What Does Your Bank Account Say About You?
Are your purchases a reflection of your values or are they a reflection of learned behaviors and beliefs? Like, if I was to audit your account, what would I think that you valued? And in looking at your expenses I would love for people online, I would love for you to share, when you look at your expenses, what do your expenses say that you value?
We have a very creative online community sometimes (laughter) and so I'm sure spending money on, potentially on things such as camera gear, or art supplies, you know, could come up.
And I'll tell you guys, yeah. I mean that, here's the thing, you can always find a way to fit something into something. You know? It's like, well that's personal growth, you know? (laughter) I went through this whole phase where I was making beaded bracelets at home and I was like, this is personal growth. (laughter) I was at Michael's, like, every week buying bead materials. And so, you can find a way to justify your purchase 'cause I want you to be very clear...
with yourself. What do, and so, I would love to hear from you guys, based on your expenses from the past three days, what does this say that you value? We have anyone brave enough to share? Yeah.
Beauty and travel. (laughter)
Beauty and travel up here! (laughing)
Mine was health because I went and bought some food that I needed for my well-being. And then travel, family.
Travel and family, where those in alignment in what your values were?
Family, not the travel.
Okay. Anybody else? Yeah.
Mine would be socializing. I have a lot of meals out and taking friends out 'cause I'm here on vacation.
Socializing, and then I got some essential oils for peace so that was on my list.
Okay! What about online? What do we have?
A lot of fashion going on. (laughter) Like, clothing, drinks, and eating out. Uh oh, that's what Nadia says. And food, a lot of food. Food, travel, and, you know, kind of personal well-being and I think cosmetics coming up, it seems, as well. And Eric says, oh no, fast food. Bob says personal development classes, so like yoga, and food comes in. And some of them finding that it is reflecting what your values are, and others perhaps aren't quite aligning.
Yeah! And you know, we say that we value family, but like, what does that mean to us? Does that mean that, you know, as soon as a family member calls, we're helping them out with something? Or does that mean that we are investing in saving our money so that family members know that they can count on us when they need us the most? And so, really thinking and rephrasing how you spend your money as it relates to what your values are. So if you say that family is important, how can I better utilize my money so that I can be supportive of my family? Supportive with boundaries. I will say that, because supportive with boundaries, you do not want to become the family bank account. But you do want to be able to support family in their time of need, or to be that person who, you know, left a nest egg for your niece, nephew, son, daughter, to start that business that they wanted to start. Or has that nest egg. Or if we say that health is important to us? If we're eating out a lot, are we eating the foods that are best for us? Are we eating foods that fuel us and allow our body to operate and function at its best? Are we eating out of convenience? Are we actually valuing convenience over our health? So those are just some things to think about as we spend money and sometimes our values are reflective of our conditions in our life. But the goal is to become value driven, not condition driven. And so, before we move on I wanted to find out if we had any questions, I think I'm doing pretty good on timing, so I wanted to find out from the online audience, based on what I've discussed, from family history to your money personality, to assessing your values and comparing that with your spending. If you have any questions? And then here in the studio audience, do you guys have any questions related to what we talked about so far?
I have a reflection. Based when I did my family tree, I realize that I really didn't have true financial guidance.
My grandparents were tithers, so I definitely have taken that as an adult. As well as givers. And then my mom, she spent money on what she wanted.
So, that's how I've been living my life. (laughter) I'm a jet setter, I go with my intuition, and now I'm getting in my late 20s and I'm like, where is the foundation?
Yeah! But then hopefully that encourages you to be that family member that does teach the next family member, you know, teach your other family members about money. I always say as a financial educator, I don't consider myself, I'm not like the mom figure, I'm not the grandmother or the aunt figure, I'm like your cousin who just happened to get her life together financially, and you can ask me these money questions. But hopefully, you know, and everybody can become that person. You don't have to be a financial expert to become that person. I don't know anybody, we've all ridden in an Uber with someone who like, knows everything about life. You're like, oh, why you driving Uber? (laughter) But we've all, you know, you can be that person who is the expert among you. So what about anybody else? Anyone have questions, or any reflections, similar to Precious?
If we noticed an area where our spending and our values are completely misaligned, what do you think is a good first step to get that aligned or to kinda fix that problem?
