Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Money will steal your joy

Money almost stole my joy

      How important is money to you? I have been so inspired lately  to talk about money and my relationship with it. For most of my life money has been the first priority, mainly because of how I was raised. You want something, you need money. You want to go some where, you need money. Family has always said to me "make sure you get a good job so you can make a lot of money". So it has always been instilled in my head that money is THE most, if not only, important thing in life. Before God, before family or friends, even before love and relationships.

      No one wants to be your friend if you don't have money and definitely not going to hang around you. So that's just how I have been ever since I was younger. When I got my first job at 18 I didn't really think of it as I am making money, it was more of something to do while I was in school. But then my dad was no longer on unemployment, and we had ourselves and two dogs to feed and from there on I just became a workaholic. I dropped out of college to get the most hours out of anyone. I lived this life of a fast paced person.

       I mean I was making my own money and doing my own thing. I hung out all the times when I wasn't working, eating at restaurants allllll the time, went to parties all the time. Just spending like a crazy person. Then came the shopping sprees. I was like a wild child in the store. I thought this is the life. Then my house flooded and we lost everything (furniture, clothes, makeup, jewelry) Because I had lost almost everything, I never really shopped again for a very long time. If it wasn't food, or every day necessities then that was it. I became a money hoarder. I had no choice I thought then to just save save save, and hoard my money.

        I still went to parties here and there, but the restaurants stopped, no more hair/nail salon trips once a week. I think around this time I was in denial of (a) how money actually worked and (b) how broke I really was. By the time I was 20 I had became really close to these women who introduced me to God. Now I know I had gone to Catholic school all my life so you may think "don't you already know God?" um no! Not in this way.

        January 1, 2008 changed my life for the better. I went to church on New Years Eve and actually listened. I was sooooo inspired to seek God, I changed a little bit of myself. I say a little bit because in order to keep up with these girls, for what I thought at the time was the better, I was spending money I didn't have. We'd go out to eat after church, movies, etc. I went back to spending like a mad women, again with money I didn't really have. But now my dad had job so I thought why not treat myself. Things were so amazing for me, I was going to church, praying, listening to gospel music, I was paying my tides every week.

       I mean I thought things were on point. Here I am being the way I thought Christians were. Then some things happened at work which caused me to not be friends with the girls anymore. I had to even temporarily quit my job over it. Now at that moment I was so upset, embarrassed, I felt alone. Everything I had learned in church and from the bible went out the window. All I cared about was what will I do without money. I mean I was a wreck until I checked my account at that very moment to find extra money out of no where. It was like a miracle. Now instead of not only thanking God, but giving some of that money away, I instead hoarded it all.

       From then on I would just save a little, or spend a whole lot at once, save, then splurge. I never really had any control whatsoever. This went on even after I quit my job for good this time. I had no job and was spending like crazy. How nuts is that? Out of control thinking I'll find a job by the time the money runs out. Well guess what, the money ran out sooooo fast and next thing I know I was on my hands and knees praying. I got a job about a week later but that week was long and a temporary rude-wakening. By 2009 I was back to my old ways again. I was in school and working at the time, and getting little checks here and there spending like crazy or i'd save a whole lump sum of money and spend it all at one time. This basically continued until about last year. I have always either felt like "Oh I got this" while spending till I hit zero. Or I was saying "I don't have this" and saving like crazy and not giving.

        Now, I guess because I don't have a job I have learned so much about money. I have had the time to learn. I mean you learn so much about yourself when you are unemployed and sitting at home all day doing nothing. You have a loooooott of time to kill, it usually involves a lot of thinking. But I can honestly say that money is not really my top priority anymore neither are material things. Which is crazy to some people because of the shopaholic I used to be. It is very hard not to think about it esp. when you are used to going places whenever you wanted. Or when you need something important and you may have to wait a while to be able to get it. I mean I am not perfect and I do need money just like everyone else to survive. But everyday I am learning how not to put it before my joy. It just isn't on my mind to get it as it is to most people.

         The only thing that gets me sometimes are people who try to get you to think about your situation as being way worse than it is. Most people may go "oh I don't know how you do it" and try to make you feel bad about your life and make you think that money is the most important thing ever. Then you have so many tempting situations like TV commercials and YT video hauls (which I have had to stop watching all together because they were making me feel bad about my situation) they make you start wanting more money. I mean it's a constant reminder of how important money should be in everyday society, I just have to be resilient and stay focused on the important stuff.

Putting money 1st for 23 years got me no where but stressed out because I spent to little, or not enough or I wanted more than I had. Or because I was too busy chasing it I missed out on being a kid and just enjoying life. Chasing money took my joy. And I don't know about ya'll but I like being joyful and happy. Money just isn't my top priority anymore.

My take aways for some of you out there who are going through some issues with money ( whether you are rich or not so rich)

(a) Money isn't more important than happiness. Even if you are happy right now with all the money in the world, money chasers never have for long.

(b) Give what you can. When I was going to church and people were putting in 100's of dollars I used to feel horrible putting in 5 or 10 dollars. Now I know that as long as I give it doesn't matter. I don't go to church anymore but I have found other ways to give like not taking money from people. Like if my nana needs me to go to the store and tries to pay me I won't take it or tipping the bagger at the grocery store. No matter the amount, or even what you give a person (hug, smile), it will always come back to you. That is just how life is.

(c) Don't be a money hoarder or an over spender. Being stingy will you get you know where. Have you ever noticed someone in your life ( family or friends) who are just so selfish when it comes to money and things. They just keep everything to themselves. And they are just soooooo unhappy with life. So mean even. Who wants to be that person? Not many anymore. Being mean 24/7 is unhealthy and makes God upset. Then you have people who are the over spender (like myself). I'd spend money because I was depressed, be happy for like an hour. Then get really depressed because I over spent. Enjoy what life has to offer you and live in peace.

(d) Stay out of debt by living within our means. If we didn't over spend we'd have no debt (student loans not included). I have learned that people who pay off there debt get more back. I guess it's because your stressing is decreased so now you are basically being rewarded double then what you owe.

All I want for us all is to be in peace when it comes to finances and whether you believe in God or science, don't let money steal you joy. :)

Thank you all for reading.

Agree or disagree? leave a comment below.


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