"What would you do if money didn't matter?" I never understood that question, not really. I always thought it meant "what would you do if you had enough money that you didn't have to worry about it anymore?" and I could never quite get to that place in my mind. I could never answer the question. Something finally clicked in my brain and now I understand. I understand that the question doesn't mean what if I have ALL the money?, it just means, what if money didn't matter? What if I could do something just because I want to and not because of how much money it will give me? What would I do?
Maybe I finally understood because I'm finally doing what I would do. Maybe I understand because now I know what it's like to do things just because I want to and not because of the money. I mean, I've always felt that, but I've never realized it the way I have now.
Am I making any sense?
What I mean to say is, I'm not worried about money anymore and I am happy. Yes, I work roughly 40 hours a week at a job that doesn't bring me any sense of fulfillment, and yes, I do that for the money but I do it because the money is enough and I like my job enough and it gives me the time to work on what I want to do.
I've never been a fan of the phrase, "follow your heart," or "do what makes you happy." I think those statements overlook real life necessities and can put people in a bad place if they aren't careful. I will never tell you to quit your day job to follow a dream that isn't able to support you and supplement the income you had. I will never tell you to risk everything to make a new business idea work. But I want you to think about something with me... what would you do if money didn't matter? Do you know what you would do?
Imagine having a job that pays all of your bills (you probably already have this job). Now imagine that since your bills are all paid, you can do whatever you want in your free time. What are you going to do in that time? Is it your life's goal to watch Netflix for five hours a day? Or play video games? Or sleep? Or be on Facebook (insert any other social media platform here)? Are those the things that you keep coming back to in your mind? Maybe, but I doubt it.
Maybe you want to travel the world. Maybe you want to write a novel. Maybe you want to paint, take pictures, design, cook, dance, ___(insert whatever brings you joy here)___! I bet those are some of the things that you lie awake at night thinking about. I bet those are some of the things that invade your dreams. I bet those are some of the things that make up the life you want for yourself. So, are you doing those things now? If you are, YOU ARE AWESOME! You should definitely keep it up. Keep creating and doing and thinking and growing. If you aren't, why not? Is it because of money? Oh my, let's talk about that...
MONEY PROBLEMS... OR SOLUTIONS
This is not my favorite topic. Not even close. More often than not Dani and I will text each other and say, "money sucks." It's true, we do this, and it's true, it does suck. There never seems to be enough or the potential to earn enough. I mean, where does it all go??? I know we're not the only ones who feel this way.
I'm going to be honest with you guys and let you know that I've never really been very good with money. I haven't had a savings account since I was probably 17 and while I'm no longer living paycheck-to-paycheck, I do not at all feel financially stable or secure. I want to change that in 2016. I don't want money to hold me back from living the life I want to live.
Let me tell you some stories about me and money...
*In college I lived at home and worked full time so I could pay for school. I consider myself really lucky for being able to do that and graduate debt free but I do think I missed out on some college experiences that I would have had if I had moved away for school or lived on campus.
*I had this job a year and a half ago, it paid really well but I hated it. There was a lot of pressure and I was anxious all of the time and I couldn't bring myself to do anything but work and sleep. It was awful. I did it for the money. I knew I wouldn't like the job, but hey, it paid well and I wanted to make more money so that I could enjoy my life more. Which is the opposite of what happened... The best day I had in that job was the day I told my boss I was leaving (the position, not the company). I had made more money than ever before and I was so grateful for that because it enabled me to buy a car when I needed to (I have the worst luck with cars- ask anyone) but I realized that all of the money in the world would not be worth the way I felt in that job.
*I almost gave up on photography all-together because I wasn't making any money from it and I thought that if no one wanted to pay me for it then I must not be very good. HA! Can you believe that? Yeah, that really is what I thought. Once I let go of that nonsense idea and started taking pictures because I wanted to and not because someone paid me to I started creating some magic with my camera.
*I'm moving out of my amazing, wonderful, beautiful, perfect apartment because I can't afford to live here & accomplish all that I want to accomplish in 2016. I've been in this apartment for 1 year now and even though I could keep paying rent and bills and still get by, if I chose to do that I wouldn't be able to invest as much into this blog or my health or traveling (or moving!) as I plan to in 2016. I'm choosing to minimize my financial stress in as many ways as possible so that I can focus on what I really want in life. I want this blog to thrive, I want to visit my friends around the country, I want to continue in CrossFit and healthy living and I want to move closer to Dani. I decided that I want all of those things more than I want my apartment.
I'm really lucky to be able to just pack everything up and move back in with my parents, I know that not everyone has that option. I was also really lucky to be able to live at home through college and I was super lucky to be able to leave the job I hated and I'm really lucky that I don't have to rely on photography to make a living. I know that not everyone has the opportunity to make the choices I've made. I'm definitely not trying to tell you guys that my way is the only way. I'm not telling you to live at home through college or quit your job or do creative work for free or give up your apartment. That's not the point of these "stories." The point is that I hope you can see that I'm not just on the other end of this computer/blog world telling you not to worry about money while I'm here swimming in piles of cash. The point is to let you know that even though I know that often times money just sucks, I also know that there are things we can all do to change our situation. Maybe all you can change is your mindset, but hey, that is HUGE!
Can we stop saying, "money sucks," and start saying, "hey, this is hard, but I'm ok" ?? I need this. I need those words. I need that thought process. Do you? It's a new year you guys, 2016 is waiting for us to make magic in our lives and the lives of the people around us. What will we do? Lets be so thankful for jobs that pay the bills and even just 1 extra hour in the day to do something just because we want to and not because we are thinking about how to make more money. I know we all want to eventually make money doing what we love but in the meantime, how can we chose to minimize our financial burdens and maximize our creativity?
You guys, do you know who is really good with money? Dani. Always has been, always will be. You should check back later this week for her awesome budgeting tips/strategies. Like, for real, she's so good I told her that if we ever start to make money from our blog, she's in charge of it! :)