You work hard for your money, don’t you? Wouldn’t it make sense to spend that money on the things that matter most to you?
Many people don’t stop to consider just how much they’re spending in certain areas, but it’s important to make sure that your spending is aligning with your values.
Your budget will tell you what you really value. Where you put your money speaks for itself. That’s why it’s so important to track your spending!
One look at your budget and you should be able to identify where you’re spending the most money. Is this category a meaningful one?
For example, if your grocery spending is a little high, is it because you value healthy, whole foods, or because you buy a lot of excess food that goes to waste?
If your restaurant spending is creeping up there, is it because you’re a foodie who enjoys the experience of dining out at new restaurants, or is it because fast food is your best friend?
Closely examine each category carefully, and make sure your money is going toward things that will make you happy.
Not happy with where your money is going? The good news is that you can always change it.
If your grocery spending is too high because you’re buying too much, consider meal planning. Write up a list of ingredients you need to buy based upon those predetermined meals. Create several different meals that can be made from the same basic ingredients. Your food waste should be cut down considerably just from this one action.
You can also find categories where you can trim your spending, such as entertainment, dining out, buying excessive clothes or shoes, and more. Look for any ways to save.
By figuring out what makes you happy, you can shift your spending priorities. Say you’re trying to save for a down payment on a house, but you’re giving into spending temptation elsewhere. Maybe your friends invite you out a few times a week, or maybe you love to dine at restaurants with family and friends.
Prioritizing saving for a down payment will allow you to say “no” more easily. That’s not to say you should say no all the time, but if you have that one goal in mind, you can pass on a night out without feeling guilty. Similarly, you’ll be able to control your restaurant habit by reminding yourself that you have something worthwhile to save for.
You know that you can either sustain your current spending habits, OR you can save enough money to buy a house — but you can’t do both. By framing every decision through the lens of that contrast, you’ll be able to make better, more informed choices.
This is the beauty of aligning your money with your priorities. By aligning your spending with your values, you’ll spend money in a more meaningful manner, and thus, live a happier life. If you’re just spending to keep up with the Joneses, you won’t find happiness.
Spend on things that make you happy and use your money to access experiences you value — not on purchases that you make simply to make an impression on others.
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