My money was funny, my change was strange and my checks were in a wreck.
I hadn’t had money problems since my early twenties but there I was feeling broke as a joke.
Which didn’t make any sense to me.
I knew how to budget and for quite some time and with that knowledge I was able to save about 18 percent of my income with each paycheck. I always paid my bills either early or on time.
When it came to a 401 K, IRA, certificate of deposits, money market accounts, mutual funds, or stock market I had rode or was riding that wave.
So with over a years savings in tow I have to be honest I wasn’t prepared for how bad of a financial mess a person could fall into if you combine a decrease of income, a divorce, relocation, stress, depression and a negative association with money.
I wasn’t used to not having money.
While I had struggled financially in my early twenties it was nothing like the financial famine that fell before me.
I always had a fear of being broke.
And the funny thing about the things we fear in life is that they have a funny way of knocking on our door and moving right into our space until we overcome them.
The way I received the bulk of my income was through an employer.
But after relocating I was told I was overqualified for employment despite applying for over a thousand positions.
I tried to start my own business but it failed in six months.
So there I was a single underemployed mother of three.
I felt busted and disgusted.
I accepted low paying positions and worked long hours to provide for my family.
I felt like I was being punished and tested.
But I now see my lack of income as a blessing.
When my income went down and my job status was lowered I learned a greater level of humility, my faith increased, I learned how to receive and I had amazing people come into my life.
But with all of those lessons learned I knew that my financial situation wasn’t the best for me or my family and so I decided to create a better life for myself.
With a new sense of confidence I reapplied for scores of the employers that denied me employment in the hopes of getting my career back on track.
And yet I was met with no yet again from each one.
This led me back to the drawing board.
I decided to use a coupon that came in the mail from Staples to purchase some office supplies to assist myself in changing the way I was handling my money.
The coupon was for ten dollars off my purchase of ten dollars or more. And so I got in my car and I bought a journal, some flash cards and some pens. I wanted to use the color green because it is the color I associate most with money.
After presenting my coupon I was able to walk out with the items for 83 cents.
83 cents was the beginning of my journey to reshape my financial habits and my relationship with money.
I realized that like many people I had a problem with receiving and like many people I was taught at a young age that the love of money was the root of all evil.
I know this next line is going to come across as sacrilege to many, but I am no longer going to continue not loving money out of fear of becoming evil.
I love to give to others and while giving my time and energy is always nice sometimes people need money and I would like to be back in a position where I can give it to them.
And I have no shame in saying that I want to live a comfortable life.
And so with that in mind I decided that my money being in the red was no longer acceptable.
When I go home from Staples I opened the flash cards and retrieved all the ones that were colored green.
I began writing positive affirmations regarding money on the cards.
I opened up the journal and using a glue stick I previously owed I glued the Staples receipt to the inside cover of my journal as way of representing the start of my financial journey.
I decided to start back documenting how much money I had in my bank accounts like I used to before my finances went south.
(Once my finances went south I no longer had a desire to look at my money out of fear).
But the paradox of not having enough is that you learn that you always have enough.
This is because we always have the perfect measure to sustain us for each day that we are purposed to live on this earth.
So, ironically in many ways being without abundance helped me to overcome my fear of not having enough.
For over a year I lived day by day not knowing how my financial needs would be met.
And for over a year I was sustained.
I decided to use my journal to not only paste my receipts and keep track of my cash on hand but I decided to keep track of how I circulated my money, unexpected money I received, money earned, my wants, my needs and my feelings about money.
Something interesting happened when I combined actively writing in my “Money Matters Journal” as well as writing and saying my positive affirmations.
I started finding avenues to receive more income and I started finding ways to decrease the amount of money I used to make purchases.
I have decided to share that part of my story with anyone who cares to get their finances back on track and that is what this “Money Matters” segment is all about.
As I advance my finances I plan to explain how it happened in the sincere hopes that it helps someone to do the same.
© Renata Pittman and RenataNicole, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.