Our joyful group discussed the connection between earning and spending in May. Like most months, our discussion went off on several fantastic tangents. Here’s what I was able to scrape together as far as notes.
With any potential purchase, determine what it is worth to you.
How much of your life energy are you willing to exchange for it?
Is it worth taking money out of your savings account (the fruits of your labor, reserved for later) or going into debt for it?
There are many people (my beloved, for one) who estimate how many hours they have to work to pay for something. It’s sobering. There was a quote I heard many years ago by Oscar Wilde, “Nowadays people know the price of everything but the value of nothing.” I saw this great photo on Facebook posted by “Earth. We Are One.”
Do your spending habits reflect your priorities and values?
Is your spending intentional and mindful?
I heard yet another report about spouses hiding purchases from each other. This is probably because the spouses have different values and are unwilling to respect the other’s position. It’s also because most people prefer to avoid conflict. Some people are spoiled and immature, too.
What I’ve found is that paying cash for items automatically limits your spending and gives you pause. Just think about it: if you only have $23 in your wallet, you only have $23 to spend. Case closed. Paying cash reduces stress because you’re not adding to any existing debt and you don’t have to hide the receipts and/or purchases from your partner. Using a debit card does not produce the same limitations as using cash. Don’t lecture me on credit card points; my sole purpose is to help people make sense of and peace with money. One more thing to track and “earn” through spending is not peace-inducing.
Our culture in the USA is all about work and the fruits of labor. This results in people being burned out and deeply in debt. Yet, as a financial planner and a part-time health fanatic, I believe it’s more sustainable to work at a reasonable pace, at something that brings you joy, over a longer period of time, to reduce your stress level, improve your health, and limit the amount of time you must rely on your savings.
I left the group with this task: design the ideal budget (what they’d like to spend on various items) and then determine how to earn the money to cover the expenses. Don’t assume this kind of thing (earning more money) is impossible; 20 years ago we’d never believe that anyone aside from the French would buy water, or that anyone would pay for TV programming. Additional sources of income include taking on another part-time job, selling Avon or Mark Kay, selling stuff, asking for a raise etc.
I often hear (especially from women) that they’d gladly accept a lower amount of pay to do a job they’d love. I wonder why people assume they’d get paid less? Why not do what you love, excel at it, and get paid more?
We all are created for a unique plan and purpose. Discovering both is a joyful journey and the means to creating abundance.