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!


Jeni said...

I don't need to worry about eliminating the "Starbucks" thing - ain't got one of those near enough to me to warrant worrying about it! So I guess that "ine" as in caffeine is safe from being shut out of my life. Now if I could eliminate the NICOT-ine of my "ine" problems, I'd have a good shot as some healthy savings each month. However, there's always some other thing - not necessarily an "ine" type either that will come along and take their place - oil, electric, mortgage, gas -aha -there's another "ine" if you add the soline to that one, huh?

And when did you set up the blog to join this happy little club anyway?

molly gras said...

ugh! gasoliine!! Don't get me started. I may live only 10 minutes from my kids' school but I swear I make about fifteen trips a day carting their carcasses to and fro. I don't mind the driving--do mind paying for the petrol!

I just set myself up to start blogging this weekend and I'm so excited. Your my very first visitor ... HOORAY!!

Looking forward to fabulous chatty relationship with Jeni. You take care of yourself and your family.

molly gras ('gras' as in 'Mardi Gras,

molly gras said...

(okay--I'm going to go on the record here--I hate writing in a hurry. I make terrible spelling and grammatical errors and my mistakes drive me insane. I tend to edit. Re-edit. Then edit some more. And usually I'm in agony over the final product no matter what I've done. So please bear with me as I try that last comment posting AGAIN!)

ugh! gasoline!! Don't get me started. I may live only 10 minutes from my kids' school but I swear I make about fifteen trips a day carting their carcasses to and fro. I don't mind the driving—what I do mind is paying for the petrol!

Regarding the blog: I just set myself up this weekend and I'm so excited to be officially blogging. Your my very first visitor ... HOORAY!!

Looking forward to establishing a fabulous chatty relationship with you, Jeni. You take care of yourself and your family.

Best Regards,
molly gras ('gras' as in 'Mardi Gras)

Posolxstvo said...

Umm, I was your first visitor. I visited before you even had your firt post up.

I was just not your first commentor. I just had nothing to say about rabbit holes and the like.

Posolxstvo said...

Oh, and Jeni -- Starbucks is a blessing and a curse.

If you like coffee.

Which I do.

My dad hates the place though -- says the beans are over-roasted -- calls it "Charbucks."

Posolxstvo said...

And, Ms. Gras -- leave the typos alone -- we know what the hell you meant.

Baby Sister said...

First - I really ought to go ahead and start a blog on this site.

Secondly, good grief!! It is amazing how 'effed up with both are in the exact same way!!!!! There's the ambivalence about money (you hit right on the head for me). There's the shoe problem (got me a new pair of way cute shoes yesterday!!!). It's crazy! I guess it is/was inevitable that we would be so screwed up in exactly the same ways.

About the money - b/c of the screwed way we were brought up, I value "security" a whole bunch. To my mind that directly equates to "money". I am fortunate that Mike, while he has enormous shortcomings on an emotional/supportive level, truly takes care of the money issues (but, you know the hassles that entails). And, even though Mike and I have "money" - don't worry about our bills, save, save, save - you know that our relationship can have some shortcomings.

In general, though, I'm happy.

Baby Sister said...

PS - Love your blog!!!

molly gras said...

baby sis --

you indeed are the cutest little thing :)

love you lots


Dave said...

OK, do I have to start calling you Molly? I've kind of settled into Mrs. Pos. Same as I can't settle into Bruce rather than Pos.

Second, here's the way to save most of that $23 bucks a week. (My analytical side is thinking about the caveats, like does she what the coffee during the day when she's at school and my suggestion won't work?) If you like good coffee, buy beans and a coffee press. The press is tops, $20. Good beans from an independant shop can be had at $10 a pound, actually cheaper than buying Millstone or Starbucks beans at the supermarket, and much better. You can make one cup at a time or, with my press, up to three big cups.

Third, you as the blog author, can delete your, or anyone elses comments.

Finally, I hate money, said with great hyperbole. I make a living playing table stakes poker with other people's money; but, when it comes to mine, I'm often frozen.

Posolxstvo said...

Yeah, well, for what it's worth, Mrs. P/Molly can call herself whatever she wants, but here I like P or Pos or Posolxstvo for me.

As for the coffee thing, a few years ago we had a real nice Espresso machine (a La Pavoni) but it died.

For all this talk about money issues, we certainly have nice stuff ;). Like my TV that is too small to tell that football players are "big" bastards, but is actually the right size for my TV room...

- P

molly gras said...

Being a true Gemini, I'm happy to embrace split persona -- you can refer to me as Mrs. Pos or Molly.

I'll answer to both.

And the coffee press suggestion sounds rather intriguing ...

Can you say Christmas!


Posolxstvo said...

Darling -- You had a coffee press when we were newlyweds. It was in the pile of crap you pilfered from Pier 1. We used it once. Unsuccessfully.

God only knows where it is now. Left in your mother's attic no doubt.

molly gras said...

Ahh yeah ... Pier One coffee press ... mother's attic ...

yeah, you're probably right.

And this time it might end up in MY attic.

Forget about it then