In the business world, core values are important to shaping a company’s culture and vision. They will also dictate how the company will bring that vision to reality. But just having core values — even if they’re displayed in gold-embossed letters on the office wall — isn’t enough. Clients and customers will quickly notice if those values aren’t evident in a business’s day-to-to day practices, and it will affect both their brand perception and their financial success.

The same goes for us as individuals in all aspects of our lives, including in our personal finances.

Whether we realize or not, we all have core values. We may be out of touch with what they are or have a hard time articulating them, but they’re there. Not only knowing, but living out our core values (in this case, our financial values) has many benefits:

  • A stronger sense of fulfillment in life
  • Better emotional, mental, and even physical health
  • Greater confidence in our financial decisions

To live out our core values, we first need to know what they are.
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One of the most exciting times of everyone’s life is entering the real word as a young adult. Finishing school, getting that first full time job, and venturing out on your own is always an important milestone everyone remembers. It signifies the start of adulthood and finally not being “a kid”. However, for many, the excitement wears off pretty quickly and you then get hit with one of the harshest realities of being an adult: managing your own finances.

Why is it so hard?

Budgeting and learning how to spend your money wisely for the first time is a challenge for everyone. And you’re bound to make mistakes. To make your transition easier, here are four tips to help you survive budgeting in the real world for the first time:
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2018 banking trends
From branch closures and smaller drive-through formats to more ATMs than bank tellers, it’s clear that traditional banking as we’ve known it is rapidly changing.

While the 65 and older generation is finally getting comfortable completing transactions online, the youngest generation has moved on to mobile devices. Overall, an American Bankers Association survey from September 2017 indicates that 4 out of 10 Americans do most of their banking online, and mobile banking ranks a close second.

Before we assume the trend toward online banking signals the slow death of traditional banks, let’s look at what finance industry leaders are seeing and predicting. Here are three personal banking trends we’re almost certain to spot as we move into 2018.
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live below your means
Spending more than you can afford doesn’t sound like a smart idea, but the reality is that most people in our country fall into this trap. According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder, 78 percent of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck and more than 1 in every 4 workers do not set aside any savings each month. That’s a really scary statistic, considering most Americans aren’t saving for retirement.

The easy answer to fixing this situation for most people is living below your means. It’s, of course, much easier said than done though. How do you live below your means when it already feels like you’re barely scraping by? The answer isn’t easy, but here are 4 things you can do to ACTUALLY live below your means:

1. Dissect Your Discretionary Spending

We know how important it is to have a budget and stick to the numbers. Most of us have some kind of category in our budget for discretionary spending, whether it’s on gizmos and gadgets or entertainment, but many of us don’t really know what exactly goes into your discretionary spending category though. Look at every transaction and try to understand exactly what you’re spending your extra money on.

You might be surprised to find that many of those transactions are totally unnecessary and some might even make you mad. Remember that feeling because it’s time to start making cuts. Keep a few things you spend on monthly that makes you tick but double check that this category doesn’t represent a significant part of your budget.
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financial therapist
Many of us could use the advice of a financial advisor when it comes to areas like investing, consolidating debt, and planning for retirement. Some of us need more than financial knowledge or advice that only addresses the number side of the equation though. We also need help addressing our emotional relationship with money. This task isn’t as well-suited for a financial planner as it is for a financial therapist.

Financial therapy is a rather new field, as the Financial Therapy Association has only been around since 2010. The concept of therapy isn’t new at all though. Just as someone might need a therapist’s help to deal with thought patterns and emotions surrounding their relationships with family, spouses, or friends, we all have a very real relationship with money that might need similar attention.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, it might be time to see a financial therapist:

  • Do you feel frequently depressed or anxious about your finances or making financial decisions?
  • Do you think about what to do about your finances obsessively but fail to follow through with changes?
  • Have you tried to make positive changes like saving money, but keep failing or falling back into old habits?
  • Do you suspect you could be sabotaging your own goals?

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Everybody loves to find new ways to save. After all, it’s quite thrilling to know you did something productive to save a bit of money even if the amount is miniscule. And plus, every little bit counts when you’re trying to build your savings. But could your money saving habits actually be hurting you? The answer is surprisingly yes.

Despite the best intentions, many people are actually doing things all wrong. Yes, certain habits might save you some money, but it can cost you quite a bit of time too. Spending your time to save a few bucks isn’t always worth it. Remember the saying “time is money?” Here are five instances when spending extra time doesn’t actually save you money:
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