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This article was written by our guest Tim from Atypical Finance. All thoughts expressed are solely those of the author. Enjoy!
Have you ever looked at someone and wondered why they seem to have it all together financially?
These types of people seem to spend as much as they want without batting an eye, and they seem really happy doing it. But, there is a secret that you may not see on the outside.
See, just like you and I, they have money to spend on some things and don’t have money to spend on other things.
So, what’s the difference?
The difference is that they are spending money only on things they truly value.
This is what is at the heart of value-based budgeting and value-based spending. And it works extremely well in just about every personal finance situation you can think of.
Here are five reasons why spending based on your values works so well.
1. Spending Money on What You Value Highly Satisfies You
Some people don’t realize it, but spending money on what you truly value makes you extremely happy. Let’s compare your spending to eating.
Think about a meal that is both healthy and delicious – something really enjoyable. This meal is high in protein and has the right balance of carbs, fiber, and fats. A meal like this is highly satisfying. You are much less likely to binge eat on junk food because you are highly satisfied.
Spending money on what you value creates the same effect. If you spend money on what you value, you’ll be highly satisfied, just like eating a good meal. This satisfaction makes it easy to not spend money on useless junk that won’t benefit you.
2. Spending Money on What You Value is Sustainable
One of the top struggles of budgeting is being motivated to stick with it. If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried several different budgeting methods. Budgeting didn’t stick for me, though, until I created my own budget based on who I am.
Through years of trying to mimic financial gurus and rich people, I kept failing at budgeting. I was doing all of the “right” things but still failing.
Why? Because the right thing is not going to be the same thing for everyone. The right budgeting method for Dave Ramsey, or even my closest friends, may not work for me. This is why spending based on your own values is so sustainable. You are aligning your spending with who you are.
It feels natural.
It feels like an extension of who you are.
Anything that feels natural is always sustainable.
3. Spending Money on What You Value Gives You Flexibility
Another secret I’ve learned about personal finance is that your current budget is not always going to work for you, even if you create your own.
That’s part of the magic of spending based on what you value. It gives you flexibility. As you grow, your values are going to grow with you. You’re not going to be interested in the same things.
We, as humans, should be in a state of growth consistently so why shouldn’t our budgets grow and change with us? As your values change, it is simple enough to no longer be spending money on what you used to value so you can spend money on what you do value.
4. Spending Money on What You Value Feels Like You Have More Money
A simple reason why spending money on your values works so well is that it makes you feel like you have more money. The reason is that you are cutting out some of your expenses.
But it’s what you are cutting out that is the reason why it’s such a great spending tool.
With value-based spending, you are cutting out pretty much everything you don’t value. This means you won’t miss it when it’s gone because it isn’t important to you. This makes it easy to cut things out. And cutting things out leaves you more wiggle room in your budget to spend on what you actually care about.
Go through your budget and spending and cut anything out that you don’t value or find important. Really dig deep into this because a lot of things can seem important when they really aren’t.
For example, I used to “value” video games according to my spending. In reality, I was just unhappy with my life and wanted to buy things to make me feel good. This led to me having over 20 video games sitting on my shelf that I had never played. That’s a lot of wasted money!
I cut out that spending, got rid of the games I knew I would never play, and fixed the root cause of my unhappiness instead.
Now, I have more money to spend on the things I really value. Plain and simple, cutting out what you don’t value leaves money to spend on what you do value.
This makes it seem like you have more money without actually having to worry about increasing your income. This goes hand-in-hand with reason number 5.
5. Spending Money on What You Value is Guilt-Free
Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t have quite enough money to buy something you know would be valuable to you, but you bought it anyway?
What did you feel like afterward?
Guilty? Sad? Were you questioning whether you should have made the purchase in the first place even though it was something you value? Perhaps you were sad because you had just wasted money on something that didn’t really matter to you. You may be feeling what’s known as “buyer’s remorse”. Buyer’s remorse is when you regret a purchase shortly after making it.
When you are spending money only on what you value, while at the same time cutting out what you don’t value, there is literally no reason to feel guilty about your purchase.
You no longer have to worry about feeling guilty that your money went to things you don’t value or that you don’t have enough money for what you value.
Now, I’m definitely not advocating going out and impulse-buying something like a vehicle even if you find cars valuable. You still have to plan properly for purchases.
But when you do finally make the purchase, you don’t have to feel guilty because you worked for it and find it truly valuable.
Spending money on what you value is one of the best things you can do for your money. By creating a budget that is uniquely you:
- You’ll be satisfied
- You’ll be able to sustain it
- You will have the ability to be more flexible in your spending
- It’ll feel like you have more money
- You won’t have to feel guilty about your spending anymore
These 5 things make it worthwhile to take the next steps to creating a spending plan that is based on what you value.
How are you going to incorporate your values into your spending and budget?
Tim Jordan is a personal finance and budgeting expert who believes that your money should help you be who you are. He is the owner and founder of Atypical Finance where he teaches and guides you in writing your own personal finance story, helping you build a life that YOU want. If you rule your money, you will rule your life.