Money and I have been in a love/hate relationship for the past 10 years, ever since I graduated from college and entered the “real world.”
During my first year out of school, a store ran my debit card as credit. It was declined for “insufficient funds.” Turns out, I wasn’t just out of Money, I had been out of Money for weeks! Each debit swipe had cost me the price of my purchase plus an additional $25 overdraw fee. By the time my card was declined, I owed Chase Bank a whopping $1,125.
Next came the humiliating phone call to my parents, Dr. And Mrs. Judgmentalstein. I admitted my mistake, they gave me the money to spare eternal $25 overdraw fees, and I promised to never do that again.
But nothing changed.
Ok, so I never did that again.
But I still didn’t take my Money seriously. Instead, I stuck my Money fears in a box. And stuck the box under my bed…for 10 years.
No wonder I was so stuck!
If you want to change your life, you have to take control of it first.
For me, taking control meant organizing the Box of Responsibility into my personal finances.
Organizing my Money was not easy. It took several weeks of tedious tasks. But now that it’s done, Money doesn’t seem so scary! In fact, life is a lot less stressful (and scary) when you’re not ignoring your fears… and neglecting your hard-earned dollars.
That is, until you quit your corporate job. Bye-bye direct deposit. Hello stress and fear!
But this is my Unsticking! And nothing is going to stop me from conquering my fears and building a better life for myself.
So I’m taking my Money to couples counseling. Our counselor is Jen Sincero, author of You are a Badass at Making Money.
In Chapter 4: Busting Yourself, Sincero instructs to write a letter: Tell Money how you really feel about your relationship.
I wrote two:
1. In the heat of the moment…
April 12, 2018
I am intimidated by you because you are a prerequisite for everything I want to do and because you have so many stipulations that define our relationship—interest rates, rate of return, APR, compound interest, financing, equity, loans, deductible, Roth, IRA… Why are you so complicated?!
I want us to reach a point in our relationship that we are mutually there for each other. I provide for you an organized and optimized budget, and you continue to pour in.
I have dreams of making a difference! I want to use my voice to entertain and uplift girls and women to be more outspoken and confident. With Justin, it would be amazing if we could grow his business and give back in parts of the world that don’t have the luxury of indoor plumbing.
But I need you, Money. I need you to support me and push me. Together we can do great things.
2. Once I took some time to think (and listen to a bit more of the audiobook)
June 29, 2018
I’m sorry I’ve been so distant in our relationship. But you never gave up on me! You knew I would get my act together eventually. Without you, I would be stuck forever.
I am grateful that I now recognize how wonderful of a partner you are. With teamwork and a plan (a budget) we can be a power couple!
I will take the time to care for and support you. Because that is what a good partner does. It’s not me alone or me versus you. We are in this together, Money. We are going to work hard, learn new things and create changes.
I trust you to be there when I need you, and I promise to never take you for granted.
I am grateful for everything you do for me, and everything I am able to do because of you.
Are you excited yet, my darling Money?
This is going to be fun!
> To learn more about how I organized and digitally optimized 10 years of neglected personal finances, read BOX OF RESPONSIBILITY.
> For the easiest budgeting tool ever, visit youneedabudget.com.