The Narrative: Financial Freedom
T H E N A R R A T I V E | F I N A N C I A L F R E E D O M
This week, we're continuing the Jungian psychosomatic understanding of the body through the self and its shadow. Today's edition is long, but essential in recovering our financial freedom & health through our subconscious relationship to money, & budgeting.
AWARENESS OF THE SHADOW
Our connexion to money is so subtle in the subconscious that we are often unaware of its distortion. Ignoring these subtle yet powerful discomforts or distortions of reality obviously does not resolve the issues but becomes food for The Shadow—the "darker" often unexplored side of our personality consisting of primitive negative emotions & experiences—to feed off of. So, awareness entails first recognizing compulsive behaviours or habitual responses to money in thought and action.
What do you spend your money on? Do you budget? The habitual responses stem from money complexes that stem from early life influences. Inferiority complexes that develop during this time cause us to retract in social situations and family relations. Growing up, were you raised by a single mother? Was there a sole bread winner? Was a parent laid off? These experiences and learned reactions we observe are imprinted deep in our psyche and then shape our future behaviours around finances. For awareness, explore the Shadow wounds you might have relating money to the past narratives; your self-esteem; family dynamics; and fear of loss.
Money is a technology; it is our prime connexion to and definition of our true reality, environment, relationship, our time, and, honestly, our self. Think of how money has directly or indirectly defined your understanding of yourself, whether it was through a job where you were monetarily or emotionally undervalued or perhaps through a relationship where money strained your connexion to your partner?
Q U E S T I O N S T O E X P L O R E W I T H M O N E Y & T H E S H A D O W
I. How do you handle money—do you hoard it, waste it, or avoid it?
II. Do you feel like there's too little or never enough? Either way, how has your past experience with money led you to such a current relation?
III. Do you have a clear check on your bank account? Take a frank look at your finances. Do you or can you set aside money for savings, i.e. do you have enough for your future?
IV. Lastly, have you had arguments over finances and, if so, how are you communicating about your finances with others such as your partner?
Let's also be realistic with our current times, where healthcare access in a leading country is painfully laughable, jobs that require graduate degrees often pay less than barista jobs, and gentrification doubles rent in a year. We cannot just do psychological work. Awareness of our shadows surrounding finances will untangle habitual patterns surrounding spending or finding a better job, but it won't presently pay the bills. It won't fix the finances of someone who is in debt due to medical bills, has school loans, or a single mother's frantic rush to make ends meet. So, we must budget.
A P P S F O R B U D G E T I N G
I. Wally: tracks your expenses, income, sets a savings target, and even scans receipts.
II. Even: tells you how much to set aside for upcoming bills so you know what's o.k. to spend on
III. Mint: an effortless app that combines your budget, bills, spending, investment, and even credit score.
IV. Alimentor: an essential tool I included as a child of divorced parents—who face immense difficulty with finances—who seek a fair recognition of their child-raising efforts.
V. Pennies: to keep track of your money with budget setups & spending categories such as "fun money"