Last week we discussed how your beliefs about money may cause you to do things that can increase your stress level, such as waiting until the last minute to file your taxes. To continue with that idea, do you know what you believe about money? The time you do or don’t put into financial planning is related to the way you think about money. Even if you work with a Fee-Only financial planner, that person cannot control your every move, so you need to think about what will motivate you to seek, listen to and follow sound financial advice.
Eleanor Blayney, CFP® writes, “Understanding our beliefs about money is important because these in turn direct our behavior with money, which is perhaps the most significant factor in determining whether or not we become financially successful.”
According to Blayney, even when we think we are being rational, there is a good chance that our financial decisions are really reactions to what we have already experienced. She writes that it can be helpful to first consider what we want to do with our money before thinking about what we should do with our money.
Separating what we want to do from what we should do does not mean that we need to act on all of our wants, but it does provide food for thought about what motivates us. If all you want to do is spend your money, why is that? If you just want to save your money and not spend it, what happened in your life that makes you feel that way?
You can complete this online Goals and Values Exercise from the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors (a Fee-Only holistic financial advisor network) to start thinking about what is really important for you financially. That way, when you visit a Fee-Only financial planner, you will be prepared to discuss your goals.