Money. Our relationship over the years has been slightly dysfunctional. My first memory of money was spending my mom’s $5 at 7-11 on a slurpie and a candy bar. Instead of exploding with childhood bliss, I felt guilty, a knot in my stomach. Worry. This feeling like, “what if there’s not enough to pay the bills?” My mom worked most nights managing a busy restaurant. My step-dad worked himself to the bone running a lawn care business by day and as chef by night. I knew how hard my young parents had to work to put food on the table… because it felt like I hardly saw them. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great childhood filled with happy memories. When I look back, it was mostly large family gatherings at the park, bike rides, hikes, family dinners and the many joyous hours at grandmas house when my parents were working. I now realize that most of these memories didn’t require a bunch of money.
In my contemplations regarding money, I have found that I really don’t care to have a bunch of it. I value minimalism and I live a simple life. My rule is to own just enough things to fit into my little Honda Accord. I want to have just enough to provide my basic needs, a healthy lifestyle, travel and save for my future family & provide the same lifestyle when I am old and wrinkly. I certainly wouldn’t mind more, but I don’t need to be swimming in cash.
What do I value? Experiences. Adventure. Travel. Quality time with loved ones. Life long learning. Nature. Home-cooked meals with people that I love. None of which require loads of money.
I don’t value leather boots or expensive wine, designer clothes and an excess of “stuff” (not that there is anything wrong valuing those things!).
Early in life, I started earning money. I babysat and worked for my step-dad’s catering business. I knew that my parents weren’t able to throw money at me, but I never let money stand in my way. The money I earned went toward plane tickets to see my dad’s family and those silly teenage trends I valued at that time.
I have noticed as I have moved through life, despite my fluctuating income & expenses, I have always had enough. I have never worried that I can’t pay my rent. It’s been miraculous at times. One summer I received a bill that my student loans covered all but $800 and I needed to pay it before the semester started. Days after, a friend borrowed my computer and spilled olive oil all over the screen (how that happened is still a mystery to me). With my still fully functional, now psychedelic looking screen, my friend offered to pay for the repair. The cost? $800. I paid my bill and studied with my groovy macbook. That computer, now 7 years old, still works.
After school I differed my student loans for two years while I got my shit together. I was required to state a date in the future that I would be able to start paying them. I made up a random date - November 2013. Two years later, November 2013, I landed in Connecticut with a job that actually paid me enough to start chipping away at them. Without much orchestration, life just led me there.
The universe works in mysterious ways. I am a believer in the law of attraction. When one trusts that there is enough, enough comes to you. I have witnessed this over and over and over again.
I’ve never let money stand in the way of what I desire and I what I value. What I have noticed, is that my relationship to my student loans hasn’t aligned with this positive outlook. Back when I was differing them, I sort of ignored them. I had no desire to know the amount I owed and that number scared me a lot. I would get envelopes from citibank and discover and I wouldn’t even open them. They have felt like a HUGE weight on my shoulders.
Life has provided me with wonderful things and big dreams coming up and I now have a desire to pay them off by next October. I have one year to pay off $50,000 of student debt. Yes, $50K.
The thing is, I don’t even technically use my educational background in my work. For awhile, I had some guilt around this. I studied astrophysics and I don’t really plan on ever becoming a rocket scientist. The thing is, if I hadn’t had that education, I wouldn’t be here with all the knowledge and experiences that have shaped me and carved out my path in life. I love my life and I am SO GRATEFUL for those loans that helped me get here.
My goal is lofty, yes, but I KNOW I can do it. I have placed myself in a situation where I can actually make it happen. There is a lot of money in the world and there is no reason why I can’t have more of it. It’s meaningless, really. It’s a number on a screen and it’s merely a way to place value on the things that are meaningful to you. It’s a tool to take your where you want to go and create the unique life you desire. It looks different for all of us.
I have learned a few things to make money EMPOWER ME instead of have power over me. It’s a journey and I am learning as I go.
My wish is that these practices might inspire you to see your money situation in a more positive light:
1) Value Yourself. This is without doubt, the most important thing. It’s not easy. In fact, I have gone to therapy to work on this one. A good question to ask yourself: what do you contribute to the world? What do you have to offer just by being in the room? You are just as important as the next person. You exist for a reason. When you value yourself, others will value you. When someone is generous with you, say thank you and accept it.
2) It’s okay to have money. Money is a tool. You have a choice on what to do with it. You can be stingy, excessive and spend it on horrible things. Money is also a wonderful tool to contribute so much good in the world. You can share it. Money is energetic and that energy can be transformed into limitless possibilities.
3) Have Goals. Why do you want more money? What will you do with it? Why do you want to do that? The most powerful thing you can do is get clear on what you want and why you want it. Not only is it a motivating factor to make steps toward this goal, I believe that the once you get clear, the universe responds in opportunities to get you there.
4) Give yourself permission to spend money. What do you truly value in life? Make a list. You are a deserving human being. You have needs and you show value to yourself by taking care of yourself. Acting from a place of deprivation only attracts more deprivation. Some questions I ask myself is when contemplating something I am buying: Is this purchase a HELL YES? (you might say ‘hell yes’ to italian leather boots and that’s awesome) Does this purchase align with what I value? (you might value beautiful craftsmanship and expressing your personal style) Do I need this? (we all need shoes, right?) Does it contribute to my well-being? (aligning with your values always leaves you with a feeling of well being). I promise you won’t have buyers remorse.
5) Eliminate as Much Stress as Possible. The key in manifesting more money is positive energy around your money. Stress is negative energy and I have learned that it’s easily avoidable. How to you contain your money? How do you keep track of how much you have? What does your wallet look like? Where do you pay your bills? How do you pay them? How do you keep track of what’s due and when? I spent so many years with crumpled up dollars in my wallet. Bills here, statements there. Uncashed checks which led to completely avoidable overdraft fees. It was actually more stressful not to know the obscene amount of student loans I owed than knowing that number. Organize your wallet, create a clean & organized space to pay your bills and keep things organized.
6) Positive Attitude. I frequently remind myself how grateful I am for the assistance my student loans provided for me. Each money mishap I’ve made was an opportunity to learn how to better manage my money. Each bill I pay brings me closer and closer toward my goals. Every time I check my balance or deposit a check I express gratitude for the abundance that my life provides - and if there is not a lot of money in there I look for abundance in other ways (food, love, opportunities, flowers, friends, beauty etc). Abundance is everywhere. A feeling of abundance, attracts more abundance.
7) Make More Money. Be Resourceful. Share your goals. What are you good at? How can you help others? I have some time on my hands. I’m really good at domestic things: I am probably going to be a super mom someday. I use my extra time doing those things and getting paid for it: babysitting, house sitting, tutoring, cleaning, teaching yoga, and cooking for others. Recently, I shared this endeavor with my friend who happens to be a graphic artist and she offered to design a flyer to post in my community so I can share my goals with my community…. Networking is powerful.
P.S. I am for hire :)
Wishing you lots of prosperity!!!!!