Why personal values are important in a conversation about money
March 21, 2023 - 4 minutes read
Posted by Claire Parker
Identifying your personal values is an important step in self-discovery and can help you make better financial decisions that align with your beliefs and priorities.
Part of our WealthPlan™ process is to pinpoint your personal values and ensure you are living in alignment.
Here are some steps you can take to identify your personal values:
- Reflect on your past experiences: Think about the moments in your life where you felt the most fulfilled and happy. What was it about those experiences that made you feel that way? Were there any values that were particularly important to you in those moments.
- Consider your role models: Think about the people you admire and look up to. What qualities or values do they possess that you find particularly inspiring?
- Think about what’s important to you: Take some time to consider what matters most to you in life. Is it your family, your career, your health, your community, or something else entirely?
- Identify your top values: Once you’ve reflected on your experiences, role models, and priorities, write down a list of the values that are most important to you. Try to keep the list to five or six values, as these are the ones that are likely to have the biggest impact on your decision-making.
- Check your list: Once you have a list of values, consider each one and ask yourself if it feels authentic to you. Are these values that you truly believe in, or are they values that you feel you “should” have?
- Use your values to make decisions: Now that you have identified your personal values, use them as a guide when making decisions, financial and otherwise. Ask yourself if the decision you are making aligns with your values, and if not, consider why that is and whether it’s something you need to reconsider.
Values and financial decisions
Personal values can have a significant impact on money decisions. Our personal values are the principles and beliefs that guide our behaviour, and they influence the choices we make in all aspects of our lives, including how we handle our finances.
For example, if you value financial security, you may prioritise saving money and avoiding debt, even if it means sacrificing short-term pleasures. On the other hand, if you value experiences and living in the moment, you may be more inclined to spend money on travel or leisure activities, even if it means taking on some debt.
Similarly, personal values can affect how you approach investing. For instance, if you value environmental sustainability, you may prioritise investing in companies that prioritise sustainability initiatives. In contrast, if you value financial gain above all else, you may prioritise investing in companies with high returns, even if their practices may not align with your personal values.
Personal values play a crucial role in shaping our attitudes towards money and financial decisions. Understanding our values can help us make better financial decisions that align with our priorities and goals.
Examples of personal values
Personal values can be defined as individual beliefs or principles that guide our behaviour, such as:
These are just a few examples. Of course, it’s important to note that personal values can vary greatly from person to person, and what is important to one individual may not be as important to another.
The consequences of ignoring your personal values
When we do not act in accordance with our personal values, we may experience a range of negative emotions such as guilt, shame, or regret. This is because our personal values are deeply ingrained in us and are a reflection of who we are as individuals. When we act in ways that conflict with our values, we feel a sense of dissonance between our behaviour and our identity.
For example, if honesty is one of our core values, but we lie to someone, we may feel guilty or ashamed of our behaviour because it goes against what we believe to be right. Similarly, if we value health, but we engage in unhealthy habits, we may feel regretful and disappointed in ourselves.
Over time consistently acting in ways that conflict with our personal values can erode our sense of self and lead to a sense of disconnection from ourselves and our values. It can also negatively impact our relationships with others if our actions are perceived as dishonest or lacking in integrity.
In contrast, when we act in accordance with our personal values, we experience a sense of alignment between our behaviour and our identity, which can lead to greater self-esteem, confidence, and a sense of purpose. It can also strengthen our relationships with others by demonstrating our commitment to our values and building trust and respect.