Monday, November 7, 2011

Me and my money go Mm-mm-mm

Hey guys! It's Monday, time for another edition of Monday on My Mind. Today on my mind, my relationship with money. I have a horrible relationship with money. But not, I suppose, in the way people normally have horrible relationships with money.

I come from a "doctor-lawyer-bank manager" culture. Put simply, if you have the means to enter one of the high-flying professions it's what you should do. I went to the top school on the island. People automatically expect me to be the top of everything. If I wanted to be a hairdresser, that would be a "waste" because I could do "better".

Thing is I don't care about money. I can't do something I'm not enjoying no matter how much it pays. When I'm not loving life I feel like I'm always 2 seconds from jumping off a bridge. This leads me into the noble pure-hearted territory of only doing things I'm inclined towards.

Unfortunately it also leads me into the territory of not saving a cent. There's always something that I can buy to help me love life. And money sitting in a bank account is nothing but a number on a paper. $100 in the Amazon store is 10 stories that will keep me smiling for at least a month - and if I'm lucky there'll be agem in there that I'll read for years to come.

Weighing the present against the future is also an issue for me. I daydream about the future a lot, but in a fuzzy, abstract way. It's hard for me to do practical things for that fuzzy, abstract future. Like I can save to go to a conference in a year's time, but I can't just save for a rainy day.

It can be stressful, living the way I do. I work for decent money. But there are some months where I cut it pretty close. There have been a few months where ramen was the food of choice. I needed to do something, and in order to squeeze it out of that month's paycheck, I had to cut all the corners.  Heaven forbid I ever have to do anything that will involve more than 1 month's pay.

I stress myself a lot more than I need to over money. I can stress over money that I won't need from years. You'd think that would make me save it. You'd be wrong. Sometimes I wish I could live in a world that didn't involve money. A world where I could happily go to work and my employer or someone else would take care of the bills, and all I'd have to do is show up.

There are a few good side effects of my relationship with money. Not being attached to it, I'm more likely to give it away. If a friend is in need, and I have it, and it's not doing anything, then I don't mind giving it away. (I'm just being honest here, but even saying that feels a bit boastful.) I'm not materialistic.I focus more on the doing than the having. I don't assign values to myself or others based on money. I don't have loans, because I hate money hanging over my head, and generally prefer not to have something, than to have to think constantly about how to pay someone back.

Still, I know I need to whip my money relationship into shape. At this rate, the only way I'll ever own a house is to win the lottery. Although, if we're being honest (and we always are here at POC), I'd rather own a ship and travel the world.

How about you? How are you with money?


Sophia Chang said...

I LOVE this post! I always love money posts, especially from women, and especially when they're realistic. (Don't you just hate those "I made so much money doing blah blah blah" blogs?)

I hear you girl; I also went to the best school on the island (and my island I mean the 48 contiguous states) and my parents just about died in shame that I was artistic instead of lawyerly. My fellow graduates are bajillionaires while I could go on food stamps. It's a difficult thing to stomach, but nothing I can do about it - like you, I just have to do what I love to do and I just have to have a good life.

Sophia Richardson said...

I don't like spending money. I like the idea of the things I could have (mostly of the house with furniture and art variety), but when it comes time to pay, I always feel like I should be hoarding it. Don't ask me for what-- presumably the house and furniture I don't have.

Kate Scott said...

If we're being honest here, I'm totally spoiled. My parents have good jobs, so I grew up quite comfortable (aka spoiled). And now I have a good job and my husband has an even better job. And I really like having a large disposable income, because I'm spoiled.

There is a big part of me that wants to someday quit my day job and only write, but making a lot of money as a writer is very hard to do. So I envy you. I wish I wasn't such a spoiled brat, and that it was easier to let go of the matierial I wants and embrace the cognative I wants.