This post is number six in a series on examining these negative biblical traits and coming up with ways to use them for positive inspiration instead. Previously: envy, wrath, gluttony, sloth, and lust.
Gordon Gekko summed up a big trend in the 1987 movie Wall Street when he said “greed is good.” Bernie Madoff has since swindled people out of billions of dollars. Celebrity culture, reality shows like My Super Sweet 16, and social media have all created a new material world. Credit card and student loan debt have skyrocketed and there is almost no education to help us figure out how to properly plan for financial security.
Money is tied so deeply to our sense of self, our hopes for the future, and how we relate to our peers. There is so much jargon and craziness out there surrounding money, let’s take it back to the basics.
Balancing The Columns
After I graduated I was drowning in confusion about money. How long would I be paying my student loans? What the eff is my credit score? What do you mean I need an IRA, who is Ira?!
I calmed my own money insanity by getting it all out there. Listing all of my debts, all of my expenses, all of my income, all of the big goals I had for savings, and so on. Even if I wasn’t happy with the numbers, I felt so much better just seeing it on paper.
I figured out my credit score (using the genius free app Credit Karma which shows what factors go into it and which ones matter most) and planned some ways I could improve it. I signed up for my company’s 401k (with lots and lots of help) and will soon be rolling it over to a Roth IRA (also with lots of help).
I changed my money mindset (with the help of books like Money: A Love Story) and started a Google Spreadsheet to keep track of my income and my spending. I got my dolla billz under control and it’s totally doable for you as well.
Move towards financial ease
Write out your current financial picture. What debts do you have? What are your weekly, monthly, and yearly expenses? What income do you have? What is your credit score?
Next, write out your ideal financial picture. How soon would you like to be out of debt, realistically? What’s your ideal credit score? What would you like your monthly budget to be for things like shopping, dining out, and having fun? How much would you like to give to charity? How much do you need to save every month for retirement, emergencies, and big future purchases like a wedding, children, cars, houses, college, etc.?
Once you have both of those out in front of you, brainstorm three ways that you can make progress towards your ideal financial situation in the next month.
Can you consolidate your loans or start paying off the ones with high interest rates? Can you commit to getting out of debt? Can you go to the library this week instead of buying 10 new books (looking at you, self)? Can you open a retirement account and commit to putting $50 a month into it? Can you make some extra money this month?
Oprah Winfrey said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” I wish you abundance and ease when it comes to yo’ dolla billz, my friends.
Next up is the final installment in the series – Pride!