Fortune Friday: Money is a Tool.

A friend of mine posted on her social media page the other day that she has “zero hangups about money.”  I admire this so greatly.

Why do we create hangups about money? Negative associations with experiences and things were heard/saw as young people. Perhaps we had some times in our lives where money was associated with a major loss-a loved one’s death, divorce, job loss, friend loss. It takes strong will to not let the emotional experience contaminate our relationship with money.

Trust me, the experience is not money’s fault.

****NOTE: I am obviously talking from a middle-class perspective here. There are definitely institutional problems that occur in society that make this relationship with money much more complicated for those working at the lowest wages. This story is much different for them. My experience in Mexico has made that very palpable. I haven’t seen harder working people in MY ENTIRE LIFE than the poorest Mexicans that sell their wares in the street. Their money story is much different than what I talk about here. 

I plan to make a great deal of money. I am going to. My Money Boyfriend wants that for me! He’s so sweet. <3 And I am going to use that power to give back to communities that are important to me.

Remember, I’m making my relationship with money be about a love affair with an absolutely beloved boyfriend. Money is someone I want around, so I have to treat him with love, respect, kindness and appreciation.

Thank you, Money. You have been very sweet to me on my trip to Mexico. I am glad that being in Mexico is very inexpensive for me with US dollars, and I am grateful to be able to do all the things I want to do here. I’ve had to make some choices about what do/spend/buy, but those were happy choices. No, I can’t have EVERYTHING I see, but that’s reasonable! Thank you Money. You are really the best.

I think I need to give him a name. Mr. Money Magnet, maybe? I’ll work on that.

A lot of the associations we might have with our money boyfriend may be negative due to those loss memories we have. We have associated money with negative emotions and experiences, and so naturally, if that is the case, we think that having money around is a bad and negative thing. If we have Money we might want to get rid of him as soon as possible because having him-in our emotional association feelings-means that certain RUIN is ahead. Here’s the not so secret secret: Money is not the reason for ruin.

Trust me, reader. I’ve been stuck in the mire. SO.MANY.TIMES. I am by no means an expert at freedom from financial anxiety.

When my first child was born I couldn’t go back to work at my job for several extenuating circumstances. I did some babysitting, but it was not nearly enough to keep my financial boat above water. I also didn’t respect the amount of money I’d need to save to live comfortably while I was recuperating and connecting with my baby. When I went back to my job when she was 6 months old, I had to pay back all the health insurance my job had paid for in my absence. I was thankful for that, but with my daycare bills and my insurance payments in arrears, and now commuting from Oakland to San Francisco every day, I got paychecks of about $500 a month for a few months. It was crushingly hard, and I thought of money as an absolute asshole. Flash forward into the muck-we had to file bankruptcy. It was soul defeating. I felt like such a failure. I remember vividly driving by or walking by a bank and thinking the money police were going to come after me and call fraud, tell me I deserved NOTHING and that EVERYTHING was going to be taken from me.

I am here to say NO to that mindset. That it’s okay to pay yourself first. That it’s okay to say and believe and honor the fact that having money and wanting money does NOT make you a bad person. The associations we have with money being bad are feeling like we don’t have enough of it to take care of ourselves, because we’ve had times where it was really hard. But I’ll bet that that situation didn’t last forever, did it? NO. It didn’t. And then there were times where the money was flowing in.

I’m going to let it flow in and accept that it doesn’t have to make me crazy when there are times of less and times of more.

Thank you Money. You really have allowed me to do some great things.

 

 

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