Money - something we don't want to care about but often have to. Some of us find money a shameful thing; for many the desire of money goes against their own morals. Others believe that money is the root to sin. However, whether we like it or not, money is at the forefront of our lives, but often vacant from our pockets.
Before we discuss the obvious, it's important to decipher the metaphor behind it all. Money does indicate a level of richness and wealth, but it doesn't have to mean coins and notes. In fact, money could be symbolic for the people we surround ourselves with, the books we read or even the love we have for Adam Driver in any film he has ever starred in.
By definition, money means:
the assets, property, and resources owned by someone or something; wealth.
As an English literature graduate, I love how flexible this definition is. Having ownership over something, assets or property does not always need to insinuate that you are rich in money. It can signify that you are rich in sentimentality, friendships and even knowledge. Although we do need physical money to live in this day and age, these things are far greater in worth than financial aid.
Society is dependent on finance. This is the way of life that we do have to accept for now. Unfortunately, we are all affected by money in some way and need to continue building up our financial worth in order to survive and live. Unless you have natural living down to a T, you won't be able to live without some form of money surrounding you. But this doesn't have to be the full focus of your life. So many of us give that money straight back to charity or donate our time for free in order to support others.
Although this post is about changing our mindset on what money means, it is still important to keep an eye on your own finances and avoid suffering in silence. While money and finances can be a difficult discussion to have with people, especially your family, it is actually really important to talk to our families about this - even if we feel embarrassed to. The truth is, you're not asking for help if you don't want it, you're just being honest about what you can and can't achieve. Only you can set the timeline on your personal goals, no-one else can dictate that for you.
There are so many fantastic resources available to us that can help us manage "becoming a money magnet". Whatever money signifies to you, just ensure that you are respecting it and keeping yourself aware of what you need.
Organise your time
As well as affording your family some good quality time, you also need to find it for yourself too. Remember, money can mean the time you have; time is more precious than a six figure bank account - although both are quite nice to have.
If you are a generally social person, you may often feel that you give time to a lot of the people you care about, which is a beautiful thing. These memories will keep us engaged and living for the moment. As a busy schedule can often lead to longer days, or feeling more rushed, it's important that you take the time you need for yourself too. You have probably heard the phrase:
Time is money
If you have just associated this with being on the clock or work, then you may need to consider a more positive connotation of the phrase. Changing our mindset around what money means is vital in finding a little more happiness and not feeling so overwhelmed when, financially speaking, money becomes tight. The purpose of this blog post is reviewing the idea of becoming a money magnet; if time is money and you have so much to offer, then you are wealthy. You are giving your time to others and showing up for them. Time is also money for you too. Looking after yourself is a massive foundation in ensuring that we are the best we can be. For ideas on how to give yourself a little more time, check out my recent blog post on self-care.
Another way to consider time as money is by giving the gift of your time in place of a present. Last year I really struggled with the demand of purchasing presents for birthdays and Christmas. Due to personal finance issues with my earnings, trying to build up my savings and trying to make myself presentable in the workplace, I really let the pressure get to me. I sacrificed going on holiday and tried to avoid spending time with people if it meant spending the money. Luckily, my boyfriend was completely supportive of this and so we decided to give each other our presence during these celebrations. While we had the odd small gift, there was no longer the pressure to buy expensive things. Instead, we used vouchers to eat out at restaurants, took advantage of discount and early bird ticket prices for zoos and gigs - most of which we had planned to spend this year until COVID happened - and just take advantage of spending time with one another. The best part is that we spread it out across the year so we didn't feel the burden of the payment in one go.
Personally, this is what money means to me.
Martin Lewis - Money Saving Expert
The most trusted man in Britain - am I wrong? Martin Lewis is an expert who reviews a whole series of avenues when it comes to finances and spending. For those who perceive money to mean physical currency, Money Saving Expert offers tons of tips and tricks when navigating the world of finance. If you're saving for something special, an essential piece of equipment or just to ensure some security in the future, then the website highlights trusted savings accounts with an expert's opinion on them too.
