Written by: Kendall A. | Umm Iman
My relationship with money has always been one that I was conscious of. Growing up, my parents were people who valued quality and believed in spending the money upfront to purchase something of high-quality that would “last for a life-time.” As far back as I can remember, I had a bank account in my name that my parents would regularly make deposits into. Whenever I received money as a gift or earned it from odd jobs, it would go into that account–the college savings fund. I volunteered in my middle school years, and once I was of legal age to work, I had summer jobs ever since. I had the unique experience of attending a high school whose tuition was offset by my (and the other students’) participation in a work-study program. This meant that we were gaining valuable work experience, exploring different careers, building our resumes, and earning compensation that went directly to paying part of our school tuition. These life experiences have made me conscious of money, how I spend it, and what I plan to do with it. It is my hope to share these and even more consciousness practices with my children, in sha Allah.
Over the past year, I have been thinking more about my financial power and goals. I know that big business dominates the economy and that small businesses often struggle to maintain themselves, despite the beauty, creativity, and thoughtfulness that goes into their work. I want to be a person who recognizes my own financial power and uses money to do good and promote good, both in my life and in the world at large. Below are some questions that I have been asking myself and ways that I have been moving toward an even better relationship with money and intentionality around its spending.
Money Questions to Consider:
- Who do I support with my money by where I choose to shop? I am supporting big businesses, small businesses, individuals, and/or entreprenuers? Am I supporting companies or individuals whose values align with my own? Are the companies and individuals that I buy from fair-trade? Eco-friendly? Ethically conscious? Do they give back to the world and other people in some way? Do they believe in and support social justice? Are they local businesses? Am I supporting the work of family, friends, and people in my community? Is my money working to help an underrepresented population or is my dollar keeping the rich, rich and the poor, poor?
- What do I spend money on? Is the money that I am spending necessary? Where can I spend less money in my budget? What items or services can I get for free? Are there opportunities for me to exchange wisdom with someone else without trading money? How can I earn more money? What will I do with the money I have and am planning to make? Have I used part of my money to give in charity?
- What is my attachment to material items? Do I fill my life with unnecessary material items that are eating up my money? Am I willing to give, let go of, and sell material items in order to impress more value into experiences and relationships? If I were to lose everything material, would I still be happy? Does everything that I buy need be brand new or is it worth it to thrift, make my own, and inherit from a loved one?
I think it’s important to ponder these questions in developing financial goals and recognizing my own financial power–that what I choose to spend on and where I choose to buy from says something about what I value, and that what I say and do should be aligned for myself and in setting an example for my children.
What are your answers to these questions? Are these things that you consider when you make a purchase or look through your budget? What additional questions would you add to the list? Comment or email me!