I loved my piggy bank. When I was 6 years old, I would pull the plastic plug out of her belly and dump the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters out onto my bed. Next, I would sort the coins into piles. Then I would organize the piles into smaller groups of 100 cents. I felt rich.
As a 12-year-old, my mom would give me spending money for our yearly family vacation. During the week-long camping trip at Jellystone Campground, I had the opportunity to go mini-golfing and to spend my money on treats and souvenirs. It felt so powerful to have the choice to buy as much ice cream as I wanted–or not. I would walk around the camp store every day admiring the mugs, keychains, and refrigerator magnets. I could buy any of these things. But I didn’t. Instead, I always counted my leftover money at the end of the week and added it to my piggy bank. I felt rich.
When I was 16, I worked as a waitress. My paycheck went into the bank. The bells and coins were kept in a little, wicker basket that sat on a shelf in my bedroom. I loved the weight and jingle of the money as I lifted the basket for some pocket money or for an additional contribution to my college fund.
It feels so good just to have money. I like seeing the quantities of it. When the number would get bigger in my Marine Bank passbook…I felt rich.
After Tom and I got married, he passed his CPA exam and became a Certified Public Accountant. He paid our bills and charted our expenses on a spreadsheet. For a short time, he wanted me to be in charge of paying bills (he was working long hours and this would free up some time at home). So when the bills came in, I would immediately write out a check for the amount due, put it in a stamped envelope, and write on the outside of the envelope in the bottom left corner the date which it needed to be mailed out.
Tom hated this method. He took back control of the bill payments. His motto was always “Don’t spend anything because we don’t have any money.” (But we did have an exceptional credit score.) However, I felt incompetent and lacking.
When I got divorced, I immediately got a part-time job at Applebee’s. I felt in free fall, but I knew I could do a side gig…I went in on a Monday for training. The first day I watched videos all day and listened to the manager laugh at how she barely finished high school and was such an awesome boss. The next day I had to shadow a server while wearing a polo that was 2 sizes larger than I needed. I felt embarrassed and humiliated. I quit just after these 2 days and mom sat down with me to write out a budget. Come to find out, I had $500 left over at the end of every month that was unspoken for. I couldn’t believe it. I felt suddenly felt rich.
When Craig and I got married, he wanted me to take over our finances. He wanted to just give me his paychecks and have me do what needed to be done. Sometimes we have more, sometimes less…but I always know we are where we need to be.
When I’m in control, whether with a lot of money or not, I feel abundant. “Rich” is so much more than numbers in a bank account.
Abundance. Richness. Wealth can mean an excess of cash that you have after your needs and beg wants are taken care of.
It can also be the feeling of having more coins than your 6-year-old fist can hold.