Hello readers of So Over This! I’m Kathleen and my corner of the internet is Frugal Portland, where I talk about my journey toward financial freedom in the lovely city of Portland, Oregon! I’m here today because Andrea’s brain fell out last week, and I always seem to have something to say. So, while she’s recovering from back-to-school-brain-fallout, I’m here to discuss why we shouldn’t be so precious with our money.
Norah Jones sang, “Money’s just something you throw, off the back of a train,” and while I don’t think we should be that carefree, I do think that there’s a great deal of joy associated with selfless giving.
Letting Worry In
Those of us who write on a blog with the word “frugal” in the URL know that money doesn’t come easy. We worry and fret and give ourselves ulcers when we run out of money before we run out of month. And that, my friends, is the problem. Not that 30 days is too long for one dang paycheck to last (because, oh, it is) but the worry. Worrying about something is thinking about it all the time. It keeps us up at night.
But there’s a flaw in worry, one that they don’t teach us. And that’s the power of visualization. If you believe it, it comes true! So if you believe that you do not have enough money, and your thoughts are, “I don’t have, I don’t have, there isn’t enough,” then you are right. You will keep proving yourself right, and that kind of sucks. Because on the one hand, it’s nice to be right. But it sucks to be broke.
Abundance is all around us
Let’s rephrase it — think to yourself, “Goodness gracious I have all this money! I am doing everything right and I have more than enough for myself, my family, and my future.” Then, take four five-dollar-bills out of your wallet (or the ATM!), and put them in the cupholder of your car, the lining of your purse, the extra pocket in your fanny pack, or that weird zipper pocket on your cargo pants. Remind yourself that cargo pants will never go out of style, as you’re ferreting your fives away.
Now, give a five to the next four people you see. I live in an urban area, so I typically only give to people with cardboard signs. But you don’t have to. You can give a five to anyone who looks down on their luck. Not comfortable with that? Pay for the person behind you in line’s groceries. Bonus points if you’re able to sneak away before she knows what you did.
I promise, if you do this exercise, you will feel happy and light. You don’t have to do it often, and you don’t have to use that much if money’s tight enough that you won’t eat if you lose that cash. But a funny thing will happen. If you visualize yourself having so much money that you have extra to give away, you’ll start finding money in odd places. Maybe some cash will be on the sidewalk. Or a freelance opportunity will come your way.
You’ll feel like a good person, that’s for sure!
Andrea’s note: Thanks so much to Kathleen for allowing me some time to hunt down my remaining brain cells! This post reminds me of one I wrote quite awhile back about altruism, as well as a more recent one about signs. I love helping people in need, though sometimes I let it get in the way of my own goals. Like right now – I should probably just post about it on Friday, but there is a ton of giving money away (indirectly) going on in my life at the moment. Still, I want to try Kathleen’s experiment! What about you?