Are you finding yourself struggling to stick to a budget? Many clients and millennials that I talk to are always excited once we are done talking about how to budget. I’ve realized that like myself we missed out on not just financial literacy but how to view our money. I have four ways that will help you start to think of your money as a tool to create a better life where you spend your money according to what you value. Here are my four steps to start.

 

1.       WHAT ARE YOUR VALUES?

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Often I’ve found myself in the past spending money on items that I didn’t use for a very long or were poor quality. I’ve learned over time that if we develop an understanding of our values we can learn to spend money with a wiser purpose. When we spend wisely our budgets become easier to manage and we start to control our finances without them controlling us. Click here discover your top five true values.

 

2.       FROM VALUES TO GOALS

Our values will lead to our goals in life. If you value family, I am guessing you may have a goal of starting a family or spending more time with your family. If you value travel you may have a dream travel goal. Aligning our spending according to our values will help us reach our goals because we’ll be spending according to the values that help us reach our goals.

 

3.       WORK ON FILTERING OUT DISTRACTIONS

Every minute we are being advertised to, whether online, in Starbucks, on our drive, or even the podcast we are listening. Ads are everywhere trying to get us to buy something that we probably don’t value and won’t help us reach our goals. Learn to look past these ads and stay focused on items that bring long term value and move you closer to your goals.

 

4.       GIVE TIME TO MAJOR PURCHASES

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Most goals are large purchases or expenditures of some sort. I encourage you to think through the purchase. Purchasing plane tickets because they are cheap for a trip that wasn’t even on your radar may be filled with regret. Just because an item is on sale doesn’t mean it is the right time. Save for what you expect but you can be ready to take advantage of discounted items if it’s the right time and you’ve been planning on the purchase. Impulse buying is what gets most people into trouble, even myself.

Our everyday decisions cause ripple effects. Make smart purchases that are aligned with your values and you’ll be on your way to achieving your goals in no time. My favorite budgeting tool, YNAB, is based on a budgeting philosophy that most people can resonate with. My wife and I love the tool because it creates better communication in regards to our finances. How can it help you?

 

 

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Steven LaFleur grew up in Rapid City, SD and after high school went to college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he majored in finance and met his wife Kelly. After college graduation in 2013, he worked for the family business for three years but eventually, Steven decided it was time to pursue a passion of his in helping people and their finances. Steven is now a financial advisor at True Measure Wealth Management in Omaha, NE. Steven and his wife Kelly have two daughters who keep them busy at all times of the day. Steven enjoys skiing in the mountains and also biking and golfing during the non-snowy months.