Making Sure That Your Financial Life Matches YOUR Values
Obviously, I am a frugal minded person. I always have been. That doesn’t mean that I don’t value nice things, or that I take short cuts when it comes to the important things. It just means that I am always looking for options when it comes to how and when I spend my money. I ask a lot of questions and I almost always do some research before spending. Just like you, my hubby and I work hard for our money, so it only makes sense for us to put some time and energy into making our money work for us as well.
Growing up, my father would never let me use the words “only” and “dollars” in the same sentence. If I said “Dad, it’s only $7.00….” he would quickly correct me, reminding me that those two words never belong side by side. To this day, I cringe when I see those two words put together, and trust me, it isn’t easy keeping them apart seeing as I write about deals all day long! So even when I slip up, I almost always can hear him reminding me that I shouldn’t say it that way. (and in true “do as I say, not as I do” fashion, I always correct my children when they say it!) I really want my children to grow up understanding the value of a dollar and all of the hard work that goes into earning and saving ONLY $1.00, let alone a lifetime of savings. When you work hard for your money, you value it more. Plain and simple.
Does YOUR financial life match YOUR values? The reality of that question is that it almost has to, if you have long terms goals to be financially secure as you grow older. Check out this handy Genworth Retirement Income worksheet calculator to get a better look at your overall financial picture.
I think that the very best way to create an understanding of the value of YOUR dollar (I believe that everyone’s is different) is to create a budget. My husband and I layout a budget every year so that we can track what we want to put in savings, what we want to allocate for vacations, sports, entertainment, gifts, etc. Laying things all out in front of us gives us a very clear look at exactly where we are at and what we are spending our money on. Sometimes when you see things broken down like that, you realize that you are putting money in places that you really don’t feel are deserving of that much of your budget.
Taking control of your budget feels awesome, and sometimes it’s just a matter of arming yourself with the right tools, a few of which are laid out here in this article Women and Money: Why You Need to Take Control Now, a great perspective on ways to dive right in and take your finances by the reins.