Cash rules everything around me
Get the money
Dolla dolla bill, y’all
Listen, I’m no Scrooge McDuck. I’m not greedy, and I’m not someone who cares to acquire a lot of things. I don’t have expensive taste. Fancy cars, designer clothes, new technology–none of that is really appealing to me. Becoming filthy rich was never on my list of goals. But the truth is, having cash money–at least enough to be comfortable–changes things in a big way.
I spent my first five years as an entrepreneur struggling financially. I wasn’t bouncing checks or ignoring bills, but I only had money to pay for the essentials. I didn’t take out a business loan or borrow money from anyone to start my company, so I had to come up with the money somehow. And it was HARD.
After about six years in business (the first two years being part-time because I had to work day jobs to survive), everything changed. That was due to a combination of updating my website to be mobile-friendly (a non-existent term when I launched it in 2008), the solid reputation that took a while to build and half a decade’s worth of connections and word of mouth referrals coming to fruition. And oh my God, the relief. I could pay all of my bills without anxiety and I no longer had to constantly check my bank account to make sure I had enough to cover everything. I was able to pay off all of my credit card and student loan debt by my seventh year in business, and was even able to start going on vacations! (I mean, I still had to work during them, but sometimes only for an hour or two each day). And not only could I go to comedy shows, join friends for drinks, and show my face at birthday dinners, but I could treat my friends. Several of them had really helped me out when my bank account was hurting, so it felt awesome to finally be able to buy them dinner or grab the bar tab.
But my biggest financial victory was Charleston. Ever since I opened my company, I knew I wanted to eventually live somewhere warmer. I decided on Charleston, SC and being a (working) snowbird there became my ultimate goal. I was financially able to do it in January of 2016, but my father was going through treatment for pancreatic cancer and I didn’t want to be away from him for a few months, so I delayed my snowbirding. I started it in January of 2017 and now I’m back, but for longer this year. Living in Charleston is one of my favorite things in my life. And you can say all you want about positive vibes and the universe, but it was straight out hard work and money that made this happen.
They say money can’t buy happiness, but it does seem to help. Being able to live in Charleston fills me with joy, as corny as that sounds. Having money allows me to make donations to organizations I support, which is important to me because my schedule doesn’t allow me to volunteer like I’d like to (not a humble brag, just something that means a lot to me). Thanks to my bank account, I was able to cover the bulk of the cost of my sister in law’s bridal shower, which she told me after was the best day of her life (trumped, I’m sure, by her wedding three months later, but still). After I got out of my broke years, I was able to loan money to friends and relatives who really needed it. I’m not implying that I’m loaded and can spend as much money as I want without thinking about it, because that is not true at all. But I got to a point where I was able to do things I couldn’t have gotten close to during my first five or six years in business, and help out others in small ways. And that was a life changer for me.
The income change that made the biggest impact on my life was the one that brought me from struggling and worried to comfortable and debt-free. I remember learning about this in a Psychology class in college, but it didn’t sink in until I had to think about things besides registering for classes, what new Bacardi flavor I should try and which parties my crush of the week would likely be at. The studies I learned about in that Psych class said that when it came to life satisfaction and happiness, money only made a difference when it took people out of constant financial struggle into a place where they could pay their bills and live comfortably. When I say “comfortably,” I don’t mean wealthy. I mean whatever income is needed for someone to pay for the essentials, plus some extra that a financial hit–like an unexpected car repair, a big medical bill or even just Christmas shopping–doesn’t put them into a situation that they can not recover from.
I think you can want to have enough to be that kind of comfortable without being materialistic or wanting to be rich just for the sake of being rich. There’s no shame in wanting to be in a place where you can pay your bills and have the income to be able to do at least some of the things you enjoy.
I understand why money can be considered evil, but I don’t think that’s always the case. It’s all about the way you use it and look at it. I don’t view money as a way to acquire more things. (And it doesn’t rule everything around me–sorry, WuTang.) I see it as a tool that makes life easier and more comfortable. Struggling financially adds a lot of stress to a person’s every day life. That’s no secret. A lot of people feel ashamed and frustrated when they are broke and it can be a tough situation to get out of. But what’s the thing that solves many of their problems? Cheddar. (And notice I didn’t say all of their problems.)
Even though it’s something most of us use every single day, there’s such a stigma attached to talking about money. A lot of people consider it tacky to discuss it, but I think when you avoid talking about something, it can lead to confusion. Some people are in the dark about money management, budgeting, the options when things are bad, etc. because we are not born knowing those things and it can feel embarrassing to ask for help (and a non-option to hire someone for financial advice when the money to pay them isn’t there). I know it can be an uncomfortable topic to discuss, but especially as an entrepreneur, it’s essential to understand money and how it should impact the choices you make.
Why am I even writing this blog post? Because I have another one coming where I talk about financial struggles, but I wanted to first explain how I view money and how it’s changed my life. This is primarily a beauty blog, but I’m as much of a business owner as I am a makeup artist, so I’m going to write about boss life stuff sometimes. And the cool thing about reading is that it’s really easy to not do it if you don’t want to. So if this type of blog post isn’t for you, you have options. Isn’t that a great thing?
Have a beautiful day 🙂