How I’m (Trying) to Stop Worrying About Money and Live My Life
My grandmother loves to repeat a charming anecdote about my brother and I, a story about our saving habits as children. It goes as follows: When I was in early elementary school (think maybe, 8 or 9 years old), she’d regularly take us to the mall near her condo. Once we were there, she would give each of us $5 to spend on whatever we want, and then she’d take us for dinner and a movie. My brother? He would spend that $5 IMMEDIATELY, whether at a store or on candy & popcorn at the cinema. Me? I’d pocket it. Always.
She spun this is as a charming yarn about how I was a saver growing up, but I think the secret really is that I’m a worrier.
I worry about money, I worry about my health, I worry about my family, I worry about my friends, I worry about my cats, I worry about the world. I worry. I worry. I worry.
That might be why I am so focused on finances because it’s one thing I can safely manage, and that makes it one thing that I shouldn’t worry about… right? Except that when I think about how much I worry about money, I start to think about all the things coming down the line in my life, which makes me worry more.
I know it’s naturally to worry. Just maaaaybe not so much.
I think this comes from years of unstable employment, juggling multiple jobs with varying schedules and priorities, never knowing exactly how much I’ll bring in during a month. Going through thick and thin times and only having a small amount of leeway to make it through. I never learned how to stop worrying about money when I got my first full-time job because I was worried I’d wasted so much time getting there.
Over the next few months I’m going to try to focus less on financial planning based on FEAR and will instead focus on financial planning based on hopes and goals.
Instead of just THROWING as much money as possible into my savings accounts, I’m going to actively plan for what the money is going to do.
Proactive instead of reactive. Worrying about myself instead of always comparing myself to the wealth and fortune of others.
Let’s see if this works, shall we?
What kind of planner are you? Do you throw as much money in a savings account as you can, or do you have a regular plan?