Our latest Instagram series has been about the Purpose of Money. We talked about various essential pieces of our lives that money provides, i.e., home, car, food, fitness, education, hobbies, charity, and security. To wrap up this series, let’s dive a little deeper into the true meaning of money and the purpose it serves in our lives.

One day when I was in graduate school, I struck up a conversation with my mother about finances. She shared her experiences of financial struggles over the years and the toll it took on both my parents’ relationship and their financial lives. I’ll never forget when she said “People say money can’t buy happiness. Well, I’ll say, it sure helps.” It was then that I fully understood the role money serves in our lives. It’s true, money can’t buy happiness. Happiness comes from filling our lives with passion, purpose, and memorable experiences with the ones that we love. Money is just a way to help get you there.

So in keeping with this theme of finding the purpose, I’ll review two things about how to utilize it as a tool to better and enhance your life:

Be a Good Steward of Your Resources

Just by visiting our CFM blog, you are already taking steps to be a good steward of your resources by seeking financial education. How you spend, save, give, and grow your money should be done with intention because it will better serve its purpose in your life. And your money behaviors not only impact you. Your ideas and actions around money can have a lasting impact on your family, friends, and, the one many people forget, your future self. Ensure that your financial resources are serving you and your family’s needs in the best way for your present and future.

As a good steward of your resources (time, money, focus, etc), you will be setting an example for your children as well as helping them learn how to do the best with what you’ve been given and what you earn. Here are some of our top blog posts for ideas on how to best take care of your money:

Align Your Money with Your Values

This sounds simple but can be harder when put to practice. Let’s say you are trying to save for a downpayment for a home. You’ve started a budgeting and savings plan and realize you are spending a lot more on eating out than you thought. You attempt to grocery shop and cook at home for a few weeks and it doesn’t go so well, so you start eating out again. But you notice your savings takes a hit. This is the moment where you have to decide where your true values lie. Do you prefer the convenience of eating out and delay saving for and buying your home? Or do you commit to eating in and saving more faster? The choice is yours. Neither option is right or wrong as long as you are certain that you’ve aligned your spending with your values and choose to let your money serve you.

During my career, I’ve met many people who struggled — believing that if only they had more money they would be happy. And maybe they would. But they spent so long believing that money is the key to their happiness they lost sight of the true source of their joy. Don’t be a servant to money or a prisoner to its elusive grip over your life. Let money be a servant to your purpose and goals.

With that in mind, grab a pen and paper or create a note on your phone. List three ways money lets you live your purpose. Maybe money will allow you to start the business that you’ve always dreamed of. Maybe it will help you buy a home or support your favorite charity. Make sure that your money aligns WITH your values and purpose; not the other way around.

Here’s to finding more purpose to your money and aligning it with your values and goals!