Friday, August 14, 2020

The Purpose of Money: Part 1

On Sunday, December 8th, 2019, I found myself boarding an airplane unexpectedly.  I had just learned that my grandmother had experienced a sudden decline.  No one was saying it, but I could tell everyone feared that we were near the end.  Monday late in the afternoon, I arrived by her side... We lost her the next day.

Five years ago, I wouldn't have had the money for the airline ticket.

Today, I didn't even consider the price of an airline ticket.  It literally didn't matter.  I had the money.

Honestly, I was still stressed out about missing work.  I'm a teacher, and we were still in session for another two weeks.  Not being there for a week is very difficult, and stressful.  That being said, my school leadership had no hesitation.  They told me that family needed to come first and not to worry about it.  My co-teachers took over so instruction could continue as "normal" as possible.  I'm incredibly grateful for all of them.

In the world of personal finance, we spend a lot of time talking about the purpose of an emergency fund, why people need to save money, etc.  They're all valid, and all worth listening to and taking into consideration.  What I'm here to tell you is that the purpose of money is to literally be able to make yourself available when you know it's the end, to be able to drop everything and just go.  Responsibilities may still be falling upon you, but when you've got money, you've got options.  I was with my grandmother the day that she died.  I could afford the airline ticket; I could afford to feed myself; had I needed a hotel, that would've been fine.  Had I been met with resistance from my employer, I could have gone anyway without fear of the consequences, because my emergency fund is large enough to cover several months worth of our expenses (not to mention my partner is also working).

I talk about the Law of Attraction where finance is concerned; diving into how our emotions relate directly to our wealth.  While this was a difficult trip for me to make, I must tell you, I felt amazingly good about making it.  I felt peaceful about the financial aspects of the situation and incredibly grateful for my ability to purchase the airline ticket, feed myself, house myself if needed, and pay all of my bills when I returned.  How can you create for yourself a financial situation where you can feel this kind of peace?  There's a certain feeling of power knowing that you can take care of that which is unexpected, but completely necessary.

If you got "the call," like I did, what would you do?  Would you have the money to drop everything?  If the answer is "no," that can't feel good.  You need to make a plan right away.  My grandmother's decline felt really sudden.  I didn't exactly see it coming as quickly as it did.  Sometimes life gives us a 72-hour notice or less.  When it does, you need to be ready.  If you're not ready, skip a dinner out, dial down your cell phone plan, tighten up your budget.  It's so important that you create a savings account.  It could be a matter of life and death.

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