Much of what we know about past cultures is thanks to the efforts of archaeologists. By
discovering historic artifacts and studying them, these scientists can reconstruct a prior
culture’s entire way of life and give us tremendous insights into the civilization’s values and
priorities. While it may seem impossible, archaeologists two or three centuries from now
will be doing the same with our culture. Which may make you think about what they’re
going to discover about us and what that will tell them about our values.
Let’s say an archaeologist in the future digs up your possessions and financial statements.
What would he or she think about your life and your values after looking at all your
Are You What You Buy?
There is an old saying that parents try to use, often unsuccessfully, on their children: “Do as
I say, not as I do.” But the truth is, your actions are a truer reflection of your principles and
priorities than the things you say. This means that the way you spend your money may very
well be a better indication of what you truly value than the things you “think” you value.
Using This to Empower Yourself
Take out your last bank and credit card statements and look at the charges. What do they
say about your values and priorities? Do they make it seem as if you focus more on material
possessions than future planning and financial independence? Do they show chronic
overspending that’s setting you up for future financial insecurity? If so, then you now have
an opportunity to change all that. To start making spending decisions that truly reflect your
principles and help you become the person you always wanted to be.
Go through your monthly spending and think about what each of the charges says about
you. Then, ask yourself the same question before your next purchase. Eventually, you may
prune your spending so that all your financial decisions are perfectly in line with the
principles you hold.