“I have enough money to last me the rest of my life – unless I buy something” – Jackie Mason (comedian).
When I was a kid I loved watching ‘It’s in the Bag‘.
I would yell at the TV “the money, the money” or “the bag, the bag” and feel my excitement swelling as the contents of the bag were revealed.
That might just have been the start of my love affair with money – and all the good things money can buy.
My family wasn’t rich and we couldn’t afford fancy stuff. We had what we needed. There was always money for school trips, gymnastics, music, drama, but I still remember feeling anguish at not having ‘the right’ shoes or clothes.
I started earning money in my early teens. I did a pamphlet run, then a paper run at the same time, then served and mopped floors at the local dairy and rolled ice creams at the cinema. I filled up my hours after school and on weekends. The more I worked, the more I could earn. Bingo.
It didn’t matter what I needed the money for, or whether I needed money at all. It was exciting watching my bank balance grow. I still remember the pride at my $2,500 bank balance when I left school at 17.
At 18 I had my first full-time job as a junior reporter on a provincial newspaper – I was on the career ladder! And I’ve largely defined my success by my job title, my pay packet, and my productivity, ever since.
I share this because my kinder life is the circuit breaker. I’ve made the confronting and unconventional choice to give up my job security, earn nothing and do less, for who knows how long, but let’s call it a year.
It’s not a decision I took lightly. And it’s not easy to explain. Since giving my notice at work, I’ve brushed off questions about how I’ll make ends meet. “I’ll be fine”
But there’s no escaping that people want to know. I was asked on social media today how I plan or budget for my living costs, how much I needed to save, and whether I intend to work part time to make ends meet.
The best answer I can give is that I’ve worked hard and I’ve saved hard for close to 30 years and can get by for a year. I don’t need as much as I’ve been earning, as a single person receiving the same income as people with families to support. I’ve always spent more than necessary, and this year I will live on less.
I won’t be doing paid work but I will be thinking about the sort of contribution I want to make in the world, and how I can do that, and earn enough to live on at the same time. My vision is to create a social enterprise – a business with a purpose that is embedded in doing good, and that pays me what I need. I have lots of ideas for that, but no plan.
I think we can all create the kind of life we want without giving up work. I’m not encouraging anyone else to quit their jobs, but I do encourage you to think about what you want more of in life, and what it will take to achieve that.
Whenever I ask myself what I want more of, I want more time and freedom and I want to make more of a contribution. It’s never anything that money can buy.
Yet, I’ve kept working, kept building my career, kept earning, kept saving.
I save for holidays – but everything I want in a holiday is right here. Friends, yoga, reading, cinemas, great walks, my kayak, my bike.
I save for retirement – but why wait for retirement when I may never need or want to retire? If I could use this year to create the kind of life that I never want to retire from?
And what about the contribution I want to make? When would I move from having ideas to having a plan if I kept being too busy making money to create my kinder life?
The working, the earning, the saving… I can now see that it’s been an addiction for me. This year I’m going cold turkey.
For the first time in my life, I’ve chosen the bag. I’m so excited to see what’s inside.
And what if it’s a bag of lemons? I’ll make fantastic lemonade.
Yours with abundance,
- Is a money addiction a thing? It appears it is: Check out 5-hidden-signs-money-addiction-karen-mccall or money-addiction_b_221937.html
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