What on earth do you mean a battle with money? Ever thought of money being a like a power that it it is nor controlled and used in the right way it will cause problems for you and those around you. In recent years I have have become aware of some of the battles that I have with money. Here are some of the ones that I have identified.
- Buying only what I need when you are surrounded by people and organizations who are trying to entice you to buy their product or service. Their challenge is to sell as much as possible. The challenge is to chose your purchases wisely no matter what the pressure that is put on you.
- What is an acceptable level of need? for example I will hardly every buy meat or bread at full price. It will be something that is on offer. Everything I buy is carefully chosen so that I get the most product for the money spent. I see something cheap and stock up on it whether it is kept in the cupboard, fridge or freezer. Being careful has become second nature. So much so that letting go of the tight purse strings is difficult.
- There are times when I do loosen the purse strings and spend a bit more I find myself struggling because I end up spending more than I have. I then clamp down hard to the point of punishing myself and keep my spending down to a level below what is needed to be comfortable. By comfortable I don't mean reckless. The problem is finding the balance between sensible control and self discipline that hurts.
- Another challenge I have had is receiving money. This was most obvious when I was a teenager living with my parents and when I was married. I developed an expectation that if I asked them for money the answer would be no, it is a waste of my hard-earned money letting you have something. I thought that their priorities meant that there were more important things to spend their money on. There were times when I and my then husband would spend the same amount of money a month. He would spend that money while at the pub and I would use what I had to make sure the three of us had food and clothes. Even he at the end of our marriage recognized that there were times when he had spent more than he should have done on beer etc than he should have done. These days people think that I live cheaply but in those days buying meat for a casserole was a luxury, these days it is normal. I did not realize it then but I have recognized it since that one of the big issues that make it hard to use money wisely is that it is linked to honour and value.
- These days I am trying to build up a business and the challenge relating to money has changed. i have been looking at many training programs or more accurately previews or launch information for such programs. Not only that there are many get rich quick schemes out there. Follow my system that I have proved works and you too can become a millionaire in a few months. Use the same system as I do and you will be able to have the free time to do what you want to do and you will not be chained to a workplace. You will be your own boss The problem has become what is ethically acceptable in terms of making money. So much of what passes for selling is really tapping into the greed of people. Now some of these people do have good systems for doing something that you can learn from but quite a number of them have different ethical values to me. They want to make as much money for themselves as possible rather than to make sure that the maximum number of people are helped to overcome a problem. There is nothing wrong with making a profit but fleecing either customers or employees is unacceptable.
- On the other hand there is an expectation within certain sectors of the community that everything they need will be provided free of charge. This is often because someone else has paid for it like the government subsidies which make it possible to run free business support workshops and free or cheaper college courses. Churches and charities are often the worst culprits in this respect.because they expect to get labour, products and services for little or no cost. Those who are used to be treated as recipients of charity such as those on low incomes or with a disability can easily develop this kind of expectation as well. If someone charged them a fair price for a product or service they would balk at paying them and look around for someone to do it for nothing. The battle here then becomes if you try and provide a service to that sector of the community you will struggle to persuade them to pay you. Quite a challenge if, like me, some or all of your target market is in that part of the community.
- Another challenge is the expectation is that anyone working for an organization where the idea of benefiting the community is stronger than the profit motive should be paid the minimum rates rather than the standard going rate for the job. If they are paid the same as someone in an equivalent organization would be there is an outcry at the money that cannot be spent to benefit the community. Lily the Pink Ministries is a Community Interest Company so it has a community benefit statement. Because of this structure there is pressure from some sources to make sure that I only ever take the absolute minimum amount from the business i.e. a basic survival income rather than a sensible or realistic salary. The CIC regulator would have something to say if the directors were given fat cat salaries but the question is not whether it is excessive but the going rate for the type of work undertaken.
I surprised myself when i realised how many battles that I have had with money over the years. I would guess that you have had your own battles with money. Are any of them the same as the ones I have had? Are any of them different? On the other hand do you even think that there is a battle with money? I would love to hear your views.