Money is not the answer, it’s not going to make you happy or sad, but, like air, it’s essential. To paraphrase author and financial planner Eleanor Blagney, money is grease: used well it makes life run more easily, used poorly it’s toxic, messy and difficult to clean up.
In my experience, learning to respect and be grateful for the money in your life is paramount to feeling successful, competent and capable.
Money is simply a means of exchange. It makes life easier.
Yet, the more distant we get from the green stuff, silver coins and copper pennies the harder it is to be in relationship with money— credit and debit cards, online bill pay, even checking accounts all serve to distance us from feeling the fatness or thinness of our wallet.
My experiment this holiday season is to be grateful for money by 1) using cash 2) buying only from stores or local artists that live within 1 mile of my home and office 3) making gifts with my family using supplies we already have and 4) honoring my budget for gifts and reminding myself that what we long for is connection not stuff. I want to be aware of the money I receive and spend; conscious of the flow and grateful for the grease.
To read more about ways to reframe your relationship with money during the holidays check out the articles I wrote for Squidoo.com: Holiday Tithing with a Twist and Practicing Financial Gratitude.
©2011 Luna Jaffe
Artwork by Deborah Carlson