Once you’ve “made it” with your finances, how do you treat yourself? How do you use your money to improve your life even more?
That’s a question my old friend Romeo posed after some fun back and forth on Twitter on what our “dream home” would look like (his would include an indoor basketball court, mine would be a personal skate park attached to a pool (with water) I could fly into!) but it quickly got real fast when a mutual friend, Kate, stepped in.
Romeo and I were of course just thinking about ourselves and enjoying our spoils we’ve worked so hard for (and nothing wrong with that! “If you can’t buy a toy or two,” he chimed in with, “what’s the point of saving?”), but Kate’s gut response hit me where it counts:
“Money lets me show up” – BAM.
Five simple words that encompass the true beauty of financial freedom. The ability to stop what you’re doing and help others right on the spot without having to worry about your job or money holding you back. True freedom at its best, harnessing the power of your *time* over the power of your money!
These words hit me hard, and after I got over myself for feeling bad for also not thinking of the greater good first!, haha, I realized I’m actually not doing too bad in that department either… In fact, my generosity has increased approx. 37x compared to the Old J$ who was once as stingy as he was good looking, if you can believe that 😉
A great example of this is what went down last week when I ran into a skater friend at the coffee shop who was looking particularly low…
He explained that he had just put brand new wheels on his skateboard after scrounging for the money, and then a mere 24 hours later it was stolen from him after stashing it at the skate park.
Now just the fact he had to hide it there added to my hypothesis that he may be homeless or transitory or something as I’ve also seen him brush his teeth at the coffee shop before as well as make some makeshift soup with his cup, but regardless it’s a blow to your wallet and mood either way.
And it broke me.
Losing a board sucks on its own, but to lose something that gives you such a great mental and physical outlet too for someone who needs it the most? Which also probably doubles as your transportation at times? Damn.
I immediately started racking my brain on how I could help, and at first thought maybe I could just leave some money at the local skate shop or something so that whenever he’s there next he’ll be alerted someone comped it for him, but when and how long that would take was anyone’s guess (probably too long since he doesn’t have money to spend, so why would he even step foot in it?) so I scrapped that idea and kept thinking…
Then it dawned on me – I have a board in the back of my trunk! Which I always keep for emergencies! Lol… And if this doesn’t constitute an emergency, what does? 🙂 So without thinking a second more I slipped out of the coffee shop, scooped it from the back of my trunk, and then skated back as I recorded a final “goodbye” ride with her before we departed 😆
He refused it a couple of times – only re-enforcing the fact that he deserved it! – and then finally accepted it graciously and promised me he’d “ride the $hit out of it” which was exactly what I wanted to hear.
What a feeling!
Now I’ll admit a few minutes later I did have pangs of regret as it was actually one of my favorite boards and cost me $200, haha, but just the fact that I had multiple boards was exactly why I needed to step up and help. Because *I could*. And because a 3rd board to someone is nothing compared to NO board, particularly if you don’t even have a home or place to store it in (!)
Anyways, long story I probably could have made shorter, but another example of how having your money straight can help you “show up” for others just like Kate and her presence. And another reminder that opportunities are all around us too if we keep our eyes open enough to see them! Something I’ve personally been working hard to improve on in my own life, as again, past J$ was way too into himself and his money to have even noticed, sigh…
So thanks for the reminders Kate! And looking forward to playing some one-on-one at your new court some day, Romeo 😉
How do you guys use money to improve your own lives or those around you? Are you more generous with your time or your money?
Share in the comments below and keep these good vibes going!! We can all give back whether we’ve “made it” it or not!
PS: Here are some of my “giving rules” I’ve implemented over the years to help me become much better with this stuff because I’m naturally not. Maybe they’ll help you too?
- I have to say “yes” anytime someone asks me for money, no matter what! (Automatically makes me Do Good, and one less decision I have to make!)
- When I give, I always have to give more than I instinctively want to in order to challenge myself (ie. instead of my usual $1.00 that first comes to mind, I have to give a $5 or $10 or *gasp* $20 if I have one in my wallet!)
- And then lastly, I continue to do monthly donations of $20/mo to all my favorite – mostly local – organizations and friends’ causes… I’m up to about 13 or 14 places now which adds up over time, but since they go out in smaller amounts each month I barely notice them. Very similar to recurring investments or savings! Set it up once, and then never have to remember or lift a finger again! It’s beautiful!