Do Your Purchases Reflect Your Values?

Today I am very excited to be doing a Blog Swap. Be sure to head over to Mandy’s site to read about my first real passport trip and what it taught me.  Also, don’t miss out on your chance to win $100.

My name is Mandy and I’m the author of a blog called Money Master Mom.  I’d like to help you align your spending, time and energy with your values.

Back in the day when we had satellite TV (we cut it because it was providing us little value, and was costing us a lot of time) I watched Survivor.  I enjoyed the episode where they brought food in front of the starving contestants and then auctioned it off.  Some items provided little value for the contestants and resulted in low bids, but other items, like a cheeseburger, provided high value and bidding wars ensued.  It was an interesting display how value and cost can sometimes vary a great deal.

If you want to make the most of your money you need to match your spending with your personal values.  Take some time to consider what purchases provide you with a great deal of satisfaction; these purchases are high value buys. Purchases that adequately serve the purpose are mid value buys, and stuff you pay for that drives you nuts, or is soon forgotten.  Yeah, you got the pattern, that’s a low value buy.

How do you match your spending with your values? 

Only spend your cash on high value items, and avoid the low value buys (no matter how tempting the deal)

If you’re like me getting a great deal can be a real day maker.  I’m a mother of 3 (ages 4,3,and 1) my life is busy, but rather predictable.  A great deal is like flowers from your husband, unexpected and unforgettable.

But have you ever found yourself purchasing something that previously was off the shopping radar?

Would you be interested in a $10 DVD that is 50% off and now available for the low low price of $5?  If you didn’t plan on buying the DVD before you got to the store the only thing you’ve accomplished is parting with $5 that used to be in your wallet.  Score one for the retailers, they beat you this time.  If you weren’t planning on buying it yesterday, the only thing you bought today is the deal – not the DVD.

Losing is the pits!  Please stop losing your hard earned cash to marketing tricks.  I don’t want that, and neither does Kim.  Kim and I started our blogs because we care about people getting financially fit.  We’ve experienced first hand the benefits of financial discipline, frugality, and having a spending plan, or budget.  We want that for you too.

Each one of you has a unique value meter.  In economics, it’s called the law of supply and demand, in yard saleing it called “one man’s junk is another man’s gold.”  For example eating out is currently  a low value purchase for me because I’ve got three little kids with the attention span of  goldfish, and the energy of puppies. Imagine them climbing over, under, and around me in our booth.  Truthfully, I would rather have dental work.   Understanding your personal value meter will stop the retailers from fooling you!

I feel honored that Kim trusts me with your time and attention, and hope you’ll consider where something lands on your value meter before you toss it into the cart.  You can always find me at if you’re looking for tools to better understand your value meter, or marketing man tricks, or find me on Twitter, I’d love to chat.

Kim’s Comments: Mandy figured it out a lot sooner than I did, but she is absolutely right about aligning your spending with your values. I value a trip with my family ten million times more than just about anything I could buy from a store.

Written By
Sydney White is a Texas-born stay at home mom who enjoys spending time with her family, bargain hunting and, of course, writing. She is currently the editor-in-chief of


  1. I try to keep my spending in line with my values and things that are important to me. For groceries, that often means $8 on nice local cheese, but buying the cheapest brand of ketchup or beans. For larger purchases, it usually just means NOT buying it – I could care less about big TVs or fancy mixers… I’d rather buy more wine! lol

    1. A good deal leads to me feeling fantastic! I do think that it reflects your values. The types of things you buy shows what’s important to you. If you’re trying to impress your friends, saving to afford those items is your insurance you won’t go into debt to impress someone.

  2. This is one reason that I make sure to mention all of my small purchases with my fiancee. Of course we do allow ourselves our budgeted fun money that we can largely do whatever we want within those confines. However sometimes I do make dumb purchases.

    By relaying to her what I bought no matter how small it gives great feedback on where my spending values are. I ask myself, if I were to show her what I bought, would I be embarrassed? If so, it may have to be returned.

    Of course this does not prevent me from buying things that are purely for fleeting enjoyment or unnecessary hoarding, again inline with what is in the fun money budget.

  3. Great article, Mandy. I am a huge proponent of making value-based decisions. It is one of the best things you can do, personally, and teach your children to do! It really does make it so much easier to put things back on the shelf and not feel that like you had to deny yourself anything.

  4. Edward, I think our moms were separated at birth. My mom has a bad habit of buying `deals` and then finding some far fetched idea why it`s the perfect birthday, or Christmas gift for someone. I love her A LOT, but I wish she`d read my blog and save her cash 🙂

  5. Great Post Mandy. Mrs.CBB still has the old style cell phone and has no plans to upgrade to a data plan type phone. I think we all fall for marketing ploys no matter if we want to believe we do or don’t. Marketing is all around us in everything we do, see, touch, eat etc and like you said it’s all about what we value. I agree that when you go into a store and if you get something that wasn’t on your list you just bought the deal. I’ve fallen for that but sometimes that deal saves me money down the road so again it’s about values. Lots to ponder! Cheers Mr.CBB

  6. Great post Mandy. I like to think that my spending reflects my values, although sometimes people can influence me. I would chose to buy from the convenience store just to stop a rant from my BF that he doesn’t want to lose half an hour going through the supermarket aisles.

  7. If I want to buy something I usually wait a month or so before pulling the trigger. If I still want it in a month I suppose it’s what you would call a high value buy. To me DVDs are a waste of money. I only watch them once, if that and the money is blown. I suppose $5 is cheaper than going to the movies, but there are cheaper ways (that are perfectly legal).

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