Money Drunk Money Sober: My Bottom Line

For this time period, I am working through Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan’s book Money Drunk, Money Sober before I work through the Prosperous Heart. The following blog entries are in response to prompts and experiences from the book. I see this as an extension of my Artist’s Way work. Some of my entries are jarring and highly personal – any program of sobriety and self-improvement demands admitting dysfunction both personally and in family, and it also calls to admit some painful truths. While not everything I work on appears here, a number of realities do. I have a genuine body of work thanks to my work on the Artist’s Way program, and I can’t ignore the changes the continual commitment has brought about. Because of that, I also can’t ignore what going further into the harder aspects of the program – like facing money issues – has the potential to improve.

These are the bottom line – the financial behaviors I will stop, in an effort to manage my finances better.

  • No more picking up the tab for others, unless it’s a special occasion like that person’s birthday, or a genuine life crisis. Even if that means inconvenience. Exceptions made for “paybacks:” – I’ve often had to skip weddings and baby stuff because of really bad timing in my own life. Sadly, I’ve had to short people that have truly done their best kindnesses for me, and I do need to acknowledge those kindnesses when I can.
  • No more putting gifts for family ahead of my actual needs and goals. Now that we’re officially estranged (their bullying/manipulative behavior at my last birthday topped their abusiveness at both my weddings and via ignoring my graduations, AND at treating me like shit while I waited on them hand and foot during holidays when I had to overextend myself financially to go see them combined) it’s gotten a lot more affordable. I suspect they were giving themselves repeated speeches about how “rich” and “easy” I had it. Since they couldn’t be bothered to visit me and see how I actually live when we were on speaking terms, it left them free to imagine and project whatever the hell they wanted. Also, I don’t hate myself because giving them anything just seemed to make them greedy for whatever else they could get out of me. It’s becoming clear that they thought I was the “keep home to take care of the parents” kid that stopped being common in the 1950s. I don’t think they understand that a)you need direct consent for that and b)they haven’t done nearly enough for me to warrant the sacrifice of my entire life. Murder by caretaking. What a bunch of assholes. I still offer my expertise to Mike for his own family – and we do it within a well-defined budget.
  • No more “spending ahead.” I know my monthly expenses, and some I use to ensure I have low-cost entertainment throughout the month. I need to make sure I use those more.
  • No more spending blind. I often buy something without checking my budget and funds first – it’s sort of like shutting your eyes at a scary movie, or on a roller coaster. This is unhealthy, and I need to stop this. My needs are covered, and my wants are not immediate.

Filed under: Money Drunk Money Sober