Last week I posted on three steps that will help you on your way to becoming a millionaire DIY investor. Let’s put those ideas into practice through a lightweight learning series. The first idea was to internalize the right values. Values are the core of everything that you do, including your financial decision making. Here’s an easy exercise you can do in under 30 minutes to identify your current financial values and to create an improvement plan to making positive change in your financial life. Values you want to strive for include financial responsibility, long term thinking and overall values that stress budgeting, saving and investing for your future

“Building the right financial values” exercise:

  1. Take 10 minutes to assess what your current financial values are:
    1. First, write a list of transactions you made in the last week. (Ex: restaurants, gym memberships, savings and investing, charity donations, etc.)
    2. Second,  write down why you made those transactions. (Ex: I ate at this new Thai restaurant because I wanted to eat out with a good friend of mine.)
    3. Third,  assign what value that ‘why’ statement represents. (Ex: I ate out with a friend because I value social experiences and exploring new places.)
  2. Next, take 10 minutes to prioritize the items on your list and understand what it means about your financial values.
    1. First, review your list of transactions, why and values and prioritize them from your most favorite to your least favorite item.
      • Here’s an example prioritized list:
        1. Ate at 3 restaurants this week because I didn’t want to cook since I value the convenience of eating out instead of the labor of cooking.
        2. Took 5 Uber rides this week because I didn’t want to take public transit since I value the ease of going to work in a personal car.
        3. I saved only a little of my salary into my 401(k) because I didn’t budget saving the extra money after eating out and all my Uber rides since I value living a luxurious life today and not budgeting, saving and investing for the future. 
    2. Second, see where your financial values come up in your list. If they come up at the bottom, then you know it’s time to rethink your values.
  3. Lastly, take 10 minutes and write down a financial development plan to achieve getting the right financial values up higher in your list.
    1. First, write your financial development plan. Ex: “I commit to getting my budgeting, saving and investing values higher in my values list in the next 4 weeks.”
    2. Second, repeat this exercise (Steps 1 and 2) and monitor your progress every week until the right financial values get to your top item.
    3. Lastly, congratulate yourself with a special splurge (go ahead and take that Uber ride or eat out) once the right financial values reach #1!

This easy 30-minute exercise can help you dig deeper into why you make the financial decisions that you do and can support you in starting your next step to make positive change. Start today and get on your way to becoming a millionaire DIY investor!

I would love to hear about your results and progress, so feel free to contact me at matthew@thediymillionaire.com!

Stay tuned! To get this blog started, I’ll be taking inspiration from my upcoming book, From Millennial to Millionaire: DIY 401(k) – 5 Do-It-Yourself Steps for the Digital Generation to Design and Manage their 401(k), to write blog posts. My new book should be available in eBook and paperback on Amazon by summer 2017.