People often think of money as the goal — what we’re all after that will make our lives easier or better. But money is just the concept by which we measure the value of something. It is only a proxy for something else.

What is that something else?

“Show me your calendar and I’ll show you what’s important to you.”

This quote — attributed in various forms to a slew of people — is about time management and how we mistake action and priorities. We may say the most important thing in our life is our family, but if we work 10-hour days at the office and the come home and start answering the emails we didn’t get to yet, what really is our priority?

The way we spend our time is a reflection of what is important to us. As the saying goes, time is money. So the way we spend money is also a reflection of what is important to us.

I believe people put too much emphasis on the math of money and not enough on the psychology of it. They look at the numbers, but not the values.

When we live our life against our core values, we feel unhappy, anxious, angry, depressed. When we spend our money against our financial values, we experience the same thing. As part of the Dad Edge Alliance, I completed a core values exercise crafted by fellow member Paul Gilbride of Trickle Down Happiness.

The exercise was very helpful in narrowing the core values of living so that you can aspire to live the way you feel most called to live. Through that exercise, I was inspired to create a similar one specifically about uncovering the financial values you want to be associated with so you can align your spending to them.

The exercise is free, and you can download it by joining my mailing list.

I hope you find identifying your core financial values as helpful as I did.