While many of us may not like to admit it, finance plays a huge role in our holistic wellbeing and professional performance levels. And you may be surprised to know that it’s not about the amount of numbers on our pay cheques either. A recent study into workplace wellness revealed that it’s savings not income that determines financial wellbeing, so the question is, are your values aligned with your finances, or are they predominantly running solo and have more of a causal relationship?
To gain a deeper insight into why this relationship is so important, let’s take equality as a key value. Many people who value equality tend to be more inclined to donate money towards likeminded organisations and charities that are trying to address the inequalities within society, or to individuals in which they feel are less off than themselves.
As a nation Australia is the third most generous country in the world when it comes to charity donations and 60% of these donations are spontaneous. However, on a personal level, what is the real impact of these spontaneous donations? If you were to be made redundant today and your employer simply adhered to the minimum redundancy obligations legally possible (so no big payout or package) how long could you not just survive, but comfortably maintain a high level of holistic wellness? Meaning, how long could you cover all your financial obligations while maintaining a high standard of living – mentally, physically and socially (so no two-minute noodle meals)?
What you may find interesting, is that the 40% of Australians who plan their charity donations actually give six times more than those who give spontaneously. So, the relationship between your values and finances doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive, you don’t have to pick one over the other. In fact, as this example suggests, they actually work best when they are aligned.
So how do you align your values and finances? These seven steps will help guide the relationship… and for those of you who are in any kind of financial partnership, whether through a personal or professional relationship, we highly recommend going through these steps with your partner, to ensure you’re both on the same page.
Review your values and actions from a financial point of view, how much do these cost you – a day, week, month, year?
Review your living expenses (weekly, monthly, yearly) and compare these figures to your savings – this will more clarity into how long you can financially survive at your current standard of living if you lost your income today
Rate your current standard of living in regards to how satisfied you are with the amount you are currently contributing towards each of your values – this will help you identify development areas, just as much as any areas in which you may want to cut back in
Review your value ratings and the financial contributions tied to these – what would you like to start doing, stop doing and keep doing?
Review your current savings – at standard of living would you like to maintain and for how long would you like to be able to maintain this without an income?
Make a new savings plan that incorporates your values – bringing the above six steps together you can now create a new savings plan that aligns your values and finances. At this point we recommend seeking professional support. Professionals will not only pick up on things you have missed in the previous steps, they will also assist you in developing the most effective plan possible.
Ensuring your values and finances maintain a committed relationship will ensure you have an effective, efficient and achievable strategy in place that supports your holistic wellbeing and peak performance levels.