What Is Important to You About Money?
The title of today's post is the start of any good financial planning strategy. It gives a normally dry and mundane process true meaning. When it is all said and done, you want your financial plan to reflect your highest values.
The reality is that this is already the case. Here is the truth – where you spend or allocate money is what you value. Look at your bank statement or your credit card statement.
Your money flows to your values. You spend the most on whatever you value the most.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also - Matthew 6:21
Then what is missing? Why don’t things feel right on how I am allocating money?
It is very simple. Go through an exercise with me. Go through your credit card and bank statements. List out from top to bottom of where you spend money. Start with the greatest percentage of money spent down to the lowest percentage spent. That represents the hierarchy of your values.
Is that congruent with what you truly value the most? For most people, that list is not a pleasant sight. It can be a hard reality to accept when eating out ranks higher than items like planning for the kids college or even tithing/giving.
Let’s take a closer look. Who doesn’t value eating out? For most, this probably falls in the top 10 values. Valuing eating out is not the problem. It is where eating out ranks that creates the conflict.
TRUTH – There is nothing wrong with your values. After all, they are your values. It is the prioritization of those values that is creating the conflict and not giving you peace. When we aren’t intentional about ranking our spending values, money flows to what feels good rather than our highest intention.
For most people, their hierarchy of values is out of alignment. You can’t have an effective financial plan without a hierarchy of values that reflects your highest value intentions. Said another way, you can’t have an effective stewardship plan without a hierarchy of values that reflects your highest value intentions.
This is where you have to prayerfully rearrange your value hierarchy to reflect your truest and highest stewardship values. That creates the foundation for your financial plan. From there you make all decisions through the lens of your intentional value hierarchy.