Money can be an obsession for some people. They wonder how their bank account compares to relatives, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Or they believe a certain amount of money will bring them happiness. Sound familiar? Well, I can tell you with absolute certainty the amount of money you have doesn’t mean that much—it’s how you use it that matters.
As a financial advisor, I’ve worked with clients who should have been the happiest people on earth based on their financial situation. Sometimes they were the unhappiest people I’ve ever met. They spent their entire lives looking over their shoulders, worried that somebody was going to take away their wealth rather than finding ways to use their wealth to enrich their own lives and those around them. Or they spent outrageously on things they didn’t want or enjoy just to keep up with the Jones’.
On the other hand, I’ve also worked with people who earned little and were incredibly happy and fulfilled. They did not have the biggest bank accounts, but every penny they earned went to what mattered most to them.
The way people think about money often leads people to make poor money decisions. They use their money to satisfy an emotional response to a bad day, a break-up or feelings of lack or frustration. They spend money on things they don’t need, which leaves them feeling even emptier inside. So they go back to the store or online and make another purchase.
The cure is to reframe how you think about money. When you slow down and focus on what you truly want, decisions become easier. You no longer feel as though you’re being denied something when you put your goals first. Instead, you’re creating the life you truly want to live, and the one that will make you happy.
Keys to Making Value-Based Decisions:
- Set goals. Think about what truly matters to you. What are the things that you want to do and would regret not being able to do or have? These are your goals and will help you make value-based decisions.
- Slow down when you find something you want but don’t need. Ask yourself: Is this item more important than achieving my goals? Or am I feeding an emotion?
- You are not denying yourself anything when you chose to honor your goals and values.
I’m teaching my girls to make value-based decisions in alignment with their goals because I want them to use their resources to live the life they want, rather than one dictated by outside influences.
Making value-based decisions are a core focus in my new workbooks. I’m putting the finishing touches on them, and they will be available next week. I look forward to sharing them with you.