Dear friend,

If you have landed on my homepage before, you may have seen that I help people create fulfilling lives. Perhaps you have wondered what that actually means. I wanted to share my thoughts on this with you today to help you appreciate what it means to live a financially fulfilling life and how you can create that in your own life. (I deliberately chose the word create because I believe we have the opportunity to create the life that we desire for ourselves).

My thoughts on fulfilment

I believe that fulfilment comes from living a life that honors or that is inspired by what we value. A life in which we deliberately pursue the things that are important to us and that we derive great joy and satisfaction from. This idea was articulated so beautifully for me in an article I read recently here which quoted one clinical Psychologist Dr. Jennifer Barbera, PhD, who said “Fulfillment is the process of living a valued life, where one pursues things that matter to them or that they are passionate about.  It generally comes from choosing actions that move a person towards what they value, as well as achieving goals that were guided by those values”.

From this, we see a clear connection between fulfilment and our personal values. Living a life that is fulfilling requires that we get clear on what is important to us so that we intentionally pursue that. It follows, then, that if we are to find financial fulfilment, we need to align our money with our values. Put our money where our heart is so to speak.

A more far-reaching benefit of this is that it also enables a more balanced and wholesome relationship with money. When we use our money in alignment with the things that matter to us, we begin to let go of some of the shame and negative emotions that often accompany our transactions. It also allows us to do money in a way that feels true to who we are, rather than trying to live up to a standard someone else has set for us. (Which often stifles our freedom and causes more resistance instead of motivating us).

Aligning money with our values

So how can you apply this insight in your financial life and start to create more financial fulfilment for yourself? It is certainly not an overnight effort. A fulfilling life, much like anything worthwhile in life, is a journey. However, there are a few things you can start to implement right away to get you started on your journey:

  1. Reflect

Reflect on where you are right now. The best place to discover what you have placed value on in your life is in your budget or bank statement. Our budget and bank statement will help us to identify where we currently direct most of our money to. And those things, that we spend a lot of money on are often a good indication of what we have placed value on. So have a look at your bank statement or budget. What have you placed value on? Is this aligned with what you say is important to you or with the kind of life you want to live? Do you need to make changes to create more alignment?

  1. Get clear on what is important to you

If you have never taken a moment to think about and write down what you value, then now would be a good time to do so. Remember to create a fulfilling life we need to get clear on what is important to us and we need to make that a priority in our lives. Here I’ll go first. My personal values are:

  1. Family
  2. My relationship with God
  3. Service to others
  4. Travel and meaningful experiences with people I love
  5. Simple living
  6. Freedom

Now your turn. Another way to tackle this is to think about what makes me happy or brings me joy? (e.g., I am happiest when I am______________?)

Just as a side note. I discovered what kind of work I wanted to do in life when I took the time to think about what I value in life. I found money coaching to a perfect intersection of my value of service, my background in accounting and finance and my personal talent as a developer (someone naturally talented in seeing and cultivating potential in others). So, your values can guide you in that area of your life too. Anyway, I digress, back to the matter at hand.

  1. Align

Now that you have identified your values, it’s time to align. In what ways can you devote your money to the things that matter to you? In which areas do you need to align? Let me share some ways in which I have tried to practice this in my own life.

I value quality time with my loved ones. So I intentionally plan and devote resources to doing this. Sometimes we have a date as a family, and we keep it interesting by visiting new places and always with a meal together. Sometimes its individual dates with the kids doing something they enjoy and taking time out to connect with them. Sometimes it’s travel with friends, to special places where we create special memories. I spend more on this than I do on clothes and other material things. And it makes me happy to do so.

Now, your turn. What makes you happy?

Do you value taking care of your body and health? So you prioritize healthy living and fitness and spend less on eating out and maybe even less on health insurance. Or are passionate about learning and personal development? So you devote more money to books, courses and learning experiences and less on things that are not aligned with that.

Additional reflection

These are just examples to help you reflect on how you can practice this in your own life and how you can create more alignment and fulfilment. Remember money is only a means to an end, it is not the end in itself. So we have to think about the “end” that we want create and have money support in our lives.

Here are some additional questions to help you reflect on what that is for you:

What kind of life do I want to live? What vision do I have for my life?

What experiences do I want to have in my lifetime?

What do I dream of accomplishing?

I Hope you found the thoughts I shared here to be helpful. What action step you will take you from this article? I would love to know, email me at hello@money-eq.com or share with me on Instagram.