By Margaret Marcuson
Every year I do something for Lent, the 40 days in preparation for Easter. I’ve given up chocolate, coffee and genre fiction (the biggest sacrifice so far). Other years I’ve added practices. Last year I did something fun every day for Lent and put it on Facebook. People are still talking about it a year later.
I’m also taking the money course with Jill this year. As Lent approached, I was clear I wanted to do a practice related to money. What to do? I thought, I could have fun with money every day. That would be a great way to lighten myself up. In fact, the point of Lent is not simply to grimly give things up, but to find greater freedom. My aim is to be freer in relation to money.
So I’ve had fun in a variety of ways through these days:
- · given money to charity.
- · received gifts of money.
- · gave my father a birthday gift that cost me $5.50, two thrift store frames that I put two pictures of my late mother in. (He was thrilled.)
- · finished my taxes earlier than I have in ten years, while listening to movie music.
- · made a cash flow statement with fun pictures added to it.
- · surprised each of my kids by giving them some money.
- · bought myself some great colored pencils.
- · signed up for a workshop that previously I would have thought was too expensive.
One of my goals for the money workshop is to love everything to do with money: making it, spending it, managing it, giving it, saving it. I’m a lot closer than I was a few weeks ago. You can love dealing with money without loving money itself.
I believe money needs to be secondary not primary in life. It’s a tool, a means to an end. Most of us take it far too seriously. Practicing fun with money has helped me step away from my anxious attachment to it and toward greater joy in my dealings with money.