My personal relationship with money began where most people’s relationship with it starts, as a child. Growing up my family was able to put a roof over my head, food on the table, and clothes on my body but money never came in excess. I’m completely grateful for all of the hard work both of my parents put into making my childhood comfortable, so I would never complain about that. But, I do understand how it can be extremely stressful trying to get by while living in a world where we idolize the wealthy. We are obsessed with money. We want nice cars, nice watches, vacations, and basically to have the same resources that the Kardashians have. But the truth is, a lot of us are living a completely different lifestyle.
I have one memory from my childhood that really sticks out to me when it comes to money. I remember one saturday afternoon my dad bought my sister, my brother, and myself a pack of pokemon cards from the toy store. My dad told me that he only got us one pack and that we’d have to turn the cards over and randomly split the deck between all of us. We were so excited to get those cards that we didn’t even care that we had to share. We waited for him to shuffle them and pass them out face down before we turned them over and saw what cards we got. Once we flipped them over I realized that I got the lucky hand. I had the holographic 9 tails, which was a really powerful card. I remember being so excited, until I looked over to my sister and saw that she really wanted it. We were probably only 9 and 7 at the time, so those cards clearly meant the world to us. My sister really wanted the card and I idolized my big sister so much and wanted her to be happy so I gave it to her. Realizing how good it felt to be able to share something I had with someone I loved showed me early on that possessions and money really bring happiness when you can share them with others. Growing up with siblings and learning to share what we had truly taught me money’s purpose.
If you won the lottery today and had millions of dollars what would you do with the money? A lot of people’s first thoughts are, share it with my family, and then probably by a lambo. But in real life, without the lottery, you can’t share what you don’t have. So, learning how to manage your money so that you can survive and then still have some to share is ultimately the goal. Or at least it’s mine.
Because I grew up in a house where money wasn’t growing on the trees i always made sure that I saved as much as possible. I heard Jay-z say something years ago and it really stuck with me, “If you can’t buy it three times, you can’t afford it.” So I took that very literally. All through high school, college, and up until now, I value putting that money in the bank. I had a pretty decent job in college working in nightlife and by the time I graduated I could have bought myself a nice purse, or new car, or pretty much whatever I wanted. But because I grew up seeing the value of sharing money and experiences I was actually never that tempted to do that. I drove a Honda civic that was passed down to me from my mom and my step dad until I practically drove it into the ground. Being materialistic and needing flashy things was never important to me. Honestly, when I see people who put themselves into debt for nice objects I honestly feel really bad. I want to just give them a hug and let them know that they don’t have to prove anything to anyone with a fancy car! The point I’m trying to make here is that understanding WHY you want money is so important! At the end of the day, What’s the driving force for why you need cash? Think about that!
Even though I don’t have a problem saving money, that doesn’t mean my relationship with money is perfect. After analyzing my past and present with my life coach it’s very clear that I have the tendency to OVER SAVE money because I deeply depend on it for security. Because I grew up in a household with little extra spending money, as a young adult and adult, I feel like I need to have a lot saved up. When my life coach asked me “Why do you need so much saved” I responded with, in case the world ends…. Ironically it was convenient to have a lot saved up during the pandemic and we laugh about that in our sessions, but truthfully the fear I have of being broke or unable to provide for myself keeps me saving. And listen this might sound good, because of course people want a savings account, but that type of scared attitude could inhibit me from getting more!
There is an energy attached to money. One of my favorite books recommended to me from my best friend Vira is called “The Soul of Money” by Lynn Twist. Lynn Twist in an incredible human and this is the bio from her website “For more than 40 years, Lynne Twist has been a recognized global visionary committed to alleviating poverty, ending world hunger and supporting social justice and environmental sustainability. She’s worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta to the refugee camps in Ethiopia and the threatened rainforests of the Amazon, as well as guiding the philanthropy of some of the world’s wealthiest families, Lynne’s on-the-ground work has brought her a deep understanding of people’s relationship with money.”
As you read her book, or audiobook it like I have, your mind will drastically shift. Through her I learned that there is a flow of energy attached to currency. She compares money to water. Sometimes it’s going to pour into your life, and other times it’s meant to drip. It’s your responsibility to make sure you have enough to pay your bills, but not stress saving so much to the point that you drown in it.
I want to read you a passage from her book that truly moved me. “For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is ‘I didn’t get enough sleep.’ The next one is ‘I don’t have enough time.’ Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of… Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack… This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life.”
Sometimes I reread that passage to myself over and over again when i’m in the process of calming my mind. Why are we so obsessed with money? Whether it’s saving it, spending it, or sharing it, we still have this need for MORE.
“Rarely in our life is money a place of genuine freedom, joy, or clarity, yet we routinely allow it to dictate the terms of our lives and often to be the single most important factor in the decisions we make about work, love, family, and friendship.”Lynne Twist
Today, let’s challenge ourselves to be truly grateful for what we have. Let’s take a moment and honor the money that has come into our lives. Let’s treat today as if we were fully satisfied with life. If you’re listening to this podcast, then that means you have a phone, computer or some type of electronic device to listen on. Be grateful for that object.