I have a secret. Well, maybe not so much a secret but something I have not shared with our Pearls because I didn’t think you were ready to hear it yet. Something about my spending habits.
But I think it’s time…
We have recently added a monthly expense of $160 to our budget for something that is 100% unnecessary. You know, I don’t feel about it one bit!
Before anyone starts tearing me apart in the comments (I know that those people aren’t true Pearls anyways!), hear me out. I’ll tell ya what the expense is in a sec.
First you need to understand that I believe you need to be spending your money where you value most. You work hard for your money! Your budget needs to be set up in a way that allows you to intentionally put your cash towards achieving your goals.
Without this, your money is going to disappear with nothing to show and your dreams left in the dust. Let’s make sure that this does not happen to you!
- How to Afford the Life You Think is Unattainable
- Our Family Finance Rescue Story
- 5 Ways to be Sure Your Budget Never Fails
- 3 Habits That Hold You Back From Paying Off Debt
What do you value?
You first need to decide what does your family value. What does that mean? The things in your family’s life that you find most important. It could be your faith, living a debt free self reliant life, spending time together, travel & adventure, time at home, growing your family, kids sports, a nicely decorated home, or maybe something like trying new foods is something you really enjoy doing because of the quality time you have with your spouse.
There is no wrong answer! This list will most likely change over time as new seasons of your life come and go and you will be able to adjust your financial action plan in order to accommodate those changes.
But for now, do a brainstorming session and write it all down. Big or small. What are some of the core values you and your family have?
In my online course 30 Day Family Finance Rescue, I walk you through this process in deeper detail showing you how to convert your values into goals and then into actionable steps to incorporate into your goal based budget. This is what you need to do in order to start taking action and actually start working towards your goals!
You can find out more information about my online course by clicking here.
Do your spending habits reflect what you value most?
Now that you have a clear picture of where your values lie, compare this information to your spending habits. Track your spending for the last three months.
Does your spending reflect your values? Or do the results show a pattern of unintentional spending? Trips through the drive thru and multiple stops at Starbucks add up quick and most likely aren’t getting you closer to achieving goals that reflect what you value most.
On the other hand, let’s say your family holds travel at a high value. You decide to intentionally save the money spent on fast food and put it into a savings towards your next trip to Disneyland.
You hold travel at a higher value than you do eating out. So your spending now reflects exactly that. Your cash is not unlimited. It is your job to make sure that it goes where you really want it to go.
What makes this possible?
What makes living a value based budget possible? There are two things. Having a $1,000 – $2,000 emergency savings and living a debt free life.
Once you have these major accomplishments in place, the doors to achieving some seriously amazing dreams for your family fly open!
If you haven’t yet done so, make building up an emergency fund and becoming debt free your top priorities. Without these two things, you will keep falling back in the paycheck to paycheck rut.
No guilt over your spending habits!
Ready to hear what we are “wasting” our money on? Hubby and I decided it was time for us to start investing in a house cleaner. We pay to have someone come once every four weeks to do all the cleaning tasks that we never get around to doing.
I call it an investment because since turning my blog into a business I have needed to be a lot more intentional with my time. We now have the income available to make the decision of where to place additional value.
The advice as been given to me more than a few times as an at home entrepreneur to invest in getting help around the house. After talking it over with hubby and prayer, we decided this was the next step.
It has been amazing! I am now able to concentrate so much better when it’s time for me to sit down and work during my very limited working hours. I’m not distracted by the dust building up on the blinds or the crumbs in the cracks of our kitchen table.
Not many people in our real life know about this. But from the few that do, I can almost feel the judgement through the words exchanged or even the words not said.
At first, it did affect me a bit. But then I realized, they don’t have the clear picture of the path hubby and I have set for our family. They don’t understand how this decision fits into what we value.
So you do you! If you are preparing for your future and still have the cash set aside, then I say go for it! Don’t feel bad, you spend that money where you value most!
Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Paper
The last thing I need to chat with you about this topic is to make sure that you are keeping your eyes on your own paper. Don’t pay attention or judge others for their spending habits!
You don’t know what their plan is. You don’t know where their values lie. What you value might not be the same as what your neighbor values. You just worry about you.
Make sure you are spending your money where you value most and you will get there!
Let’s get you moving on this today! Right now find a piece of paper, a Google doc, or a notes app in your phone. Sit by yourself or if you have a spouse do this together. Then tonight when the chaos of the day has settled (or if you have a peaceful moment now would be even better) there are only two things you need to get done.
Brainstorm your values and track your spending habits. Then compare the two. What do you find? Let’s chat about that in the comments!
Talk to you soon! Xoxo