Money & Your Moral Compass

When it comes to money, where does your moral compass point? Let’s focus on some basic spending habits we all have. We all have bills to pay, groceries to buy, home and car purchases and repairs, expenses for work or school, pet care, contributions to nonprofits, charities and church. These are just a few examples of where the money goes. Are we diligent and dependable to pay our bills and cover the myriad expenses coming our way each month?

Here’s a Q&A for you to size up not only your quantity of cash flow but also the quality of what that cash gives you. Score yourself (1= lowest, 5=highest):

1. Are you able to pay your essential bills on time?
2. Are the groceries you buy not only appetizing but healthy?
3. Are you keeping your vehicle(s) maintenance up to date?
4. Are you able to continue your monthly contributions to your favorite nonprofits, charities, and church?
5. Do you have some discretionary money put aside for surprise expenses, such as a doctor bill, school supplies, after-school sports activities, car repair, increase in insurance premiums, birthday gifts, you name it?
6. Was there vacation money saved?
7. Were you able to hold yourself back from some spontaneous spending spree?

These are just a few questions to ask before you find yourself tipping over the cash flow expense edge. What other questions can you ask yourself right now? How do you score yourself?

Once you first rate your scores, take a moment to reflect on the reasons for your scores. If you score yourself high, pat yourself on the back. But be cautious about rewarding yourself with a spending spree that may lower many of those high scores! Also, look at each question and score and ask yourself, “How do I support my core values and moral compass in the way I spend my money?”

You just may be very surprised at some of the thoughts that come to mind. Write down your thoughts related to each score. Ask your spouse, a trusted friend, or family member about your scores. What behaviors do you want to change in order to better align with your moral compass and core values? Ok, enough questions. Have fun discovering any number of quietly hidden habits that may need to be left behind for a better future.