Sunday, September 30, 2007

Defining Money

Money – noun, any article or substance used as a medium of exchange, measure of wealth, or means of payment. ( viewed 9/29/07)

(Cutting out all the extraneous words and what are you left with?):

Money Substance – a medium measure of means.

A medium measure? How about a mediocre measure—especially when measuring personal value. I may know what the stuff looks like. I can even tell you what each coin and dollar is worth and how to make change. I certainly know how to spend the stuff. But what I don’t know is how to make it. You know--how to earn it or invest it. Make it grow. The whole money thing is so mystifying to me.

What makes it so mysterious in my world? It’s more than likely because of my awfully ambivalent attitude towards the stuff—ambivalent in how to earn it, how to keep it, and how to spend it wisely. I just don’t have an accurate bead on how the whole “earn-spend-save” cycle is supposed to work. And it torments me to no end.

Why such ambivalence and torment? Well for starters,

1 - I was never taught how to have a good relationship with money (I grew up surrounded by the stresses of living with insufficient funds)
2 - None of the adults of my childhood ever expressed an appropriate reason for needing money (constant refrain: “There’s just not enough” and “What am I? Made of money?!”).
3 - Personal financial priorities were never discussed and long-term financial planning was unheard of (e.g.: “What? You want to go to college? Yeah, good luck with that because we can’t afford that!)
4 - I always felt that money was semi-sacred and held in greater esteem than the very people who made up my family.
5 - I always, always, always hated asking for money because I knew the odds were tremendous that I would be told “no”.

Money IS the source of my anxieties, of my longings, of my insecurities, of my indecisions and my inability to take chances and find my true purpose in life. The issue of money cripples me at just about every crossroads I come to in my life. And I find myself more than a bit lost when trying to find the right direction to travel in.

$$ wishes: to have our 2007 Christmas budget (roughly $1,500) already in savings—yeah, that’d be a miracle!
$$ sins: weekly Starbucks addiction = $23—I really love to treat people to good caffeine; shoe issue = $45—damn but those sandals were practically screaming my name!
$$ goals: put $25 in savings—no more Starbucks until next paycheck!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

the rabbit hole

Well, here I go ... down the hole. And my life may never be the same.

This is my attempt to muse, ponder and finally write out all the things that torment me a daily basis -- namely all things relating to money and my frustrated relationship with it.

I plan to have fun with this adventure and hopefully I get to learn more about myself, get to process my dysfunctional monetary relationship and maybe get the opportunity to know other people -- if they care to join me on this crazy blogging ride.

So let's go ... and may we all end up at the best tea parties!

molly gras