Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thoughts about Money

It isn’t just about what you make, it’s also about how you manage what you make. - Gail Vaz -Oxlade

I have heard or read a variation of this quote at least a hundred times in the past decade. For some unknown reason, I've never really put much thought into it. Sure, if you're making decent money, you have enough to manage. When you're dirt poor, your worries tend to run along the lines of how to feed your family and keep a roof over your head at the same time.

Now I'm not saying that we're dirt poor. Far from it, in fact. But I grew up in a household where the cycle of extreme poverty helped me to develop a mindset that I was, and always will be very poor. I'm still trying to change my thoughts on that.

Being poor is relative, I suppose. I know folks who make five times more per month than I do, and I know several people who would love to have access to the kind of money that I have. The truth is, I'm neither financially wealthy not poverty stricken (anymore) and I'm learning to come to terms with that. This is where Gail's quote comes in.

I've learned that there will always be money in my life. There will be times where there will be seemingly plenty of it, and there will be times where it will seem like there is next to none. It's what I do with it that matters.

Budgeting my money is still a work in progress, and I may never "get it right", but I sleep better knowing I'm doing the best I can with what I have. I still make mistakes and overspend, especially in my entertainment category, but I have also learned to forgive myself for that. I only allow myself one day of guilty feelings over money overspent that I cannot get back.

What helps me to not feel so guilty is that for the first time in my life, I am saving money for my future, saving money for emergencies that will inevitably happen, and I'm saving up for things I would like to have. My pots of money aren't huge, but they are there, and I put that money there for those reasons. That's worth a good night's sleep to me.

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