Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 282

I title this post "the day my wallet sighed ..."

How's your wallet looking? Mine can quite easily turn into a mini filing cabinet which is not good for either my wallet or an already cluttered mind. I remember an episode of Seinfeld where George has back problems due to having a filing cabinet in his back pocket. My wallet can sometimes become the more lady-like version of that. My Guess wallet is no more simply because it popped a few seams and imploded. I wish I could say it is because it is packed with money, but alas, no. And that my dear friends is the reason for this post.

Money. Hmph. Money. Why oh why do we need it when we don't have it, and don't appreciate it when we do? Sorry, this isn't going to be a sad post. I promise. It will however be quite confused because I am having trouble sorting out my thoughts on money.

I know we need money. And some people measure success based on money. I do know to enjoy complete life freedom you have to be financially free ... whatever the definition of financially free is. For some people financial freedom is living without it in mud huts on the land being completely self sufficient and knitting their own clothes straight from the sheeps back. For others financial freedom is living with plenty of money, without debt and without having to worry where the next dollar to feed their lifestyle will come from. The latter is probably the true definition of financial freedom because the former still carries financial pressures with it ... for example, if major illness were to occur money could assist in
prolonging life simply because of greater access to medical experts and medications. And before you shout out "it would be a happy and natural death", what if it was your child that required the medical attention? Even the Amish will travel miles and spend money to get the medical attention needed to prolong the life of a loved one.

For me recently success has not been money based. My definition of success has been in contributing back to society. Much of what I do is not money based. Sure, I charge clients for my services ... mostly ... but I also barter/trade and do a quite a few freebies to help people who can't afford my services. That has never bothered me. But that is because I have a buffer. Enter Derek. After working my arse off for years, being extremely money conscious, maintaining a perfect credit rating, eating 2 minute noodles to buy my first home etc, I decided to pass the baton to my husband so that I could be the SAHM. I not only get to be 100% available for my kids (and their friends) but I also get to explore a few dreams and make a bit of pocket money on the side. It's a great life.

And then came the Global Financial Crisis. My husband said "it won't affect us here in Australia". Famous last words. He got his Group Certificate last week and it has GFC stamped all over it. He earned 60% LESS last financial year than the previous year. Shit. that's what you get for working for a US company. They panicked last year and pulled all commissions. Derek's wage has always been double his base due to commissions. He is bloody good at what he does. It has never been an issue. Until now. Yep. 60% less. Now that sucks, huh? No wonder we didn't get an overseas trip this year.

So poor Derek has had the weight of the world (and his family) on his shoulders while I continue to wander about "contributing" to society but not really contributing to the family budget. Oh sure, I bring in money, obviously. Heck, I own my own business! But it's not the big $$$ I used to bring in.

So today is the day my wallet sighed. I need to step up and find a new vision of success! It needs to include more money. I need to contribute to the society residing in my own home. How does a SAHM with dreams that extend beyond the workforce do this? Good question. But there has to be an opportunity in there somewhere. I will always charge my clients for my services, I will continue to work at the school (for now), I will take all out massive action to the get the books published AND I will actively pursue paid opportunities where my skills are sought after!

And I will use my lovely slim line "going out" wallet which will remain clutter free with room for cash.

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