Why Having Little or No Money Has Been Good For My Soul

Fun money.

That’s what my husband and I call it, at least. It’s the leftovers, the scraps of monthly paychecks. A designated sliver of change that allows us to indulge ourselves and maintain our sanity.

We don’t have much of it, but it’s there every paycheck. And we get to choose how we use it.

Typically, all my fun money goes directly towards coffee, books, and dining out.

Which sounds awesome. And it is.index

But I wanted more. I wanted date nights with my husband. I missed being physically active. And I desperately needed new clothes.

In my caffeine-and-grease induced lifestyle, my cushion of luxury would vanish before I could sit on it. And I blamed my tight budget for not allowing me to have everything.

It wasn’t until recently I started using fun money as means of growth. A means of discernment. A means of self-fulfillment.

My budget became less of a shackle and more of a skeleton key that unlocked all my monetary manacles.

Inadvertently, I learned about my priorities. Then I paid for them and lived them out.

I got a new wardrobe, joined a summer soccer league with my husband, and registered for an athletic event that takes place in the fall. I cut back on the fast food and excess coffee. And, amazingly, I found the strength to pick just one book every month.

My tiny budget gave me clarity. It brought balance to my life.

My lack of money liberated me.

My money now represents my priorities, instead of being my priority.

It allowed me to choose. To make decisions. To live more moderately in some areas of my life so I can live more fully in others. And because of that, I feel streamlined and more whole. I feel more balanced and fulfilled.

I feel more…me.

Instead of working for money, my money now works for me. It’s my employee. It obeys when I command and delegate, instead of the other way around.

It’s scary to think: If I had lots of money, I may have gotten to have everything I ever wanted.

I may have never had to decide. I may have never been given the opportunity to discern who I am and define what I think is important.

I may not have had the chance to taste life, to experience it to its fullest. To understand that money can truly be fun.

And so can life on a limited budget.

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