I guess this is more of a practical topic, a bit different from the others.
But I can’t overstate how much better I feel when I have no debt, and money in the bank.
The more money I save and the less debt I have, the more I feel both secure and free. Secure in the sense that things can be taken care of, that I have more than enough. Free in the sense that I know if I really want to walk out of my job, or buy a plane ticket to somewhere else, I can.
It’s all about peace of mind.
My parents taught me from a young age how debilitating debt can be. Obviously some forms of debt are ok, like a mortgage that is manageable. But having ongoing car repayments, credit card bills, personal loans and so on can be like walking around in shackles. You can’t do much but work to repay the debt. Sometimes it’s necessary, like when your car breaks down and you have no money. But as much as possible, I avoid debt.
I value freedom a great deal. As soon as I feel trapped in some form, I start to feel myself wither.
I also value abundance and fear scarcity, which I think we are taught to do in our culture.
It has been a really big deal for me to purchase a property recently, knowing that I am now stuck in one place with ongoing mortgage payments. But the payments are very low and easily manageable, which allows me the freedom to change my job or cut back my hours. Not only that, having my own land provides me with the freedom to build my own art studio and start working from home – something I couldn’t do while renting. So it’s about striking a compromise.
Now I’m focusing on getting more money in the bank to have a cushion of security for the future. Ultimately I’d like to work for myself full time, so each time I put aside a portion of my pay cheque, I know that I’m creating my future.
Take a moment to think about your finances. How do you feel when you think about this? Are you satisfied and happy with your current financial situation?
If you’re not happy with your finances, how would you like things to be different? What can you do to make that happen?
For me, money represents freedom and security. What does money represent for you? It might be the same as me, or it might be luxury, fun, contribution, self-love, generosity, fear, scarcity, abundance, etc. Consider doing an art journal/visual spread about this.
Note: this post was originally part of a series of 30 life lessons and journal prompts for my 30th birthday. You can access the rest of the lessons and prompts here.