My relationship with money since entering my adult years has been pretty problematic. Since I left home permanently, after graduating from college in 1984, and moved out on my own at the age of almost 22, I have destroyed any previous relationship that I had with money that was healthy and responsible. Once I began to take care of my own finances, on a full time basis, I created some new habits that I find myself still paying for today.
I started working when I was thirteen, willingly mind you. I wanted to get out into the world and make some of my own money, to save up and buy things that I wanted. My first job was vacuuming the rugs in a furniture store, every Saturday morning. Next, it was selling tickets in our local movie theatre in Keene. And, finally, the job that I had my senior year of high school, and every summer that I came home from college, was working in ladies fashions at the local Bradlees department store. I loved working all summer long, building up my savings account, and having my own money for the year when I went back to college every fall.
Once I had my first apartment, and became the source of my own sustenance, I got sloppy and impulsive with money. I would often spend my pay before my bills were taken care of. I was late on car payments. Then, I discovered this beautiful thing called credit, and started living as far beyond my means as my budget could afford the minimum payments. And, I rode the credit train for many, many years.
When I first decided to build a cleaner, more grownup relationship with money in my life, I was scared, and I was ashamed. At the time, I easily had $32,000 in credit card debt accumulated. I was afraid to ask for guidance out of embarrassment over my situation. I was able to pay the bills every month, but I never seemed able to pay much more than the minimum amount, and I kept using them at the same time. When I was ready for the change, I made it happen.
Today, I am still in debt. But, I have a savings account, with money in it. I am generous with what I have, to myself and to others, within my means. I have respect and love for what money can do for my life, and what it cannot. And, even when I want to worry about it, or feel like I am in a state of lack, I remember how abundant my life is, and how much I get to be grateful for in every moment of my life.
Today, I understand that when I embrace abundance, self love, and gratitude, that I will always have riches more than I can count.