I want, I want, I want. Can you hear me whining from there? There is just a ton of stuff I want and cannot have. I also do not always pay attention to my checkbook like I should. AND, I want to give away more money than I do. My friend Dan says “It is only energy”, but that is a hard idea for me to wrap my brain around. Money is a complicated concept- it is little green pieces of paper with too much power in my life. Definitely hard to balance…
“God- I want to experience a new way, a fantastically new way of money flowing into and out of my accounts. I would like to experience money as completely supportive energy, a blessing to me and others”.
Is this possible? I have no idea, but it is not IMpossible. I am putting this request out to the Universe, and then I will turn it over and stop worrying and believe. (Somewhere in Philippians there is a verse about that)
Paul’s letter to the Philippians says that when I pray and ask for it, guidance will show up, and I do not need to fret in the meantime. I want to attach abundance and joy to the money I make, spend, and give. I have some ideas for ways to be more mindful of money in our lives. I am going to try them… and, I am going to pray every day for guidance too.
1. Give money and things away generously. I grew up stingily (not a word, but you know what I mean). So this is hard for me. But I keep trying to flow out more stuff than I bring in, and to give regularly to my Church, give bonuses to service providers, and share with friends. These actions create more flow (www.crossroadscolorado.com podcast May 1, 2010).
2. Attach abundant and joyful feelings to money. I want love and abundance in my life- that is what I crave (along with serenity, chocolate, and hip sunglasses). So rather than moan and whine that I have no love and no money, I am giving myself and the world the love and abundance I want (Wayne Dyer, The Power of Intention). That draws them to me.
3. I study money a little bit. http://www.daveramsey.com is a great resource for learning how to handle money. I don’t have a partner looking over my shoulder, to see if I am saving enough, giving enough, or paying too much money for my shoes. So I need to learn to be my own smart financial partner.
4. Hang with friends who do not compete about spending money. I don’t hang with the concert crowd on weekends any more or the sailing group, or the motorcycle racers (as if i ever did!). My lifestyle doesn’t allow it and so I stay away so that I don’t tempt myself to whine and moan and cry “Oh me, why can’t I do that too?!” I hang with other people who use cash not credit cards. I choose one awesome sport that we do and I build our birthday presents and extra cash around it. It happens to be skiing, so his June birthday present is a ski pass, and her December birthday is her new ski boots.
5. Along with the crowd I hang with is the policing I do on my exposure to materialism. For me, this means I limit watching TV commercials–the perfect kitchens and cool couches actually get me down! I love Title 9 and Athleta catalogues, but if I sit and read them, I will whine internally that I am not living on a beach in Hawaii and dressing like a yoga teacher.
6. Balance my checkbook daily. This is VERY tough. I don’t do it, but it is my goal to know on a daily basis how much money is in my account and how much is going out in the next few days. So in addition to having a budget that I try to follow, I should/could watch my money very carefully. This includes using cash not credit cards. I’m so bad about borrowing money from the electric bill to buy dinner that I don’t even write checks anymore if I can help it. I either make the money go away instantly with a debit card of use cash. Suze Orman says we need to respect and pay attention to our money, or it won’t do what we want it to. http://www.suzeorman.com. I believe it!
7. Richest Man in Babylon is a great book. It is short, and it describes how a person can get out of debt and live within their means on a realistic budget, and be incredibly happy. I think I need to read it again…
8. Be content with money in the account, and believe I deserve the money. For some reason, this is hard for me! I have no idea who to blame for it: my parents’ upbringing during the depression, my lack of training in finances, my bank’s overdraft fees and policies, or my ex-husband. Ha! It doesn’t matter. I need to get over it, decide I will live responsibly, save responsibly, and that I do deserve to have money saved for retirement.
9. I tend to want to pay off all my debts as soon as I get a check in the mail. That is crazy. I need to pay attention to the spending plan I made for the month and get over my anxiety about owing the orthodontist extra money. I have a plan to pay off debts, and I need to stick to it and not blow my grocery money on debts to appease my ego… But don’t borrow any more money. Use the emergency fund instead. It is there for emergencies (not the new leather boots I am craving, or the bike he wants, or the cute bedroom furniture I wish she had).
10. Enjoy the money. When I spend it, be wise, not grudging with it. Be abundant with myself and others. That is easier said than done! I decided it is ok to go to Dairy Queen with my kids once a week (not Cold Stone every other day!); I buy us a treat at the grocery store whenever I can; I tip generously if/when I eat in a restaurant….
11. Regularly choose a day to SPEND NO MONEY AT ALL. Ideally, I would do this once a week. I would not get gas, a coffee, a sandwich, groceries, or even a cheap pizza. This awareness of having a perfectly wonderful day with my kids and myself without spending a dime all day is good practice. Come on, in other countries they go weeks without spending money. I can go one day once a week and have the discipline to choose not to spend money.
So those are my ideas for creating awareness, abundance and more joy around money in my life. They might work for you too… For single parents, money can be a tough tough thing. Too many debts, too little income, and too many expenses. I know how bad it can be. I was unemployed, in foreclosure and bankruptcy all at once. It sucked!! But now we ski and camp and travel. Whatever your financial situation, you can get out of it and build financial security for you and your kids. Remember to ask for help from God and humans, and don’t forget to accept the help that comes your way either!
May God rain blessings down upon you today as you venture out to live in the Light. Remember that God is with you, and available to guide you and bring you along to the life he has planned for you!