Are you a conscious consumer or favor impact investing? The increased attention to the power you have in where your money is and how it’s being used is awesome. Here are a few tools to help you use your money in alignment with your values.

In this review of your finances, remember they you are on your own personal financial journey. You need to define your values and prioritize how they show up for you.

First, it starts with understanding your values.

What are your values?

Jacki Carr has a great Values Deck where you spread them out on a table and start prioritizing your values.

Some of my highest values are Autonomy, Curiosity, and Equality. One way I live my values is with The Pledgettes. I created this community to improve women’s relationships with their money, clarify their financial goals, and confidently make money moves.

Now that you have your values, let’s look at where your money is and how your values can show up in your Spending, Banking, and Investing.

Where is your money?

Using a Personal Financial Management tool can help you aggregate all your accounts into one place. I love having money dates or State of Our Union money meeting with my partner and weekly Business Health Check-Ins for my business.

Using a tool like Nav.it or YNAB can help you have informed check-ins. I love the daily Money Mindset check-in with Nav.it and seeing how other Nav.igators are feeling about their money each day.

If you want to get more depth down the penny and use Zero Based Budgeting, You Need A Budget is a great tool.

Are you a conscious spender?

Take a look at your last three months of your bank and credit card statements.  Highlight each expense that aligned with your values.  Review the items you didn’t highlight. What story does your spending tell?

Are you supporting local business or looking for the lowest price, most convenient option? (No wrong answers, these are choices you get to make).  Do you look for sustainable products and packaging?  Are you shopping at women-owned or BIPOC-owned businesses?

Your consumer dollars have considerable power, where and how you shop matters.

How is your bank using your money?

Sophia Wagner of Mighty Deposits shared, “Your deposits are the fuels that banks use to determine which people, projects, and industries get funded.”

I looked up my bank, and found a new bank, via MightyDeposits.com where I could look at how much money my bank was keeping in my community.  Mighty Deposits is a great source for finding a values-aligned bank.  As you make money moves, you’ll need to make choices considering your values, emotions, and finances.

You can also look into banks that participate in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, “an independent network of banks using finance to deliver sustainable economic, social, and environmental development.”

Where are your investments?

Whether you are invested in your company’s 401(k) plan or invest on your own, there are ways you can align your investments to your values.

You could work with specialized firms that work in Impact and Sustainable Investments, like Align Impact and Good Capital Investment Group.

If your investments are in funds (with multiple stocks), look at the biggest stocks in your fund and research those stocks on Morningstar, As You Sow, or The American Friends Service Committee.

If your company doesn’t have an ERG, Sustainable, or Impact Fund option, work with your HR Benefits Manager to get more options through your financial service provider.  The more they hear feedback for more options, the greater chance you’ll see those options.

Be cautious of greenwashing in your investments.  Not all ESG funds are the same, so do the research on the businesses within the fund. A recent CNBC article did a deeper dive about it.

Where should you start?

That’s up to you!  It’s your personal financial journey. I encourage you to do some research, clarify your goals and values, understand your current financial situation, and make the right money moves for you.

Having conversations with family and friends is awesome.  It’s a great way to get ideas and learn from others but make sure you are doing your own research for your personal finances. Be sure you are using reputable sources like  The Ascent by The Motley Fool which has great articles and reviews.

If you are looking for ways to take an active role in your finances, consider joining The Pledgettes, a community for women to talk about money.  Check out our membership options to become a Pledgettes or attend an upcoming event.

This is not financial advice. This blog serves to guide you to ways you can take an active role in your financials and have an intentional relationship with your money. The Pledgettes is a community for women to talk about money.

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