That's a great question! I'm happy you asked that. I would say, if you wanted to start to ensure that your spending is more in alignment, start asking questions when you spend money. A lot of times we think, and money is becoming more and more invisible, and that is by design. It makes it easier. Now you can just hold your phone up to the cash register and check out. Or a lot of my favorite online retailers, my payment information is saved. I don't even have to get up and get my wallet to make a purchase, I literally just, one click. And so, start asking yourself questions. Is this in alignment with my values? One of the biggest tests that I had was when I was going to, when I resigned to work for myself full-time. I was saving money that entire year so that I had what I called my flight fund. And any time I spent money I would ask myself, is this contributing to my goal of working for myself? Or is it working against it? Am I building my dream or am I building someone else's dream? And so starting to ask yourself that when you spend money. And it's not gonna happen all the time. I mean, you might run in and get, you know, a glass of, a cup of, a bottle of water and chips, or something like that. But, especially when it's like those, and I don't wanna say that purchases don't matter, because small purchases add up to big impacts. But, you know, when you're spending over a certain amount, maybe set a certain amount for yourself. Like, any time that I'm spending over $10 or $15. Or any time I'm spending, everyone has different capacities. So any time I'm spending over $100, or over $1,000, I'm gonna ask myself this question. Is this purchase in alignment with what I say I value? And set those goals for yourself, that parameter for yourself. And then check in regularly. So, I know everybody's not gonna be as, as much of a money maniac as I can be, but check in with yourself regularly and kinda just say, you know, let me look at how I've been spending my money recently. What I've been buying. Just kind of reel yourself back in. Sometimes you say, oh, I'm doing pretty good. And sometimes you look at it and say, wow. I'm out of control right now. That will actually prompt you. So I do encourage people to check in with themselves regularly when it comes to their spending, whether that's once a month, once a quarter, but check in with yourself before you feel financial constraint, because a lot of times we wait until we experience financial problems to start to do something about it instead of being proactive during the process so that we can turn our behaviors around. So, great question. Do you have anything going on? And I'll come back to you.
It kind of relates, actually. A couple of people are asking about, in terms of people who emotionally spend. So, for example, you're stressed. So Julie says, how do you stop being a shopper when it's your way to deal with stress? And Marge also says something similar about the connection between emotional stability and finances. and really making sure that you're transparent with yourself in terms of why you're maybe spending money on what you're spending on.
Yeah! Well, one of the things, and actually I cover that in detail in my other class, which is resetting your money mindset. We come up, we understand spending triggers, and we'll be coming up with some behaviors or some habits that you can pick up instead of spending when you realize you're being susceptible to one of your triggers. But I would say the first thing is understanding that I'm an emotional spender. If you feel like you're about to encounter one of those times, periods where things are emotional. You're going through a break-up or you're experiencing the loss of a family member, a job, or any significant change in your life, or somebody just said something to you in your commute that hurt your feelings, you know? Then I do encourage you to think like, normally I would spend in this situation, but what is something that I can do that would make me feel better about myself after I do it? Because what happens is, a lot of times we emotionally spend because we're feeling bad about ourselves. And then we feel bad about spending money because we feel bad about this debt that we've created, or this lack of savings, or this lack of financial security that we have. So now we're just feeling bad all around. Now we have debt and we feel bad, so it is important to find other ways. In one of the questions, I'll give a preview of one of the questions that I do ask, is find out when you're the happiest and most of the time it's not when you're spending money. It could be when you're in a quiet space, or you're in a park, or you're talking to someone that you love, or you're having a conversation with your friends. Find out when you're the happiest because those are the things that you should do instead of emotionally spending money, which will actually probably make you feel worse in the long run. And you had a question.
Yes. Mine was more of like, a reflection, I think?
The fact that you can be doing something really positive with your money, but you can still be overspending. (laughter) So my thinking has always been like, okay, you wanna avoid the negatives. Maybe the excess of happy hours, or shopping, but then I do, one of my values was knowledge. I spent a lot of money on classes, workshops, I'm thinking this is a positive thing 'cause it's improving my growth.
You know? But it could also be something negative if you're spending too much money in that area, even if that area is really positive.
Yes! So I'm just very happy. There was a class coming up next week on networking, or what have you, had a little ticketed event. I was like, you know what? I don't think I'mma go to that.
I think I'm gonna hold on to my money, even though it would be positive to be in a room, you know, that's dealing with this topic of interest to me.
And that's important. Kinda differentiating between, is this really an investment in myself? Or is this an investment in what I think will make me feel better? And not saying you, but like, is it something that I feel like is gonna make me feel better and address this void that I feel like I have in my life. And one of the things, the policy that I have for myself when it comes to investing in knowledge, classes, self-development, is I do not take a class until I've implemented everything for all my action steps in the previous class. Because you can get on this rollercoaster, and this cycle of self-improvement. Self-improvement, self-improvement! And then you have a library of self-improvement, you haven't done any self-improvement! (laughter) Or you haven't done any career development and so forth. So like I said, it's creating these little benchmarks or these barriers for yourself and you'll say, okay, so for example, I'm taking this class now. Before I take another class, I'm going to make sure that I at least wrote out my expenses and understand my financial history, and give myself at least 2-3 days to implement what I've learned in this class. Because, other than that, you'll just be in a state of perpetual learning and that's coupled with inaction.
I think my takeaway's gonna be like creating a budget for self-development. I never thought to do that. Like, ever.
Absolutely! I'm happy you said that too, because everybody's budget looks different. And so a lot of times people ask me for budgeting templates. I do have one at My Fab Finance. I don't have the URL, but it is FinancialSuccess2018.com and I created templates to help you organize your finances. FinancialSuccess2018.com And everybody, budgets are not one size fits all. Finance isn't one size fits all. And you might find that you wanna add, and based on what you value, you might wanna add a personal development category.
