I read The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist over the weekend. I have a few nuggets of wisdom from this kind of heavy-handed book to share with you guys. One passage that stuck with me was this:
“If you want a clear picture of your priorities in life, who you are and what you care about, look at your checkbook, your credit-card bills, and bank statement. That’s where you can see the flow in black and white. (…) We can witness how money comes to us, how we spend it, save it, invest it, give it to others, and in this personal financial fact-finding mission begin to see the flow as a representation of our values. (…) Without a judgement of good or bad, when you know the flow, it gives you the necessary self-knowledge to make conscious choices that align your spending with your vision of yourself and your highest commitments.“
Maybe you look at where your money flows and really find that it largely resonates with who you are that it supports the world you want for yourself and others. Or maybe there are some gaps in how you see yourself vs. how you use your money.
This thought has given me pause over the past few days, as I think before I spend “is this who I am? Is this what I care about? Because this is where my resources are flowing…”
Beyond little purchases, though, the bigger changes that an outlook like this might spur aren’t changes that happen overnight. We set up our money edifice and it is strong and complex. We have a mortgage and a standard of living and deeply held habits – none of which are easily changed or even examined. That is exactly why most of us feel like we don’t have a choice about where our money goes or where it comes from. We feel like our money flow is a reaction, not an action. But if we take a few more steps back we are the ones in charge of what our financial obligations are.
[gif by Geoff McFetridge]