Money takes on the identity of its owner. Follow money’s trail carefully and you will inevitably uncover the personality of its bearer. Every year, financial institutions avoid multi-million dollar losses by relying on unusual spending patterns to detect and prevent fraudulent transactions. The focus of this article however is on your hard-earned money and you. If we track the inflow and outflow of money through your bank account(s) over the past 12 months, what would we discover? What would an analysis of your money trail reveal about your:
Values – Are your stated values borne out by how you handle money or would we need to admonish you to put your money where your mouth is? Do you espouse living within one’s means and yet you are beholden to impulse purchases, splurging on items you can hardly afford?
Priorities – Do you routinely place instant gratification and self-interest ahead of your long-time financial well-being and the welfare of those you care about? Misplaced priorities reduce dreams of financial security to mere fantasy, leaving behind the bitter aftertaste of regret.
Prospects – Your money trail is not just a track of your past spending, it is a pointer to your financial destination, all things being equal. Is your money trail screaming out “change course, financial cliff ahead!”?
2014 is fast receding into history. Let me challenge you to review your money trail for this year. Gather your bank statements, credit card statements and other records of your financial transactions. Have your financial decisions been a true reflection of your values and priorities? If not, dare to change course and by so doing, raise the prospects of accomplishing your highest financial goals.