Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want. Anna Lappe, O Magazine, June 2003
Have you ever heard Charles Dickens‘ aphorism, “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”
Pithy. Earn money. Spend less than we earn. I couldn't agree more.
But there's so much more to be said about money.
Like ‘annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six' — on what? And why?
In other words, once we've exceeded this basic hurdle of money management (spending less than we earn), then what?
For instance, how do we spend our money? Doesn't how we spend mirror how we see the world, reflecting back to us if there's a place for our dream?
For example, when we spend money to house, feed, clothe, educate — and play with — our children, aren't we making a down payment on their happiness, their ‘who they are', and on a close-knit family?
What about money spent on savings and investment? Maybe we are spending now so we can feel secure in the event of a rainy day. Perhaps we want a world in which our children go to college. And maybe we want the financial wherewithal to give back.
As we participate in philanthropic pursuits, like the Snow Leopard Trust as my daughter does, aren't we casting a vote for a world where we take care of our own, even as everyone is our own? If we tithe, are we not spending for a world where God matters?
There are so many great ways to spend our money, but I do wonder Is there any room in our budget, any money at all, for a world in which our dream has a place?
Perhaps, we feel we don't have the money (or time, or permission) to put toward our dream. Happily, Psyche didn't need to shear the rams and then obtain all of their fleece, she needed a just bit of fleece that the ram's had perchance rubbed off on the brambles in order to complete her hero's journey.
Just a little bit of fleece, a little bit of time, a little bit of money, to make a down payment on our dream.
If you do a quick rundown of what you spend each month, how much do you spend on your children's dreams? Or your dreams for your children and/or spouse? Friends? The world? Yours?
What else can Psyche's journey teach us about making a down payment on our dreams?
How can we harness Charles Dickens' advice on behalf of following the advice of Anna Lappe?