Here at Sea To Peak Financial Advisors, we have a well-defined process we take our clients through to help them create a vision for their lives. In this blog series we’re sharing a simple framework for creating a life plan that you can do at home, so you can begin to develop a vision for your future and use your money to support it.
One of the ways we can all use our money to bring more meaning to our lives is to spend it according to our values. Unfortunately, many of us become less focused on tracking our spending as our earning power increases and we no longer have to budget.
While having this financial flexibility can certainly reduce stress, you may also be unknowingly spending your money on things that aren’t very important to you. That’s why as your net worth grows, it’s even more important to be aware of where your money goes.
To make sure you’re spending your money on things that truly make a difference in your life, the first step is identifying your core values.
What Are Core Values, And Why Do They Matter?
Simply put, our values are our personal beliefs about what’s important in our lives. Understanding our core values is important because they drive how we behave and every decision we make—including financial decisions.
When we’re not conscious of our core values, we run the risk of making financial decisions that don’t serve us or the future we desire. Fortunately, there’s a simple process you can follow to bring more awareness and meaning to your money and life.
Our 5-Step Process for Identifying Your Core Values
Our Money Meaning Exercise is a quick and effective way to zero in on what’s most important to you. This video walks you through the process, or you can follow the steps below. We recommend setting aside 15-20 minutes to get the most from this exercise.
Step #1: Review this list of values, and circle all of the values that most resonate with you. Try not to circle the values that you think should resonate with you. Instead, focus on identifying the values that actually stand out to you personally.
Step #2: Now, go back through the list and narrow it down to your top ten values.
Step #3: Next—and this is the hardest step—narrow the list down to your top five. This new list includes your top five values today (not forever), so try not to overthink it.
Step #4: Now that you have your top five core values, answer the following questions:
- How am I spending my money, and does it match my top five values? (If you don’t know, look at your bank statements or credit card bills.)
- How am I spending my time, and does it match my top five values?
Step #5: To bring more meaning to your life and begin your path to true wealth, consider the new ways you can spend your money and time to match your core values. Write them down and review your values and spending periodically, so you can make adjustments as needed.
Stay tuned as we share more ideas in this blog series for how to bring more meaning to your money and life. In the meantime, if you’d like to speak with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and trained life coach about creating a vision for your future and a financial plan to support it, we invite you to schedule a call with us.