Guest Post by Brian Nelson Ford, Founder and President of 8 Pillars Financial Education Company
If you have ever created a budget without it being based on your values, chances are it didn’t work. Understanding what you truly care about in life is essential to reaching financial greatness. Your values can help you form powerful emotional connections to the actions you want to take.
What do you value? What is most important in your life? Money without meaning will not bring lasting happiness, nor will wealth alone motivate you to make sound financial decisions. When you understand financial principles in terms of what you personally value most, your odds of achieving financial success skyrocket.
Some of the things I value most are family, health, spirituality, deep happiness, security, safety, freedom and balance. These values are my motivation for financial greatness. Notice that I list neither money nor financial status among my values. Why? Because money is an object to manage; without the meaning and purpose I give it (what it means to my family, health, and so on), it cannot bring lasting joy.
Money is only a means to a much deeper end—and it is not the only means in most cases. I value money as far as it can serve what really matters in my life and empower the people and causes I care about. This principle is one of the fundamental keys to reaching financial greatness.
A lack of healthy financial responsibility can seriously affect your values. When your financial life is out of balance, the rest of your life (and the people in it) will suffer. I have seen too many brilliant and talented people crushed by their own poor financial habits. When you evaluate your money behavior in terms of your values, you begin to take control of your money. Knowing what values you want your money to serve will help you break poor habits and stick with great ones.
This article should not be considered legal or investment advice. Seek legal and investment advice from your own qualified professional.