By Amber from Moose In The Kitchen
Money tends to be an issue for people – in this economy, in yesterday’s economy, back when three clam shells scored you a quarter pounder with cheese. You simply can’t live without it, which is really quite annoying. As a true reprobate in the art of cash, I have the same money worries whether I’m making $50,000 a year or no dollars a year. I don’t understand how that works either. Suffice it to say, I have many tricks that keep me from being bundled up into a straightjacket after a few entirely-justified episodes of rabid shrieking at the innocent, dewy screen of Mint.com.
1. Shut your mouth.
You may notice that the faint screaming you hear in the distance ceases abruptly. Now check your hands. Are they flapping above your head, frightening the seagulls and/or dislodging light fixtures? If so, pull them down and place gently at your sides. Sit on them if necessary. Congratulations. You look almost normal.
2. Now for the hard part.
The hard part is wresting control of your brain from the hamsters, the ones jogging glibly on the wheel of DOOM DESPAIR WOE FOR MONEY ELUDES ME in your head. First tell the hamsters to take their curly little claws off the caps lock key. Good. Now tell them to stop running so fast. Put gin in their little clear plastic caged rodent bottles if necessary.
3. Take a deep breath.
Look around you. Are you in a refrigerator box on the side of the highway, eating cold beans out of a tin can? No? Splendid. We make progress. Are you in a comfy house but out of a job? Well, that just sucks. The hamsters apologize and offer you a sip of their gin. Are you in a comfy house and still employed but somewhat LESS employed than you have been previously? That also sucks. The hamsters apologize and would offer you a sip of gin but apparently someone finished it all. Are you in a comfy house and fully employed but someone (NOT SAYING WHO) accidentally knocked a telephone pole with her bumper? Now the hamsters are just laughing at you. Disrespectful little buggers.
4. Take another deep breath.
Oxygen is good for the brain cells. The first step toward fixing any money problem, whether perceived or all-too-desperately real is to know that you CAN fix your money problem. And you will. Whether by dint of hard work or by selling off the damn hamsters who started loudly picketing their cage because no one’s replaced the gin yet. You know you can, because you always have before. You’re still alive and reading things off a computer screen, aren’t you? Rather than languishing in debtor’s prison with the urchin who stole two wooden buttons and a banana? I REST MY CASE.
5. There’s plenty of money out there.
If Bill Gates has so much, some Saudi harem-maintaining prince has even more, and your crotchety Aunt Gertrude buys a new Cadillac every year even though she only climbs in the damn thing to sail down her driveway and pick up the newspaper – well, then there’s plenty for you too. You just have to figure out how to get your paws on some. Best way to do that is to RELAX. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. PUT THE HAMSTERS ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WITH A “FREE” SIGN AND TAKE A WOODEN BAT TO THEIR CAGE. (The hamsters are a metaphor, you see.) (You probably already know that.) (You’re pretty keen, you are.) When you relax and feel confident about your ability to wrest money from the ether (the one where money sits, just waiting for you to grab it), you will find yourself well on your way to more. Do something, anything you can think of to leverage those handy skills you have into extra cash. Even if it’s just 15 bucks, that’s 15 bucks in the right direction and you’ll feel better for it.
6. Here’s another metaphor.
It’s a little hippie, but you accepted that hamster thing, didn’t you? Imagine the ocean is full of money. It’s a great big sea of money. You just have to find the container you want to use. Don’t think water glass or bucket here. Think bathtub. Think industrial strength pump. Think Hoover Dam. Now fill ‘er up.
7. Or you could just “borrow” Aunt Gertrude’s Cadillac and accidentally sell it to your neighborhood pot dealer.
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