Stop Watching Your Money: A Lesson On Money Management
Updated: May 4
A big part of adulting is you guessed it...money management. No one likes to talk about it, but it's a topic that we all care deeply about. Truth be told, when it came to spending money, I was a stickler. I loved nice things and would spend freely when it came to experiences, or when I really wanted something...BUT when I didn’t have a reason to spend, I was generally more concerned about saving. Growing up money was tight. So, naturally, as an adult, I've been conscious about saving and eliminating unnecessary expenses. Despite my management practices, after moving to Atlanta, buying a new car, leasing an apartment, and living off my savings while searching for a job in my new locale, I drained most — if not all— of my savings. Ironically, while I was going through my savings I never really had a worry. I made it a point to do everything I wanted and just blindly trusted that all would work out and that I'd be okay. However, when I gained some sense of consistency again I was left starting a savings account from scratch. Immediately I started worrying about meeting my expenses and replenishing my account and as a result, I took an even more cautious approach to money management. I made it my mission to find other streams of income so I could get back to having a "safety cushion". However, after a while, I was more miserable and stressed out because my savings account never seemed to increase.
After a few months into my money worries, I connected with some amazing friends. I noticed how they lived so freely and soon I realized that in my effort to control the amount of income I tried to put away, I actually lost control of the trust I had when I didn't have a job. I took note of how unbothered my friends were about giving and spending and I began to question my approach to money management. As I pondered my financial management practices, I had an astounding revelation after attending a church service, which (ironically) was about stewarding money.
Right then and there it hit me. I had taken a "wrong" approach to saving and spending money. Instead of being okay with letting go of the money I made, I was afraid of going broke and ended up hoarding it. It was a terrible mistake and one that I'm still working on correcting. After my epiphany, I decided to look at money like it wasn't mine to have or keep in the first place. This
"philosophy" or principle if you will, allowed me to release the idea that what I made was my sole source of surviving.
Now, this isn't a pass to be reckless with spending, but it is to let you know that it's okay to allow your funds the opportunity to overflow when you decide to bless others, enjoy moments, and give back without a thought of "what if". Truthfully, when I moved back into this space, I went from worrying if I'd have extra cash left over for savings to wondering how I had all the extra money to do everything I did each month.
I had a goal to make an excess of a certain amount of money and believe or not once I relinquished my control, most times I'd make or even surpass that goal. Every expense I had was met, and while I don't have a whole heap of savings at this moment, I'm working towards doing the things I've wanted to do with my earnings- (like furnishing my apartment, investing in my future), while still putting a little away. Of course, after you drain your savings account, it'll take you some time to get it going again, but that's okay! And with Corona going on, the fight with money is that much more difficult, especially since we are all in a space of uncertainty. Even with certainty, I would ordinarily be paranoid about the fact that it would take months to replenish my savings and annoyed that I'm not where I want to be financially. But at the same time, money comes and goes! Although this is easier said than done, we're here to encourage you to stay strong and to remind you that you can still make it through these difficult times.
My piece of advice to anyone struggling with the money principle is to make sure you use whatever you have wisely. Always give freely, or pay it forward because not only will you see a return, but you'll be helping someone along the way. Last but not least, choose to make investments, like in yourself, property, life insurance, or a business and your money will grow forever. That’s the way to live a full and fruitful life! These probably weren't the tips you were looking for or expecting, but I promise if you put this theory in action...it will never fail to let you down!