19 May You can’t afford that
Want me to read this to you?
When I was in college, I worked three jobs…and I was still broke as shit.
I took a full class load studying psychology…
…worked as a bank teller 15 hours a week…
…worked at the local women’s shelter as a legal advocate where I filed protection from abuse orders for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault…
…and worked at Bath & Body Works at night and on weekends where I gave free “hand facials” and came home smelling like cucumber melon every night.
I worked A LOT…but minimum wage was crap money…
…and I barely had enough every month to make my car payment…put gas in the thing to get me back and forth to school and work…and go out to eat with my boyfriend (because I was NOT eating dining hall food).
I never had any money for anything.
My roommate, Ashley, would always take random trips to Wal-Mart at 1 am for fun…
…and I’d always tag along because I had nothing better to do.
She’d load up her cart with Cheetos, M&M’s…the newest editions of Cosmo and Vogue…nail polish…new shampoo…perfume…cute fuzzy slippers…and romantic comedy DVDs for us to watch in our dorm room.
She always seemed to have the money for whatever she wanted…whenever she wanted to buy it…
…and I just tagged along beside her cart empty handed.
I loved those late night shopping trips with Ashley because they were so ridiculous…and she always felt bad for me and bought me a little something.
But being so broke also made me feel sorry for myself…and wonder why the hell I didn’t have any goddamn money…especially because I was working my ass off.
The kicker: Ashley didn’t have a job. Her parents deposited money into her account every week.
It felt like I was the only one who was broke…and I wallowed in self pity.
My mind filled with garbage thoughts about how I’d “never get ahead” and I’d “always be poor” and “I’d never have what I wanted”.
I’d never pay off my car…and never have my own Coach purse (the status symbol I drooled over at that time in my life)…
…and never get my own apartment where I would finally be able to undress without trying to hide my naked body from my roommate.
(When I read this aloud to my 7 year old daughter, she commented here and said, “But you still have to hide your naked body from Daddy!” LOL!)
I also told myself that I’d never get a good paying job and was probably doomed to work at Bath & Body Works for the rest of my life…
…and the best I could hope for was to be promoted to manager and earn $11/hr instead of $8.
I’d get invitations to go do cool stuff with my friends and I’d turn them down because I “couldn’t afford it”.
I admired the dazzling rhinestone earrings worn by the girl who sat next to me in class but wouldn’t buy a pair for myself because I “couldn’t afford it”.
All day, every day…no matter what…I couldn’t afford it.
Like I said…my mind was full of trash money talk.
And then something incredible happened…
The president of the psych association announced that the department was taking a trip to Europe that summer…and I could tour Europe with my class for 2 weeks.
All I had to do was get a passport and come up with $3,000.
I was in!
There was no freakin’ way I was going to miss out on seeing the Eiffel Tower’s shimmering lights at night…
…or give up devouring fresh crepes covered with melted chocolate and banana slices…
…or pass up the opportunity to see Venice, Austria, Munich, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Rome.
I needed $3000? No problem. Consider it done.
I scrimped and saved…and happily worked extra hours…and crocheted handmade scarves and sold them to old ladies at church to raise money for the trip.
I was determined to come up with the money for Europe…and I did it.
Suddenly, I wasn’t broke anymore. I had money…and I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself either.
I couldn’t afford to pay off my car…or buy a Coach purse…AND pay for the Europe trip…
…but I had enough for the trip and that’s what I valued most of all.
I could afford that.
The odd thing was that I really wasn’t making a whole lot more than I was before I knew about the Europe trip.
The only thing that had changed was I had a purpose for my money…a goal that was important to me…
…and I started taking better care of my money so I could experience my dream of traveling to Europe.
Here’s the thing:
When you really, really, really want something…you’ll find the money for it.
You’ll make it happen. You’ll do whatever it takes to get it.
If you’re like, “meh”, about something…and you can live without it…and it’s not that important to you…you’ll tell yourself you can’t afford it.
Telling yourself you’ve got no money…and you can’t afford jack shit…and you’ll never have the things you want is going to make you feel like cat puke.
Trust me, I would know.
So, switch up the dialogue.
When your inner voice starts barking that you can’t afford something…replace that script with, “I can afford anything…I just can’t afford everything.”
Then ask yourself…do you really, really, really want it?
Is it so important to you…so meaningful…so valuable to you that you’ve got to have it?
Does living without it feel as painful as stubbing your toe on the bedpost or getting squirted directly in the eye with peppermint hand soap?
(That very thing happened to me and I thought my eyeball would catch fire and burn itself right out of my eye socket. Not pleasant. )
If you weigh every purchase against your values…what’s most important to you in life…you’ll always have the money for the things you really want.
And you’ll be able to forget everything else.
Money love & hugs ($O$O$O)
What I’m Lovin’ Up On…
I simply can’t keep myself from belting Drinking Alone by Carrie Underwood…at the top of my lungs…singing into a hair brush…with an attitude.
If you crush on books about psychology and human behavior like I do, you’ll enjoy Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Wanna know why you can’t kick your late night ice cream binge and replace it with 100 crunches? This book explains it all.
Listening to fierce, financially savvy women talk about money makes me weak in the knees…which is why I tune into the “Afford Anything” podcast with Paula Pant. (She sorta inspired this post. Thanks, Paula!)
Ever hear of a CEILING SELFIE? Feast your eyes on some incredible ceiling selfies at LaRock Star Creative’s Online First Friday Artwalk, Climbing the Walls.
My favorite is snowmelt off of a low hanging roof eave at Bud Werner Memorial Library.
What’s your favorite??
Interest rates are super low right now…which isn’t great for your investments…but it’s awesome if you want to take out a loan or refinance.
I’m refinancing my mortgage to reduce my interest rate from 4.67% to 3.87%. It might not seem like a big difference, but it will save me $14,000 in interest over the life of the loan.