And remember, you shouldn't feel ashamed if you do need to focus on your savings or income. As previously mentioned, money is at the forefront of daily life and there is not too much more that we can do to stop it. Money is one of those factors that is out of our control and sometimes we might need to be a little more careful with it than others. This is completely fine. Money Saving Expert is one of the only advice sites that I have found that withholds judgement. It takes facts, and understands circumstances, allowing you to find the account, loan or requirement better suited to your situation.
Even if you perceive money to mean time, as in the time we spend with our loved ones, the site can help with that too. From free days out for children to discounts and vouchers for special days out, there are plenty of ways to spend quality time with your family and friends on a budget. You can even find offers for free movie passes at home, even if you feel like being a little sloth whilst being snuggled under your duvet with your family around you. Quality time is about the nature of the time you can give the people you love. Some of your favourite things can be done for free... I've yet to see a wine tasting experience for free though.
Spend more time doing the things you love
So we may be stuck at home most of the time now, but do we really have to sacrifice missing out on the things we love? Not at all. If money also represented our hobbies then we should feel rich in doing them.
Whether you love to settle down to a good book, or, like me, you enjoy putting pen to paper and writing, there is no reason to lose out. Even hobbies that we can't physically participate in at the moment, like plane spotting or paintballing, can still be enjoyed at home. No, I'm not endorsing shooting a paintball gun inside! There are ways we can prepare for these hobbies to come back. Read up on them, research new areas or groups that participate in them and surround yourself with people who enjoy them. Currently, we have the power of the internet as a form of community and connection. You'll be amazed at the support you will find and the guidance they will give you.
Surrounding yourself with the things you love doing and like-minded people who can enjoy it too really adds to the experience. As COVID has closed a lot of gyms and work out spaces, many people have taken to YouTube to complete their exercises. In turn, they have joined groups that nurture them as they exercise and look to other members for advice. With more lock downs and uncertainty to come, this is definitely a healthy place to be to ensure you have focus.
Outline your goals for success
Focus. One way to ensure you are on the path you need to be, especially when considering your happiness, is to have a focus. Setting out your goals, and working towards them, is a great way to keep your mind and body on task. It can often be a worthy distraction in scenarios such as the current.
Achieving your goals can be another invaluable way to becoming a money magnet. Seeking reward after hard work is only human. Consider something in your personal life that you have found to be successful. Now think if there is anything more you can do to improve. Finding hobbies, skills or personal achievements that you can deepen your knowledge and understanding on will give you a drive to keep pushing harder.
Whether success is a financial thing or not, having clear objectives and steps to achieving your goals is important. At the same time an understanding that things don't always go as planned will help you in the long run.
Maybe you want to lose some weight this year? Your reward is to see the progress you are making along the way. Perhaps you want to quit smoking? Your success could be that you start to resist the urges you had after a long battle of caving in. You may be looking at improving your flexibility? Again, the results you start to notice in yourself will become money for you to keep pushing on in your fitness.
While many may still be chasing some form of financial reward, by enriching ourselves with goals to help us achieve and succeed, we might find a deeper happiness along the way.
The true symbol of what money means is entirely subjective to you. Whether money means finance, knowledge, time or something else entirely different, it's important to have a healthy relationship with it. Money has so many negative connotations attached to it and will often make people feel anxious and concerned when there isn't enough. However, changing your mindset on what you value most can be the real indicator to becoming a money magnet. Metaphor is a very powerful tool.
Although money is something we worry about and do need to keep an eye on, it shouldn't make you feel ashamed to have it. Likewise, if you are lacking in it it doesn't mean you can't have the happiness you desire. While it is important to keep on top of your finances and research better ways to save, it doesn't have to be the only thing you focus on for a source of happiness in your life.
Perhaps, in some strange and twisted way that most likely goes against all our morals to say it, as a metaphor, money could mean happiness. Which means, this post could be called "Becoming a happiness magnet".
Moral of this story:
Money isn't a bad thing and doesn't have to have negative connotations attached to it
Money can be symbolic of all the things you love and the people you love spending time with
It is not shameful to talk about money with friends or family, especially if you need support
Money is only what you define it to be - for me, money means time