Saving money isn't glamorous, but it's worth it

Saving money isn't glamorous, but it's worth it

It’s Day 8 of The $20 Challenge (if you don’t know what The $20 Challenge is, click here), and I have a story to share.

A couple days ago, I went to return a shirt to Old Navy that my son decided he didn’t want. Looking at the receipt I found I would only get $5 back, but I went — because $5 is a coffee or a little treat or some milk when we’re out.

In line at the checkout, I saw The Wealthiest Woman I Know. Or at least she makes it look that way, with her fancy car and fancy clothes and chunky jewelry and loud confidence. (She’s one of those who should know you by now but because she never looks you in the eye, you are no one to her.) She was there with about 18 family members, taking up the WHOLE checkout aisle, talky talky talky, buying a huge pile of clothes.

And I was there to return a shirt for $5.

I felt the irony prickle against my skin.

She could have 500 $5 shirts.

And maybe she does.

But what does that matter to me? I thought. I’m here for ME, and I’m here consciously, with awareness, and I’m witnessing the ego stories. I’m here to stop the mindless spending, to stop feeding the machine, to stop funneling my anger and despair into plastic toys that wind up in the garbage and garbage food that doesn’t feed me.

During the first 8 days of the challenge, I have felt scrimpy and savey, poor and smart, annoyed and stupid — all of the things. I’ve even thought, Should I really be doing this right now?

The answer is yes.

This is a pathway.

This is helping me cut through a LOT of bullshit.

This is directing me back to what’s really important: Me, my kids, our joy and delight, our love, taking care and taking responsibility like I never have before. And I mean NEVER — never, since working 2 jobs as a 15-year-old, have I managed money IN THIS WAY, with honor, respect, intentionality and thoughtfulness.

You might wondering, But is it really worth it? Is money worth all that so-called respect and reverence?

The way I see it, money is just a representation. Swap it out for “me,” swap it out for “my family,” swap it out for whatever you love. If something is important to you, don’t you take care of it and love on it? Devote yourself to it tenderly? Surrender to whatever transformation occurs? And it’s not the actual dollars and cents that command respect…it’s how that energy is exchanged, given and received that deserves awareness and attention.

How you do one thing is how you do everything. And while this transition has caused some ups and downs already, I’m enjoying the different consciousness around saving, spending, consuming and abstaining. It’s intense — especially when confronted with people and situations so different from my own — but would I give it up only to fall unconscious again? I hope not. This could be a passing through — through a narrow doorway or opening — to a great wide-open expanse on the other glorious side. I actually believe that — because I can tell I’ve been helped across this week.

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Filed under: 20 questions, Family, Money

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