The All-Star break marks the half way point and provides a few days to escape the field.

For many players it’s an opportunity to see family, friends and get some much needed rest.

It is also a great time to “check in” on your money and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a successful second half of 2015.

Asking a few, simple questions can help reveal what matters most:

  • Why is money important to you?
  • Why do you spend the way you do?
  • Why do you invest the way you do?

These questions help reveal our financial values, or maybe even more accurately, our life values.

If you don’t have answers to these questions, dig deeper. For instance, if you don’t understand why your money is invested in a certain way, ask more questions. Whose advice are you taking? What advice have you ignored, and why? The best investments for you need to be based on your own goals and values.

Use these answers as a starting point to discover how you really spend both your time and your money. Does your behavior really match up with what you said was most important?

we buy things we don't need

Fair warning: The first time through this process can be scary, possibly painful. We may learn of inconsistencies between what we say that we value and what we actually do.

We aren’t going through this process to be judgmental. The goal also isn’t to beat ourselves up for what we aren’t doing. Our goal is to uncover those moments when the way we spend our time and money don’t align with our values. We don’t need to get mad. We’re just going to notice.

As we notice, keep two things in mind. First, maybe what we said was important to us, and what we really believed was important to us, isn’t that important. I’ve seen many instances where someone was convinced they valued something a lot, but it turned out they were relying on someone else’s values, like their community or their parents.

Second, we’re never done making changes to align our behavior with our values. Going through this process doesn’t transform us into perfect people. We’re still human, and we’re never going to get it exactly right.

And that’s O.K. Over time, the process of reviewing our values and noticing our behavior can help us get closer to alignment. We are works in progress.

The alternative is the path too many of us take, telling ourselves we are too busy, we have time, and that we’ve got it all figured out.

  • What best describes your current reality?
  • Where do you want to go?
  • How do you think you’ll get there?

Would you like help in making sure it becomes a reality?

Erik D. Averill, CFP 

    Senior Wealth Manager | Partner