Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Are your money worries real?

Years ago I worried a lot about money. I was always insecure. Afraid I wouldn’t have enough. In my fear, I sometimes pictured myself in the middle of a deep, dark forest (the kind that swallowed up Little Red Riding Hood) and through the trees I would see the red, glittering wolves eyes…”Ready to eat you my dear, if your bank account falls below a certain level.”
I had another vision too, one I learned is shared by many women: I pictured myself in the future as a homeless old bag lady pushing my shopping cart with my cat (and I don’t even own a cat.)
Occasionally I wondered: where did my fears came from? I grew up in a standard-issue, middle-class family. My mom sometimes hollered, “If you kids don’t turn out the lights, you’ll send us to the poorhouse!” But in reality, I’ve never been poor.
Even as a self-employed writer, I’ve managed to earn “enough.”
Here’s what I’ve learned. Our worries and fears---about money or anything else—start inside our heads. And they may—or may not--be hooked to reality.
So the first of the 92 best ideas to ease money worries is this: Figure out if your worries are real (Losing your home or owing $50,000 on your credit card—a situation that actually existed for a friend of mine--- would be classed as “real.” )
OR do your worries exist primarily in your head, spurred on by the media’s fearful headlines or your own confusion between “wants” vs. actual “needs.”?
Maybe the wolves eyes are only in your imagination.
Now let me ask you—what ideas do you have to ease money worries? My years in creative work taught me that the very best ideas come from BRAINSTORMING….so let’s storm our brains TOGETHER. Here are the questions for today's poll:
QUESTION 1: When your thoughts do turn fearful about money, what “picture” pops into your head?
QUESTION 2: What are your ideas about ways to manage fearful thoughts?

92 Best Ways to Ease Money Worries & Feel Affluent

Hello, and Welcome. And guess what? You and I are going to create those 92 ways to ease money worries TOGETHER. I have ideas--a bunch of 'em actually-- but in my years of working on creative projects, I've learned the value of BRAINSTORMING. invitation is...let's storm our brains together. I'll start out with my ideas for easing money worries and I hope everyone who reads this blog will chime in with your ideas. Then, in OCTOBER, we'll do some voting to find the very BEST 92 ideas.

Now, here's my confession: I have a hidden agenda. I'm starting to work on the next book in my Grace on the Go series, and it's all about--gulp--prayers to help ease money worries. But besides the value of brainstorming, I've also learned that God helps those who help themselves and sometimes grace comes upon us through the good ideas and helping hands of others. That's why I decided to begin this blog--to both give and get help from others.

You know, years ago, whenever I thought about money, I felt as if I were sitting in a deep, dark forest (the kind that swallowed up Little Red Riding Hood) and in the shadows of trees I could see the red glittering eyes of hungry wolves.

I had another vision, too; one that I discovered I share with many women. I would picture myself in the future as a poor, homeless old bag lady pushing a shopping cart with my cat (and I don't even own a cat!)

Sometimes I wondered, why am I afraid of ending my life in poverty? I've never been poor. I grew up in a standard-issue middle-class family. My mom sometimes said, "You'll send us to the poorhouse if you don't start turning off lights when you leave a room!" but really, we had enough. More than enough, probably.

I've been a self-employed writer for nearly 30 years and made an okay living.

But here's something I've learned: part of easing any worry has to do with how we think. So

I'm going to conclude this post with Best Way Number 1: Figure out if your money worries are valid (i.e. the sheriff is coming to take the house or you owe $50,000 in credit card debt which actually afflicted one of my friends) or...are you worries in part a figment of an overactive imagination and too many current scare headlines in the media?