[Woman In Audience] I need it!
If you say family is important, you might want to add a family category to it. If you realize that, look, I like looking my best. Then you want to make sure that you allocate money in your budget for beauty, because one of the things I think that doesn't work is something that you know that you value, or something that you know that's important to you, and you try to act like it doesn't? You're gonna spend money on it anyway. And then you didn't budget for it.
[Woman In Audience] Right. (laughter) Now you budgeted for things that don't matter to you, necessarily, because society tell you, or the finance expert tells you you should be budgeting for these, outside of saving and investing in your bare essentials, that they tell you you should budget for. That's not even important to you. So your budget should be based on what's important to you. And as you said, if personal development is your thing, just make sure that you're not becoming a personal development junkie. (laughter) One of the things I realized I was becoming a book junkie and I put myself on book probation.
Where I could not buy any books for six months. I was like, you have to read the books that you purchased. Because I realized my library was overflowing. But it was like, these are contributing to my knowledge. They're making me a better person. They're making me a better business woman. But I'm not implementing them, so really it's just I'm wasting money. So that's a great point. Do we have anything else?
Maybe just one quick one from online. Just some references to, Sharon has said, I think one problem is I never carry cash, so it's very easy to take out a debit or credit card because I don't see, I didn't physically handle that cash and kind of recognize that it's leaving your account. Do you recommend any spending, or do you recommend only spending cash as a way of managing money? And somebody is asking something similar, actually, in terms of Cindy had said overcoming spending blindly. So, swiping debit card, things like Uber as well. There's auto payments that you kind of don't even realize stack up and when you actually do the review you realize that you spend a lot of money on it.
Yeah! So that does happen. Here's my thing about cash. I think that having cash there's nothing like seeing the money dwindle. Taking the money out and realizing like, oh. I only have $22 left and I thought I had $80 left. Or realizing I have a significantly less amount of money. The thing about cash is sometimes it's easier to spend cash, as well. And then that's why you have a receipt, or you aren't able to track it. So, while cash is king and some people say just pull out what you have and set a limit. What I would say is, maybe you could get a specific debit card, or open up an account, where you kind of give yourself an allowance and deposit money into that online account. I'm not endorsing any company or anything like that, but I know one that comes to mind initially is Square. Square cash. They have a card where you can actually put money, when you have money in your Square account, your cash app account, and you have a card attached to it. And so you can manage your spending that way by still managing it electronically so you're still able to look at your transactions and you don't lose track of your transactions. But you're still putting a limit so that you're not dipping into your endless pool, or your perceived endless pool of money where all your money goes. And so you're giving yourself an allowance. Because I think there is something good to be said about electronic spending, because it's a ledger. It's an ongoing ledger for you. I know when I have cash, there are things I buy, I'm like, what did I buy? Like, what did I spend my money on? And it's so easy for that transaction to happen and you don't get a receipt for it. So that's something I would recommend for people to try before going to all cash. Because you want to be able to monitor your spending. And that's the good thing about online. Even though it's easier to spend money, it's easier to track how you're spending your money as well. So I do, I do suggest that people look into alternatives but if you're a cash person, you have to do what works for you! At the end of the day I will not tell you like, don't do this, don't do that, do what works for you. So if you feel like, I do better when I have cash on me and I'm more responsible with my money when I have cash because I'm afraid I'm gonna run out? Then that's fine. One thing about cash, though. I wouldn't say have your card on you. Because it's easy to pull out $100 now and then you run out of cash and you're like, just let me get $300 out right now. The next thing you know you're still overspending money. And then you don't know what you spent it on because you didn't get the receipts. You didn't write it down. And so, I would just say be very mindful of that if you're using cash. And the other question was related to that too. The Ubers and what I suggest with auto payments and subscriptions?
Subscriptions, I call those the silent budget killers. And, you know, you could have an emotional moment and sign up for a subscription and then you forget that you signed up for that subscription and then it comes around and surprises you. So I would say that you audit your subscriptions every three months. I'd go through your bank account. That's why it's important to look at your bank account and what you're spending money on. So that you can audit your subscriptions every three months and cancel anything that you feel isn't alignment with your values, isn't alignment with your goals, and can be used to better support your goals. Okay. Alright, so we're moving along here. We've discussed what our account says about us. And I will be fully transparent. When I looked at my account I was like, Oh! I value convenience. I value convenience and getting things done quickly. Like yesterday I was in the airport and I paid for a manicure more than I would probably pay for a manicure, but it was convenient, it was there, it needed to be done. So I do value convenience. I had to realize that. I had to look for convenient things because I'm not planning properly. So in order for me to combat that convenient spending I have to do a better job at planning my life properly so that I'm not spending more because it's convenient. That I'm spending smartly in my convenience.