Spending and Investing Toward Your Values

Learning how to spend and invest toward your values!

Spending and Investing Toward Your Values
Photo by Some Tale / Unsplash

How we spend and invest toward our values

We have a saying at my church, and it goes like this. "We give up things we love for things we love even more." On the surface, I resonate with this saying. I even agree with it, but it is so often in life that I don't put it into practice. I know many of you are the same way. I want to be and live a certain way or become the person I'm "meant" to be or, more accurately, what others or the world tell me I need to be. I try to do the things I "feel" I need to do based on advice from others, even well-meaning people, but I never truly get there. I constantly try to be what the world needs or tells me to be.

Or maybe you have the opposite problem. You know what you want who you are, and have established goals. But you haven't implemented any system to help you understand if you are putting your time, energy, and resources (money) toward that goal.

Or you have a system and structure for spending and investing your money—following the seven baby steps, seven money gears, The four rules, debt avalanche, debt snowball, or whatever other system. But you feel like you are just going through the motions or you've reached "financial independence," but now you feel empty cause your goal has been an arbitrary number, and now you feel empty.


The reason I wanted to write this post is that all of us so often get myopic. We pursue a goal to be "rich," "financially independent," "drive a nice car," "have the biggest net worth," or "treat yourself." Some of us are just trying to survive. We don't step back, look at the big picture, and ask ourselves questions.  

  • Who do I want to be?
  • Who do I want my family's identity to be?
  • What are the things that I value?
  • Where would I genuinely want to be in five years?


Another reason I wanted to write this is because we all have dreams, but many of us struggle to put plans into place with our time, energy, and resources to make them a reality. So we need a system to help us track those things.

After much experience with any goal, I've realized you need both. The "Why" and the "How".

First, start with Who and Why

Find out who you want to become and why you want to become it. If you want to be a great dad or mom, one of the ways you want to be present with your kids is to show up for every event. Then that's a great who (great dad) and why (be present with my kids)

Then, work backward on how you can achieve that who and why. Money will be a piece of it, but other ways exist to achieve your goals. For example, one of my followers is a follower of Jesus. And the way for my life was to work full-time in ministry. I thought I had to achieve FI before working in ministry full time, but now I can work in church vocationally. My way is to keep working in ministry full-time, so I am still taking steps to achieve FI.

Then, Figure out How

Then, figure out a system. It doesn't matter what method you use, except that it works for you and helps you achieve your goals. I prefer YNAB's cash-based budgeting system. But you can automate in other ways. Use an Excel sheet and write it on paper. It doesn't matter as long as it helps you achieve your goals. Whatever you choose doesn't have to be the most optimized. It does have to be consistent and help you stick with it because that matters most.

Learn to flexible

Your dreams and who you are will change. People underestimate the amount they will change. The things they care about today won't always be the things they care about tomorrow. Looking back and seeing how you will change is more accessible, but looking towards the future and thinking you will is problematic. You can't imagine marrying or having kids when you are 18. Perhaps you think you will always stay in the same career or stay in the same house when the numbers say you most likely won't.  


Just start today. Forgive past you, and don't worry about tomorrow. Help plan for the future with the information you have now.


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Updated 11/21/23