What do we value?
Furthermore, how are we voting with our dollars on our values?
I was recently reading this blog post on The White Coat Investor by Dr. Kelly Phamof Love, Success, and the Sock Drawer.
First, props to her- it was really well written!
Here’s a quick excerpt from the blog post…
“Every time you spend money, you’re voting for what is important to you; for what you value.
I vote every time I buy organic foods from local farmers not only for the health of my family but for the health of the workers that are growing and harvesting that food. I vote to protect our planet when I choose to buy things in aluminum or glass instead of plastic.
I also vote in choosing not to spend money. For example, my partner and I choose not to send our child to a private school. Not because we don’t value education, but because we value the diversity of a public education.
These are things that I value. These are the things that my partner and I value.”
We Vote On Very Different Values with Our Money
I was speaking with a client just recently who has some very different values than I do.
They LOVE flying first class. They love expensive vacations. His wife gets expensive handbags to treat herself.
They enjoy fine dining restaurants and experiencing the best life has to offer.
They use credit cards with annual fees so that they can get all kinds of perks and upgrades. I have to admit it can even make financial sense to avoid spending tons of money on all of those things.
However, I also have to admit that I begin to feel a little uncomfortable.
Just thinking about this causes me to grimace, but also to reflect.
Are they wrong for enjoying these things?
Could they spend less money and save more?
Am I being preachy and judgmental for feeling that they shouldn’t do those things?
What would they think about the ways my family and I vote with our dollars on our values?
How Am I Voting With My Dollars?
This got me to thinking…
How am I voting with my dollars?
It also begs the question….
What are you voting against by NOT spending money?
However, here’s what I do believe in:
- In our family, we vote with our dollars on getting tutoring for our youngest miracle daughter. She’s been playing catch-up for so long and is well on her way, but still needs to make progress.
- In our family, we vote with our dollars by donating to our church and to missionaries and other worthy causes. We believe that we can impact the world on supporting our pastors and amazing people trying to change the lives of other people.
- We also vote with our dollars by enjoying family vacations because those precious family memories are incredibly important to us. We would rather have experiences over stuff.
- We could easily afford a more expensive house, but we’ve chosen to keep things pretty simple. Our townhome has a lot of benefits- snow plowing and yard maintenance to name a few. We’ve voted with our dollars to have a relatively small mortgage that allows us to have some flexibility.
Although, truth be told, we would like a larger house--- but we’re holding off on voting for that for now.
I know we shouldn’t talk about politics, but I think it’s fun to discover what other people believe and I hope you do too.
I believe if we can respect one another's beliefs and have a rational discourse that the world would be a better place.
Anyhow, we DON’T vote with our dollars when it comes to politics. I don’t buy into the two party system and ascribe to one party or the other. So, I NEVER have given to any political candidate, at least up to this point.
I certainly will vote with my ballot, but I inherently believe that the vast majority of politicians are compromised.
In my opinion, they are compromised by questionable ethics. They are compromised by accepting dollars from major corporations and PACs. In particular when I think of the senate and the house of reps, they are compromised by being career politicians who don’t have term limits. They are compromised with bribes of corporate boards and speeches and taking from the tax payer with life-long pension and health benefits.
I don’t believe in them and so I don’t vote with my dollars for them.
What I do believe in is being completely personal debt free – no car loans, no mortgage, and living an unburdened lifestyle.
That’s why I have various businesses and I use those businesses to accumulate cash and with part of that cash to pay down any personal liabilities we have.
I’m proud to say that we have no car loans and no student loans and we are quickly paying down our mortgage. As a matter of fact, earlier this month we paid $720 extra to our mortgage on top of the $100 extra we normally do on top of the minimal monthly payment.
The other major thing we vote with our dollars for is in our businesses. We are constantly reinvesting money into them. Hiring new staff. Acquiring inventory. Spending money on marketing. All with the hope of by reinvesting that we are making the cash flow into larger and larger streams that become large and wide rivers that hopefully can become oceans.
Truly --- voting with our dollars is really reflecting our values.
I’m sure someone (or multiple people) that are reading this would strongly disagree with how we vote with our dollars.
Maybe you’ve been shaking your head at the computer. Maybe you’ve been nodding away and agreeing with how we vote with our dollars.
How are you voting with your dollars?
Let me know what you agree and disagree with. I’d love to hear about your values and how that relates to your money. E-mail me at email@example.com
Material discussed is meant to provide general information and it is not to be construed as specific investment, tax, or legal advice. Individual needs vary & require consideration of your unique objectives & financial situation. Neither United Planners nor its financial professionals render legal or tax advice. Please consult with your accountant or tax advisor for specific guidance.