I truly believe the only things that we can be successful at over the long run are those that we approach in a sustainable manner. Given that we are all unique, what we can sustain and at what level we can sustain it, is personal to each of us and can be found in our values.
I have found I can always sustain something that meets my top values. That is why I spend based on my values. There are so many benefits of spending based on values:
- It makes it easy to know what NOT to spend on. It means I can be a minimalist and not feel deprived and I also don’t accumulate clutter that I don’t need.
- I can make purchases based on my top values and never feel buyers regret because the purchase adds to my life. If I don’t have much disposable income at the time I can even choose things or experiences that fulfil my top values that don’t cost money.
- I find that because I am focused on what my heart truly desires (something that will fuel my happiness) if I do need a large sum of money that the money will come. I know if it is something that important to me I will find the money.
- Due to my focus being on something that fulfils my values I can sustain my motivation and effort until it is achieved. Best of all it to do so doesn’t feel tiring or draining.
When I first learnt about values, someone I knew had a pack of values cards that had all the different values on them. As I went through each card I picked the ones that stood out to me, and at the end, I refined them down to my top five.
These values are not your personal values like honesty, ethics, humour etc. These are your life values and they come from your heart. What makes us all unique is that we all have a different set of values, even those we share with others will be interpreted in our way.
My top five values, in order, are family, wellbeing, sense of purpose, travel and adventure.
What these mean to me and how I apply it to my finances are:
Family always comes first. I know the idea that you should always put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others but with me, it just doesn’t work that way. I will always feel happiest and at peace when my family are happy and provided for. I will always make room in the budget for their needs and to help them reach their potential.
Wellbeing is a close second. This includes personal wellbeing, physical wellbeing and financial wellbeing. I like to eat well and look after myself and make sure I feel financially stable and secure. I don’t usually skimp on these things and have no problems spending on quality food or a gym membership, it’s factored into my budget.
Sense of Purpose is important to me, it is something that is constantly evolving. Ultimately, it is about making a difference in the lives around me and in the world in general if I can.
Travel will always be a love of mine. I lived overseas and travelled the world in my late 20’s thinking that would get the travel bug out of my system. It didn’t work out that way as I continually crave to travel, and even show my children the world.
Adventure is for all the time between travel! It is exploring all the little things and places in your own backyard. Little day outings on a ferry, fishing in the harbour, feeding the ducks and turtles in our local park or camping in the forest. These often don’t cost a lot to do but build great memories.
You will still need financial knowledge and a way of budgeting or tracking your spending to help you stay within your means and get ahead financially. However, with this mindset, saving and prioritising your money won’t feel like you are depriving yourself or be restricted by a budget.