Check out this email I got in response to our post on Mr. Wendal the other day.
So many great questions to reflect on!
Money is a tool, something we need, and has only what value society ascribes to it. Too often, we forget this.
Society, as a whole, doesn’t always remember to value all life, or even all humans. Society is made of the spiritually conscious and the spiritually unconscious. When the conscious ones spread their love to humanity, through good thoughts and good deeds, the love grows, and reaches more and more of humanity. And yes, it awakens some too, who can spread yet more love.
So, my thoughts on money are simple. I ask these questions:
- Why do I want money?
- How much do I need to live a simple, yet comfortable life, with plenty of food, a home, and some for enjoyment– vacations, hobbies, some nights out?
- Where am I being wasteful?
- What might I do to be more frugal?
- Am I giving enough of my time, talents, and monetary support to the place I receive spiritual nourishment?
- Am I helping those less fortunate?
- Am I being a good example for my children? Teaching them how to use money wisely?
- And equally important, do they understand the value of recreation and a work life balance?
Money is not something to be chased after, because, as I mentioned, it has no intrinsic value, and we are much more than materialistic beings who spend money and buy a plethora of useless things just because we can.
We may think society is shallow but society is made of people, all of us. As a people, we need love and awareness. To remember that we are spiritual beings and not mindless creatures blindly chasing after stuff.
And it begins with you and I.
I love that last part – “To remember that we are spiritual beings and not mindless creatures blindly chasing after stuff.” And I take “spiritual” here to mean more “introspective/conscious” than religiousy, although that certainly plays a role too…
What a great set of questions, right? How happy would you be with your own answers to these? They’re more for deep thought and life pondering than a quick “quiz”, but I thought I’d share my gut answers to them anyways to help get the juices turning…
Why do I want money? So I don’t have to think about money anymore! I want to focus more time doing all the other things in your list of questions here!
How much do I need to live a simple, yet comfortable life, with plenty of food, a home, and some for enjoyment– vacations, hobbies, some nights out? Roughly $5,000/mo which is currently where we’re hovering at right now. Could probably even be fine around $3,000-$4,000/mo, but there’s more in my family than just me ;)
Where am I being wasteful? Food maybe? We do spend a lot on it and not always best at using up every last item… We also tend to not coupon as much, although we do pay attention to deals.
What might I do to be more frugal? See above… And also my future post on what I’m learning from tracking my *want* purchases every day! (At least I’m assuming that’s where the end result is going, haha…)
Am I giving enough of my time, talents, and monetary support to the place I receive spiritual nourishment? Not as much as I’d want, but I’m getting there! Started implementing a $20/mo giving goal last year to all the different organizations I believe in (shockingly, automating your donations works as well as saving money!) and I just stated volunteering my time at a new organization too. Something I haven’t done in yearrrssss, outside of helping people with money here in our community… Why does not getting paid for stuff feel so good???
Am I helping those less fortunate? Trying! A comment in that same Mr. Wendel post (2nd one down) sparked an even bigger flame in me thinking about the “purpose of life,” and if it really is just about helping those around us as much as possible… Can you imagine if that’s all any of us did day in and day out?? I don’t know how our finances would look, but our world would surely be in a better spot! Haha…
Am I being a good example for my children? Teaching them how to use money wisely? I hope so! We talk about money just about every day, and they’re starting to spend their own piggy bank savings on things to get a good sense of the value of a dollar now… So far they really like yard sales, and yet still really really like Target too?! Which I admit is a hard one to hate – adults can’t even crack that code ;)
And equally important, do they understand the value of recreation and a work life balance? Definitely – especially the latter. It was because of my boys that I got my own work/life balance in check, and I make sure to thank them daily for it and be much more present in their lives. Now they see my eyeballs more than they do my laptop!
So off first glance we’re well on track with a lot of these, but still got some good tweaking to go.
And again, not questions you just answer 1-2-3 and then move on with your life! Try to really ponder these over the weekend and see if your actions/money are aligned with where you want them to be too. And don’t feel bad if they’re not! We all go off track and need a re-alignment every now and then… The “going off” part is the easier of the two ;)
Big thanks to Kristin for shooting this over and allowing me to share with everyone today, and I hope they tied you over until Monday. Be well!
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!