Cash cow: spending all my money like it stinks
(But knowing it doesn't stink at all, just pretending it's going out of fashion)
What’s your relationship with coin?
I’ve always been pretty good with money. Like most humans living on planet earth, I’ve never been a cash cow with an endless fountain of gold. My parents aren’t surgeons, or royals, or influencers, and they didn’t invent Facebook. Thus they’ve not been raking it in with the 1%. They’re not politicians or criminals either, so unfortunately there’s no access to a corrupt cashflow. Which means that I, nor they, have a billionaire’s ‘tude towards money. We see it differently.
The way I treat money is a reflection of the way my parents taught me to treat money. Whether that was indirect lessons or not, I believe most of us are the same.
The relationship people have with money is commonly the result of how they perceived its value growing up. If it’s treated as a key to happiness and valued in a way that will make you feel like an utter loser without it, then you’re going to spend your life making sure your actions carve out constant access to it. On the flip side, if you’re brought up making less connection between it and social status, you will view it as a necessity to help you survive, but you ain’t giving two hoots about the effect a Prada bag has on your self worth.
Or if you’re brought up seeing your parents always scramble for it and fight over it, you’ll likely grow up with a toxic relationship with it. This is because it’ll resemble something you feel you desperately want and need, but you could also struggle to hold onto it. I read somewhere that in instances like these it’s because it also represents pain. But I’m not a psychologist.
There are loads of different relationships you can form with it and it’s good to get in touch with your own so that you don’t have to miss out on things that are important to you. Or force you to sell your favourite pair of shoes on Gumtree to get rent over the line.
This is my relationship with coin
In recent years I’ve come to differentiate between my conservative subconscious bonds with money – where I’ve avoided mingling with too much sleazy debt – and my more promiscuous conscious attitudes towards it – where money is my bitch and it will come to me if and when I shake my tail feather.
My frugal spending habits and knack for saving is a direct result of my folk’s behaviours. They always seemingly had enough when I was growing up. And if they didn’t, that’s not something they ever talked about in front of me and my bros.
My mum made sure we never felt like we had less than other kids, but I certainly wasn’t just handed a Tamagotchi when I demanded it out of the proximity of my birthday.
Dad was stickler for not wasting anything. From cutting the mould off cheese before grating it onto our spag bowl, to using old underpants to polish our school shoes. My dad was LEAVE NO TRACE even before it became cool at Glastonbury.
Pros to this attitude
The pro to them not discussing money in front of me, and simply demonstrating attitudes through actions, is that I was brought up without any tension attached to the idea of money. I do get a little frustrated when I can’t justify spending on something I really want, but I never feel an uneasiness that can’t subside.
Cons to this attitude
The con is, they didn’t just not talk about it in front of us, they didn’t really talk about it to us either.
Aside from a couple of engrained messages from my dad, like “do you think money grows on trees?” as a kid, and “don’t go into debt, Jess”, which I was advised in my 20s, I’ve never really been taught how to play the gimme-all-da-money game.
I missed out on lessons both in terms of investment (which I now look to Barefoot for) and organically developing the type of thinking that attracts large wads of cash (which many good books on psychology and behaviours cover, but I recommend this one).
My evolving attitudes towards moolah
The current attitude I have towards money stems from the reading and research I’ve done. I try to train money to want to be with me so I don’t have to chase it down the street if I leave the gate open.
I view the stuff with the knowledge that it’s always going to be there when I want it because I know how to exchange my skills for it. This type of thinking permits me to treat myself to the tastiest ingredients to feed my food habit.
It also gives me the ability to think bigger. I.e. I will pay more at the farmers market or more at the organic plastic-free wholesalers because OF COURSE I CAN AFFORD TO LOOK AFTER THE PLANET. And in turn I create a healthier environment beneath my skin.
Second relationship I have with money
Another way I treat money, is to give it the freedom it wants to go out dancing late at night. Because I know if I do this, it’s gonna come home and kick-on at my place with all its friends.
That was a metaphor for saying I spend money to make money. I actually hate it when anyone kicks on at my joint.
I put a lot of myself – energy and income – into things that I think will give me financial return on investment for my dreams in the long run. Like, I invest in:
- Completing courses / training
- Monthly reading subscriptions
- Networking events
- Comedy events
- Running workshops at a loss
- Advertising / marketing myself
- Filming/editing of my events
- Props, clothing, hair, make-up
- Braces (because I’m gonna be famous and need nice teeth)
- (I’ve also spent like a grand on permanent hair removal but that’s for my future confidence and convenience and has nothing to do with my on-stage empire.)
- And so on – I’ve literally spent over $15K on all this stuff in 2019
And time. I reckon I’m worth about $100 an hour and I’ve put a lot of this expensive time into building shiz. It’s all part of the hustle, dawg.
Final thought so you can get on with your life
The world is full of money and there’s enough for everybody. But in order to get your filthy hands on some of it you need to build a healthy relationship with it. Might even mean washing your hands after touching it, I dunno, it gets around. But let it get around.
Let it go out and meet other money. And don’t you be jealous if other people see it more than you. (Sometimes I get jealous and I’m like, hey Jess, you eat avocados every day, you’re doing alright.)
When you don’t hold on to something too tightly, it will want to come back to you. But if you squeeze it, hide it and try to control it too much, it will prefer to spend its time in a stripper’s knickers where it feels appreciated, earned and kinda turned on.