Spend­ing re­flects your val­ues

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

Grow­ing up, Greut­man’s mother would an­nounce “men­tal health days” when her daugh­ters could skip school and head to the mall. Later, Greut­man shopped to cope with the stresses of be­ing a stay-at-home mom and hav­ing a hus­band who worked 12-hour days. Half­hearted at­tempts to bud­get al­ways failed.

“A part of me didn’t want to change the way I was spend­ing money, be­cause I liked all the stuff,” said Greut­man, 35, of Oswego, N.Y.

She told her hus­band Mark about their debt, and they worked to­gether and paid off the bills in two years. They sold their house and moved into a town­home, free­ing up $1,200 a month. Every month, they sub­jected their spend­ing to a fil­ter: Did it align with their val­ues of fam­ily, faith and fi­nan­cial free­dom?

“I val­ued all of those things, but yet if you looked at my check­ing ac­count state­ment, it would look like I val­ued clothes and food and ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties,” said Greut­man, who wrote about her ex­pe­ri­ences in a new book ti­tled “The Re­cov­er­ing Spen­der: How to Live a Happy, Ful­filled, Debt-Free Life.”

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