The Alignment of Money and Values: What does one have to do with the other?


Do you ever think about your values? Are you honouring your values in how you live your life? Is your money aligned with your values?

Why Would You Bother About Values?

There are huge benefits in living your values. When we live in accordance with our values, we feel like we’re presenting our real, authentic selves. Using our money in a way that aligns with our values will make us feel more in control and much more fulfilled and content. If you’re not living life based on what you value, then you’re most likely living a pretty mediocre life.

Tell me how you spend your time and money, and I’ll tell you what you value most. Values help lead the way toward a meaningful life. Going through life without knowing your values is like trying to drive in the dark without headlights. It’s highly likely you’ll get lost, possibly feel confused and lose the focus of your destination.

When we don’t live in accordance with our core values, we experience discontent, guilt, stress, unhappiness, depression, and/or frustration. This feeling of dissatisfaction is a good sign you’re making decisions and behaving according to someone else’s values. Not your own. Your values are your compass, your guiding light. They are the key to making the right money, time and life decisions that are best for you. By knowing your values, you can cut out things that aren’t important to you and focus more on the things that are.

Money and Values

Your attitudes about money are what defines everything that matters to your personal financial situation: how much money you need, how hard you’re willing to work for it, what work you are willing to do for it, how you’ll feel when you finally get it and more.

If freedom, independence and creativity are extremely important to you, but you are tied to a job working 60 hours a week in a hierarchical position where you can’t open your mouth, where you don’t get to make any decisions or have any agency, you will be absolutely miserable. If you are putting yourself through this misery on a daily basis to pay a mortgage on a large home, then something is out of alignment. Your financial life is in conflict with your values, your wellbeing and who you really are. This situation calls for serious reflection. Do you need to change jobs or start working for yourself? Something has to shift.

Align Your Values with Your Money – How Do Values Relate to Money?

Values and money go hand-in-hand, and the more you understand about your own values, the easier it is to make daily decisions and manage your finances. Values relate directly to how you earn and manage your money. Understanding what your values are will help you to make decisions easily and decide whether you should do something or not.

Use Your Values to Guide Your Money Decisions

  • What’s most important to you? What do you value most in life?
  • Do your actions each day line up with what you say matters most to you?
  • Do you spend your time and money in ways that support your values?

Whether you realise it or not, your bank and credit card statements tell a lot about what you prioritise.

Realign Your Money and Values

  • What is money’s purpose in your life?
  • What sense of purpose guides you in your life?
  • What is your why? Are you using your money for that purpose?

One of my main purposes is to be a catalyst for positive change and transformation in my clients’ lives. To that end, I will spend money on educating myself, taking classes and reading. These expenses support my WHY.

Are you using your money to support and make real what inspires you?

I am inspired by painting large abstracts and to support this I spend money on classes and materials. This is an integral part of my life, and this expense supports my values of Beauty and Creativity.

Express Your Values Through a Project

Expressing your values through a project is a great thing to do and gives your values a showcase – a way to get stimulated and used; a way to show yourself that living your values is both possible and fulfilling. Fulfillment is actually the experience of life when values are honoured and expressed.

Ask yourself what project you could design which would be a full expression of a value that’s important to you. Come up with the project and get started on it.

Values-Based Goals

An excellent objective is to commit only to values-based goals. It may take some time to get to this, but it’s still worthwhile to see how your goals align with your values.

List your top goals, both long- and short-term and match the goals with your values. If you have a goal that does not fit with one of your values, either adapt the goal to fit or get rid of it and come up with another. Don’t adapt the value to the goal. Use your values as the reference point in your life, not your goals. The objective is to only have values-based goals.

Write a Financial Mission Statement

When you are trying to meet your financial goals, your focus can be pulled in many different directions. It’s an excellent idea to put together a financial mission statement which will help you visualise your financial goals and remind you why you want to accomplish them. It describes what you want to attain financially and how you are going to produce your desired results.

A good financial mission statement will accurately explain what your household wants to achieve financially in the future and how you are going to get there.

Want to identify your values? Take the Values Quiz. It will help you discover your values and at the end you can download a great ebook about working with your values.