Money doesn’t equal happiness, money doesn’t grow on trees, money can’t buy love, money isn’t everything; how many money related phrases can you think up? (“Show me the money!”)
Yes friends it’s the end of the year, time to reflect back on the year just passed and look ahead at the year to come. I feel very petulant about my relationship with money in 2010; when I wanted it, it wasn’t there for me, yet I never was pushed to extinction. This is probably in part due to some amazing friends my wife and I have who have opened their hearts and their doors to us. It’s also a lot of resourcefulness, going where the wind blows you, and taking care of ourselves and each other first and foremost. There were some money’isims I learned this year though.
Money Doesn’t Flow Evenly: On 1/1/10 my wife and I were comfortable with plenty of money, all caught up on bills, and very excited about the year to come. At the time my job search had just come to an end. I had been looking since 2007 for a suitable ‘career-style’ job and I got an offer to be a writer for 1-800-DENTIST.com. The only reason we were in LA was for my wife to be an actor and now that I had full time employ, she could quit her job and refocus her energies on the acting gig. In a matter of days though, everything changed. My wife gave her notice, I started my job and 3 days later, I was shown the door. Apparently the folks at 1-800-DENTIST don’t like boundless energy and ambition. They wanted someone who could fall in line (even though the whole reason they hired me was because of my impressive output at a place like Associated Content) and just tow the company line. My wife had given her notice, there was no turning that around. My job had been a nearly 50% pay cut from what she had been making, but it was no big deal, because we had plenty of money. Now with neither of us working, we had to make a change. Three months later we were back out on the road, out of our lease, out, gone. Money doesn’t always flow freely.
Money Isn’t Everything: I like “things,” I like freedom, I like choice, but money isn’t everything. There is something to be said for the determination of persistence and bringing a skill to the table. Money isn’t everything.
Money Isn’t Required to Live: Of course a small amount of money is required to live, but I’m finding out more and more that the more our parents and, in some cases, grandparents stay on in career posts that we once hoped we could have taken on (when I’m sure they hoped to be retired) we have choices for what to do. We have to do something; we can’t just stop living. Many of my friends are moving back in with family or friends; ostensibly homeless. I never thought I’d classify myself in that lot but that’s where we are right now. We’re all told we need to have “x-by this date” in our lives and “y-by this date” in our lives. It has become more apparent that life doesn’t move in a gradual upward slope. Life is crazy, life is unpredictable, and even though we once thought we couldn’t live without certain thresholds being met, what do you do when life throws you a curve ball? You don’t always have such an easy choice. Money isn’t always required to live.
Money Comes Back: Life may not be in a gradual slope upwards, but it does move like the tides. So just like money goes away, sure as the tides go out and come in, money comes back. If you are in a low-tide portion of your monetary existence, do yourself a favor and kick the feet up, tip your cabana hat, and just breathe. The more you stress about money, the more money stresses you out.