Do your spending habits reflect what you value? If your closet is full of shoes and clothes you never wear, this shows you value frivolous spending and a waste of resources. But what if you don’t value these things? Ask yourself why you buy them, then. Want to learn how to develop values-based spending that aligns with your actual values?

Developing spending habits that mirror your values takes time, and you must train yourself to think differently about material items and other expenses in your life. Become a model of values-based spending and live a happier, more financially healthy life.

Think about what it would take to improve your spending habits and focus on what you value instead of spending too much.

Consider Your Joy

Develop the mindset, “If I don’t value it, I don’t buy it.” It is not worth your time working to waste your money on things that don’t bring value and joy to your life.

Marie Kondo’s methods of decluttering work well with value spending. She asks, “Does the item spark joy?” If it does, she says to keep it; if it doesn’t, she says to get rid of it.

When you pick up an item at the store or see it online, ask yourself, “Will this bring me joy?” If it brings you joy in the long run and you can pay cash rather than credit, buy it. If the item will not bring happiness and is non-essential, then put it back.

Essential items like toilet paper, trash bags, and cleaning supplies may not bring joy to your life, but they are necessary to have a clean home and a clean you- they certainly add value to your life!

Consider the Cost

Do you value debt? No. Stay far away from it. Their high-interest rates have made it difficult to pay them back. Interest rates are currently at an average of 19.49%. Many will tell you to pay it off each month to avoid paying interest; this is excellent advice for as long as you have the money to pay it.

But how good are you at predicting the future? Have you won the lottery lately? With no way of knowing what the future holds, you have no way of knowing that you can pay off the debt on the creditors’ terms. Debt does not add value or joy to your life.

Vehicles, houses, and expensive appliances are the only things that should be attached to any debt because they add value to your life and make life in America livable. Living in most places in America without a vehicle would be challenging, and the cost of buying a home far exceeds people’s annual income by more than triple.

Consider the Savings

It may be worth your time if you splurge $6 daily on coffee to get you going for the day. But consider this: you could save $54 in just two weeks by instead spending the first $6 on coffee from the grocery store and skipping the coffee stop. That means that within a month, you will have saved $108, and within a year, you will have saved $1296.

What daily expense is helping you nickel and dime your way out of a savings account? Maybe it’s leaving all the lights on when you aren’t home or eating out with friends for lunch each day. Whatever it is, consider if it adds value to your life and how much you will save without it.

Budgets are Sexy offers more values-based spending tips on their blog.

Consider Your Current Monthly Expenses

A spreadsheet like Excel can help you keep track of your monthly expenses if you don’t already do this. Keeping track of monthly expenses like utility bills, mortgage or rent, grocery money, car upkeep, pet care, and entertainment will help you clean your financial house.

Go through each expense and decide if you need it and value it. If you don’t, cancel it.

For example, you walk through the living room and see everyone on their device, and no one is watching TV. It occurs to you that no one has watched anything on the TV in months. Is that $300 cable bill bringing value to your life? No. Then get rid of it! There is no point in keeping something simply because you used it once.

Look for ways you can save money monthly. Consider these time and money savers:

  1. Save on gas by setting up a carpool with other parents in your neighborhood; sharing the expense of taking children to school helps all involved. Value added! Plus, four days a week, you don’t have to wait in the school pick up and drop off line; all that gas saved helps you.
  2. Save on your water bill by watering your lawn early in the morning. Watering during the day wastes water, thus requiring more water. When the sun is out, the water evaporates more quickly, leaving your grass needing longer watering times.
  3. Save on your electricity bill by turning off electronics and lights when no one uses them, which sounds intuitive. It’s incredible how often people walk out of their rooms, leaving everything on, and head off to work, the grocery store, or the gym.

Final Thoughts

Your perspective determines your wealth. If you have everything in your life that you value, you will feel wealthy. If you fill your life with things that add no value, you will be poor, regardless of how much money you have or how big your house is.

Image by [Cast of Thousands] via []