How to Use What You Have Learned

When you have a handle on what you really value, you can clarify your thinking, make smarter decisions, improve your personal relationships, and get much better at making, keeping, and growing your money. You may be able to say “goodbye” to guilt and anxiety and identify instead what real security is all about. 

You can more easily re-channel your impulses, emotions and choices. When you understand what motivates you to buy and save and give and invest the way you do, you will be on your way to full financial competence.

Evaluate Spending Decisions

Use your personal money history to evaluate your spending decisions. Here are three crucial questions to ask yourself before you approach the checkout counter on your next shopping trip:

  • Why do I want to buy this/these items?
  • How do I make spending decisions? Am I actively engaged, or passive and reactive?
  • Does my decision-making approach help me or hurt me?

Focusing on these three questions will help to deepen your understanding of your spending patterns. You will discover which purchases are habit-driven or based on satisfying childhood desires, and which ones are truly value-driven. You can use these insights to purposefully navigate your way through the spending decisions you face every day. 

Making Financial Decisions

When confronting a financial decision, examine your feelings about the decision in the context of the four LifeValues.  Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Will it make me feel more secure or in control? (Inner)
  • Will it increase enjoyment of my surroundings? (Physical)
  • Will it connect me with others? (Social)
  • Will it be appropriate, given my resources? (Financial)

Compare your answers to how you scored on each dimension of LifeValues. If your decision answers conflict with your LifeValues scores, you probably will feel uncomfortable with your decision. The discomfort can be mild or intense, depending upon the importance of the decision.

Try to resolve the conflict. For each of the LifeValues, compare your decision options with your LifeValues quiz cores.

  • Which option(s) align with your values as revealed by your scores?
  • Which option(s) contradict your values as revealed by your scores?

Use your evaluation to settle on the decision option that best aligns with your values in every category and that makes you feel most satisfied and comfortable.  

A Better Way to Make Decisions

When we are unaware of our own LifeValues and are facing a financial decision problem, we consider, either consciously or unconsciously, the consequences of our various choices by “feeling” our way, more or less randomly, through each of the four life domains. 

However, when we are aware of our own LifeValues, we can consider the consequences of our choices by comparing the possible outcomes against our preferences in each of the four life domains. We in effect lead ourselves to decisions that are more in alignment with our values:  our own individual “right” answer.