Recently, I made a startling discovery about my attitude towards money. My epiphany arrived while I was speaking with a woman who’d spent her entire career working on boards of directors for non-profits. The conversation touched on salaries and wages that non-profit employees earn.
“Doris,” I declared, “I view money as a form of energy. The more I make, the more I give away. I’m just a conduit to get that energy back out there.”
I am not qualified to offer advice to anyone else on this topic (or any other), and I avoid judging others whenever possible. In the spirit of simply sharing, here is what I have learned about myself and my attitude towards money.
First things first
A gentleman named Nathan Dungan has developed a philosophy about money that resonates with me. He calls it “Share Save Spend.” He lays out three basic tenets for those of us who want to be deliberate with our money.
Dungan starts with the assertion that sharing is not just about “our” money, but how it impacts our families, our community and the world. With saving, Dungan asks how our lives would be different if we had a safety net of emergency savings. Lastly, Dungan says, our spending decisions make powerful statements about us.
I think this is what I was getting at when I announced to my coffee buddy that I view money as energy. First things first, to me, means making sure our income covers all necessary expenses such as sufficient housing, nutritious food, adequate health insurance. But after that, we have some important choices to make.
Sarah Susanka, an architect, is someone I greatly admire. She is the genius behind the “Not So Big” movement, starting with her first book, “The Not So Big House.” After working with numerous clients, Sarah observed that most of us appreciate high quality design, especially when it comes to our living spaces. Thoughtfully designed spaces can serve multiple purposes, streamline our daily lives and provide the biggest bang for our housing bucks.
What’s even more interesting to me is Sarah’s next application of the Not So Big philosophy…to a Not So Big Life. Just as some of us have bought into the myth that we desire enormous houses (aka McMansions) with rooms we do not use, we’ve also developed a lifestyle that is jam-packed with “have-to-do’s,” leaving little time for what really counts.
Since this month’s SheTaxi theme is “Celebrating,” I’ve decided to celebrate my life, just as it is, right at this moment. No moaning about what’s missing allowed. Instead, I am celebrating My Life Today, today.
Some of us naturally save. Some of us naturally spend. No judgments here…just a few questions. What’s your philosophy about the money in your life? Are you living out what you believe? What’s helping you do this? What’s getting in the way?
And what are you going to do next?