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Does My Spending Reflect My Values?

Imagine that your grandchildren or great grandchildren were able to access your credit card statements and spending history 100 years from now.  If they looked back to the year 2020 what would they see?  You and I both know that they would love to find supportive actions toward the many issues facing our society today.  The truth is that our credit card statements and the calendar never lie.  How we spend our money and our time says a lot about who we are.  This is more relevant than ever before.

Today, there are many different causes to support with your money and time, which had me thinking - where do we start?  

Here is an exercise to help you find true purpose.  This is how Natalie and I aligned our values with our spending.  We challenge you to complete this exercise and share your results with your partner, loved ones, and community.  Seriously, take the time, it will make you think.

From the list below write down all of the words that resonate with you.

Acceptance Accountability Achievement Advancement Adventure Advocacy Ambition Appreciation Attractiveness Balance Boldness Brilliance Calmness Caring Cheerfulness Cleverness Community Commitment Compassion Cooperation Collaboration Consistency Contribution Creativity Credibility Curiosity Daring Decisiveness Dedication Dependability Diversity Empathy Encouragement Enthusiasm Ethics Excellence Expressive Family Friendship Flexibility Freedom Fun Generosity Growth Flexibility Happiness Health Honesty Humility Humor Inclusiveness Independence Individuality Innovation Inspiration Intelligence Intuition Kindness Knowledge Leadership Learning Love Loyalty Making a Difference Mindfulness Motivation Optimism Open-Mindedness Originality Passion Performance Personal Development Proactive Professionalism Quality Recognition Safety Security Service Spirituality Stability Peace Perfection Playfulness Popularity Power Preparedness Professionalism Recognition Relationships Resilience Resourcefulness Responsibility Responsiveness Saving Self-Control Selflessness Simplicity Stability Success Teamwork Thankfulness Thoughtfulness Traditionalism Trustworthiness Understanding Uniqueness Usefulness Versatility Vision Warmth Wealth Well-Being

Once you’ve written down your words, group the values that seem similar to each other.  Remember, it’s up to your interpretation (I’ll use my answers as an example going forward).

Group #1: Adventure Happiness Inspiration Simplicity

Group #2: Achievement Ambition Dedication Growth Professionalism Resilience Vision

Group #3: Appreciation Honesty Learning Optimism Quality Trustworthiness Empathy

Group #4: Collaboration Family Friendship

Group #5: Health Responsibility  Well-Being

Group #6: Charity Community Diversity Inclusiveness

Now pick one word in each group as a representative.

My core values: Adventure Vision Empathy Collaboration Health Diversity

This is one method of defining your core values.  I’d love for you to try this exercise and share your results with us.  How do your values help develop a better plan around using the dollars you’re working so hard to accumulate?

Our values are our core beliefs.  They are the pillars that hold us up.  They provide meaning and give us purpose in life.  As a society, we tend to spend money or time without any intention.  Now is the time to put true intention behind our dollars.  By putting our values before our spending, we are on the way to living a more meaningful life.  After reading this and completing the exercise, you might agree that a better title for this blog would be Do My Values Reflect My Spending?

- Dan

Disclaimer:  This article is for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation of Fyooz Financial Planning, Natalie Slagle CFP®, or Daniel Slagle CFP®. Past performance may not be indicative of future results and may have been impacted by events and economic conditions that will not prevail in the future. Therefore, it should not be assumed that future performance of any specific security, investment product or investment strategy referenced in the article, either directly or indirectly, will be profitable or equal to the corresponding indicated performance level(s). No portion of the article shall be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any specific security or investment product or to engage in any particular investment or financial planning strategy. Any reference to a market index is included for illustrative purposes only, as it is not possible to directly invest in an index. Indices are unmanaged, hypothetical vehicles that serve as market indicators and do not account for the deduction of management fees or transaction costs generally associated with investable products, which otherwise have the effect of reducing the performance of an actual investment portfolio.

Dan Slagle
Founder, Fyooz Financial
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