Money can be complicated. It can be even more complicated when we have not taken the time to think about our values and align our spending to meet them. Once we determine our values, the next steps is to set goals we want to achieve. Then it becomes easy to align our spending. Here’s an example:
One of my values is financial freedom. I don’t like carrying debt so I’m always trying to find ways to avoid or eliminate debt. About two years ago I bought a (used) car and took a four year loan to keep my payments reasonable. But my goal was to pay it off sooner. Two months ago I took a lump sum from my savings and paid off the car. It felt great. Now I’m taking that $350 a month car payment and applying it to my mortgage so that we pay that off earlier.
When I think about making a purchase on something–a snack on the road when I’m actually going to be home shortly, or buying something at this a great sale price but I don’t really love it or going to the movies vs. watching one on Netflix (or borrowing from the library)–I weigh it against my long term goal and value of financial freedom and I often chose that saving that money is more important to me in the end.
Money mindfulness is a habit and discipline. It takes some time to think through your most important values and goals but once you get rolling it gets easier and easier. Plus, the end results are really worth it.
Are you interested in learning more? I’ll be holding a Money Mindfulness Workshop for Women on Wednesday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m. through the Duxbury Before & After Dark program. You can learn and/or sign up here. Hope to see you there.