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3 Steps to Align Your Financial Goals with Your Values

March 25, 2024

When you think about your financial goals, you may have some specific numbers in mind. Perhaps you want to save a certain amount for retirement, pay off your debt, or buy your dream home. But have you ever thought about why these goals matter to you? What are the underlying values that drive your financial decisions? 

Values are the beliefs and principles that guide our actions and choices. They reflect what we care about most in life, such as family, health, freedom, or impact. Values are not the same as goals, which are the outcomes we want to achieve. Rather, values are the reasons behind our goals, the motivation that keeps us going. 

Understanding your values can help you create a financial plan that aligns with your vision and purpose. A values-based financial plan is not just about numbers and strategies; it’s about designing a life that fulfills your core needs and aspirations. By aligning your financial goals with your values, you can: 

Make more meaningful and satisfying financial decisions. 

Reduce stress and anxiety around money. 

Increase your confidence and clarity about your financial future. 

Enhance your well-being and happiness. 

So how can you discover your values and incorporate them into your financial plan? Here are some steps you can take: 

Identify Your Top Values 

There are many ways to identify your values, but one simple method is to use a values list. You can find several examples online, or you can create your own. A values list is a collection of words that represent different aspects of life, such as adventure, compassion, creativity, integrity, security, etc. 

To use a values list, start by scanning the words and picking the ones that resonate with you the most. Don’t overthink it; just go with your gut feeling. You can also add any words that are not on the list but are important to you. Try to narrow down your selection to 10 or fewer words. 

Next, rank your values in order of priority. You can do this by comparing each value with another and asking yourself which one is more important to you. For example, if you have to choose between freedom and stability, which one would you pick? Keep doing this until you have a clear hierarchy of your values. 

Finally, write down a brief definition and example for each value. This will help you clarify what each value means to you and how it shows up in your life. For instance, if one of your values is health, you can define it as “taking care of my physical, mental, and emotional well-being” and give an example of “eating well, exercising regularly, and meditating daily.” 

Assess Your Current Alignment 

Once you have identified your top values, the next step is to assess how well your current financial situation and behavior align with them. To do this, you can ask yourself some questions, such as: 

How do my values influence my income, spending, saving, investing, and giving? 

Am I allocating my financial resources in a way that supports my values? 

Am I pursuing financial goals that are meaningful and relevant to me? 

Am I facing any financial challenges or conflicts that are preventing me from living according to my values? 

How satisfied and fulfilled am I with my financial life? 

Be honest and objective with yourself. You may find that some areas of your financial life are well-aligned with your values, while others need some improvement. For example, you may realize that you are saving enough for retirement, which reflects your value of security, but you are not spending enough on travel, which reflects your value of adventure. 

Create an Action Plan 

The final step is to create an action plan to bridge the gap between your current financial reality and your desired one. This is where you can set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals that are based on your values. For example, if one of your values is family, and you want to spend more time with them, you can set a goal of saving for a family vacation in six months. 

Your action plan should also include the strategies and steps you will take to accomplish your goals. For example, to save for your family vacation, you may need to budget your expenses, cut back on unnecessary purchases, or find additional sources of income. You may also need to review your progress regularly and make adjustments as needed. 

To help you create and implement your action plan, you may want to work with a financial advisor who can offer you guidance, support, and accountability. A financial advisor can help you clarify your values, analyze your financial situation, and recommend the best course of action for you. A financial advisor can also help you stay on track and overcome any challenges or obstacles that may arise along the way. 

Aligning your financial goals with your values can help you create a financial plan that is not only effective, but also fulfilling. By identifying your top values, assessing your current alignment, and creating an action plan, you can take charge of your financial future and live a life that reflects what matters most to you. 

If you are interested in learning more about how a financial advisor can help you build a values-based financial plan, please contact the Financial Planning Team of Omni360 Advisors today. We would love to hear from you and help you achieve your financial goals. 


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Recent Posts
How Financial Frictions Hinder Innovations

A recent study co-authored by Wharton’s Thomas Winberry reveals that financially constrained firms face a ...

The post How Financial Frictions Hinder Innovations first appeared on Integrated Tax Planning, Legal Planning & Financial Planning.

See more
5 Budgeting Myths That Stop People from Saving

Budgeting is crucial for managing your money well. However, many people avoid it because they ...

The post 5 Budgeting Myths That Stop People from Saving first appeared on Integrated Tax Planning, Legal Planning & Financial Planning.

See more