I have a dirty secret. I don’t make a lot of money. I often just get by financially, and not because I overspend, but because I just don’t earn a regular income. I have to think before I spend more than $50 and I can’t afford to travel as I used to.
I am not in debt, and never have been. In fact my family has always offered me help, but recently I decided I would not depend on them as much and learn to live within my own means. Well, it’s been over a year now, and I’ve exhausted my savings (the little nest egg I had saved hard to build as a safety net) and am worried I made the wrong decision.
I can’t deny loving the sense of independence I feel because I am living within my means.
I can’t deny how freeing it feels to have simpler choices. When I go grocery shopping, I can’t buy any and everything that I want now. Instead I buy mostly what I need and is within my budget. There is less to choose from, and funnily enough, I feel happier.
I can’t deny that knowing what I have in my bank account will not last me beyond the next 2-3 months makes me motivated to create more workshops and share what I have learnt about health, healing and purposeful living with a wider audience.
I can’t deny that I appreciate and am immensely grateful for the clients I have now and want to find the best way I can to serve them.
I can’t deny that spending less money, mostly on what I need, rather than what I want or can spend money on, makes me no less content. Modern society has conditioned us to think that more money and material things will make us feel secure and happy, when in actual fact, recent studies have shown that ‘once wealth reaches a subsistence level, its effectiveness as a generator of well-being is greatly diminished.’*
Deep down inside I knew that depending on my family financially just didn’t feel good and in fact it made me feel disempowered and resentful. I feared it kept me as a child and in fact I am often mistaken for being much younger. While my vanity revels in this, I can’t help feeling like this is also because there is a part of me that has yet to fully grow up.
Maybe that’s what matters most, that I am doing what feels empowering and truthful for me.
When I was in this same position last year, down to just about enough money to last me a few months, I received a cheque for $10,000 after the death of my Godmother. She said she would look out for me and even in her death, she did.
In retrospect, I’ve always had enough to pay for my necessities and a little more, on the odd occasion a lot more, which has enabled me to study, travel and broaden my horizons. So this year, I decided I would make a conscious decision to keep going, keep moving toward my dream of independence and financial freedom. One step at a time. Maybe that is how you succeed. Not by never failing, but by making a decision to keep going even when you don’t.
* Quote taken from Wikipedia page on Happiness Economics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happiness_economics