If I Were to Look at Where You Spent Your Money Last Year, Would I Know What You Value?

You have to know your business expenses at tax time, but how much thought do you give to your personal expenses? Tax time is a great time to also review where you have prioritized your money and if your spending matches what you value most.

One time a potential client gave me 5 pages of personal spending categories that he wanted me to track. Five pages of itemized categories, singly spaced, were listed on the report. You can get too minute in your tracking. In my textbook reading on psychological testing, the authors explained the optimal number of answers on an exam by saying, “One analysis showed that the optimum number of categories is between four and seven.” People on average, in my experience, can only keep track of three to five values at one time. Gallup offers a Strengths Finder test where they rank 34 different strengths. The results of the test only give you the top 5 strengths with the option of purchasing the ranking of all 34. When I recommend clients do the Strengths Finder assessment, I warn them against getting a full ranking. Most people immediately go to their 34th strength and criticize themselves as not being more of that strength. Your 34th strength didn’t now become a weakness; it just means that there are 33 others strengths of which you have more skill.

If your spending over the last year was mostly to reduce your debt, I know that you are investing in a plan to reduce your stress. You are prioritizing your peace of mind. If you are instead spending money and getting into more debt, I wonder if you are trying to keep up with the Joneses. Plus, I wonder if you are aware of how much stress you are creating for a difficult future with debt. If you have more subscriptions than time, I wonder if you know what automatic expenses you have. Are you benefitting from the subscriptions? This hits home for me. I have a subscription for a streaming service that my family and I rarely use. However, it is satisfying a psychological need, but my work is to learn to let go in so many different areas.

Expenses add up. As my husband likes to remind me with my love of the Dollar Tree, just because individual items are $1.25, forty of those items is still $50. My tendency is to gravitate toward MORE or quantity vs quality. I feel better with forty items than one item that costs $50. By analyzing my spending, I can see where psychologically I need to course correct.

Awareness in most every emotional issue is the first step. Start with analyzing where your money has gone and if that spending is in alignment with what you value most. There are lots of tools to track your spending. If your peace of mind is a priority (and I hope it is!), how can you change your spending to feel more peaceful? Learn strategies to kick mind clutter to the curb!

Learn how to organize the accounting books of your business. You can have peace minding your own business. Just click the button below, and book an appointment with me today!

Book an Appointment