The journey to financial confidence can be an exciting reality for you–no matter the state of your bank account right now. The journey starts by defining your values. We’ll be discussing just why and how in this post!
Would you believe me if I told you that our family found it easier to manage our money when we had less of it to manage?
But when our income started increasing, we had some big decisions to make. Should we:
- Increase our grocery budget?
- Buy a new vehicle?
- Purchase a house?
- Send our kids to Christian school?
- Join a gym?
Ultimately, we had to look at our personal values, life goals, and family callings to decide how to best steward our finances.
This is where values statements and mind mapping can help.
What are values statements?
Values statements are simply declarations of what is valuable to you or your individual family.
We live in a “keeping up with the Joneses” world. It’s easy to look around at our neighbors, co-workers, and friends and think we “need” what they have.
For example: If you were to pull into the preschool where our daughter attends, you would see one particular brand of minivan over and over again–a Honda Odyssey.
If our family were to base my purchases on how others around me spend, we would have bought an Odyssey as well.
Instead, several years ago, we purchased a Dodge Caravan–in cash.
A Dodge was cheaper, but we were’t being “cheap.” Instead, we were basing our purchase over what was within our means and by our unique values.
For us, the brand of minivan doesn’t matter so much as not having a car payment. And not having a car payment has allowed us to send our kids to Christian school because we’ve had the margin in our budget to do so.
My values statements might be different from my neighbor’s. That doesn’t make mine right and hers wrong or vice versa. It just means that we have different priorities in life, and that’s OK. The important thing is that we each base how we spend our money on our values statements–and not someone else’s.
Without values statements, we can too easily mindlessly spend our money–and end up at the end of the pay period, month, year, or even our lifetimes and wonder: “Where did all my money go?”
It can be a sad realization that we are spending our money based on someone else’s values. However, it’s never too late to start over.
Taking time to form your own values statements and make a mind map is a good place to begin your journey to financial confidence.
Once you know what your values statements are, mind mapping can be a huge asset to achieving those goals you’ve set–based on your family’s values!
A mind map is a visual representation of your goals.
The example above shows a map with sections on what to start saving for, short-term goals, upcoming expenses, and other “what else” items.
A mind map for your finances can help you anticipate what would otherwise come as emergencies–like a new roof, new hot water heater, etc. This way, you will have the money available when the time arrives for these repairs or other needs.
Whether you’re focused on creating a budget, buying a home or saving for retirement,everyone can benefit from the financial tools matter where you are on your financial journey.