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Do You Truly Know Your Values? Try This Simple Technique…

Saadia Ahmed, CFP®

1 min read

Feb 16

If someone asks you if you know your values, you might be taken aback and even a little offended. Of course, you know your values. In over 20 years of working with clients, this is one of the first questions that comes up in a financial planning conversation.


However, as much as I appreciate clients sharing their values, what gives me the most insight into their true values is their expenses. We buy what we value. Consciously or subconsciously, we spend on things that matter to us.


For instance, I once had a couple who spent about 10% of their combined high-tech take-home salaries on groceries. At first glance, it seemed like an error. However, upon digging deeper, it became clear that shopping at Whole Foods for organic and pure food and supplements was really important to them. One of their stated goals was the health and wellness of their family. Similarly, another client was willing to delay her retirement by two years to throw the wedding of her dreams for her daughter.


Where you spend your money tells you the most about what is important to you. Anytime you spend over 10% of your take-home income on any one thing, like groceries, dining out, travel, designer apparel, children’s education or charitable contributions, you are making a statement. And whenever your spending is not aligned with your stated values, there is a lack of peace of mind.


So next time you review your expenses, ask yourself: Is my spending aligned with my values?

Saadia Ahmed, CFP®

1 min read

Feb 16

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