Align Your Financial Resources to Help You Enjoy Life’s Small Pleasures
How many times have you heard the financial adage—skip that latte (or craft beer) to keep a few more dollars in your bank account? Or worse, skip that latte to prevent wrecking your financial future? To be fair, yes, if you save $4 by not buying that latte, and instead save it, you would end up with more money in your nest egg. But to what end? Is the only path to financial independence paved by living a miserly existence and cutting out all the small pleasures in life? If so, count me out!
This is one of the reasons many shy away from financial planning. Who wants to spend time focusing on all the things they CAN’T have? It doesn’t have to be this way. Proper financial planning considers what you value most in life and then seeks to align your financial resources to help you enjoy these things, guilt free! Here are a few places to start:
1. Reflect on Your Values
First, reflect on the things you value most and that bring you joy and fulfillment in life. If this includes spending quality time with friends weekly at a local coffee shop, don’t skip the latte! This could also include experiencing new adventures with your significant other, donating supplies to your favorite charity or working toward being financially independent and debt-free by age 62. Only after clearly defining how you intentionally want to live can you begin to craft a plan to get there.
2. Assess Your Spending
Second, evaluate your current spending. Do your spending patterns align with what you value most? Are there inconsistencies between the two? For instance, do you make impulse purchases that don’t align with your values or that financially prevent you from doing the things you love? In summary, are the things you truly value in the short, intermediate, and long-term reflected in how you allocate your resources?
3.Align Your Financial Resources with Your Values
Lastly, redirect the areas of your spending that do not reflect what you value most. If you rarely watch TV because you value being social and spending time with friends and family, yet you have an expensive cable package costing $200/month, consider cutting the cord and redirecting these dollars to entertainment or eating out. Aligning financial resources to core values brings peace and harmony to your financial life.
Who doesn’t want to enjoy the small pleasures in life? There’s nothing like that first sip of coffee on Market Square with friends on a cool autumn morning or a nice bottle of wine as the sun sets over the fall foliage of East Tennessee. These are the things that make life truly rich. Values-based financial planning is about empowering you to enjoy these wonderful things guilt free. Cheers to that!