

Here is a simple three step method to see if your spending is in line with your values. 

First, write down what is most important to you and what you want to prioritize in your life. For example, you might write down family, traveling, wellness, and the arts.  

Next, look at your finances for the last year or so to see exactly how you've been spending your money. Of course you have to cover basic needs like food and shelter, but where else is your money going? Are you eating out an absurd amount? Do you have high car payments for the sports car you drive only occasionally? 

Finally, compare your two lists and reprioritize accordingly. If you value travel, but you spend all of your excess funds on a gym membership that you rarely use or on custom made suits that you almost never wear, it's a sign that maybe you should reprioritize your spending habits. Cancel the gym membership, book a ticket to Panama City, and go running by the beach instead! 

At Triada Advisors, we always look at the big picture. Whether you’re a family business owner, a retiree or a professional at the height of your career, our goal is to financially empower our clients to live the life they want and focus on what they love. Working together, we uncover our clients’ strengths and values and line them up with their financial goals to create a plan that takes them to their ultimate destination. Reach out today to learn more.