How your values determine your financial success
Are your values helping you achieve your financial goals? Or are they getting in your way?
You promised your partner you’d go away for the weekend, but extra shifts become available at work. Do you prioritise family or work?
You’re on your lunch break when you spot the perfect outfit for tomorrow’s party. It’s a bit pricey and you weren’t planning on buying anything new… but it looks fantastic! Do you buy it on credit now or just wear something you already own?
We’re constantly faced with decisions everyday – some big, some small. The choices we make are guided by a number of factors, most important of which are our core values.
What are values?
To value something means to place importance on it. Anything that you hold dear can be called a “value”. Your core values are those core, critical ideas that are most important to you in life.
How does this relate to financial success?
Your financial success relies on the choices you make. But your values may drive you to make decisions that stop you from achieving your financial goals.
Firstly, everyone’s definition of financial success is different so it’s important to know what this means to you.
For example, let’s say one of your values is spontaneity and you define financial success as owning your own home outright by the time you’re 50. You may experience frustration, regret or inner conflict when spontaneous actions get in the way of you achieving your financial goal.
Anytime you have difficulty making a decision, it’s because you are unclear about your values. If you’re unhappy or dissatisfied with your life, it’s because you’re not living your values; you’re not acting in line with what you believe life is truly about.
When you’re aware of your values and their impact on your choices and goals, you can make better informed decisions and reduce stress in your life.
Prioritising your values
When you can prioritise your values, decision-making becomes easy.
Let’s take the above example of owning your own home outright. The value behind this goal could be security. For the person who also values spontaneity, knowing which of these two is your primary value will help in decision-making when the two values conflict. For example, whether or not to take advantage of sale airfares to Hawaii for an unplanned break that will impact on you paying off your mortgage, or finding an alternative form of relaxation that won’t impact your goals.
Your values can change
A final point to make is that as we go through different stages of life, our values can change. For example, when you start your career, success may be your top value. However, once you have a family, you may value work-life balance more. To make sure your values from yesterday are still relevant today, it’s important to check in on your values throughout your life, in particular at ‘milestone moments’ and when you start to feel dissatisfied.
In a nutshell
Your values are like the compass or the GPS for your life. Being clear on your core values means that, as you navigate through life, you will look to align your actions and decision with who you are and what’s important to you. It will help you to say no to habits that aren’t aligned to your values. And of course, if you are intentional in living your values, you will know where to place your focus, what to prioritise and what to spend your time and money on.
So the question is, do you know what your core values are?
While answering these questions might take some time, it’s time well-spent in helping you navigate and live the life you desire.