It makes the world go ‘round. It’s the root of all evil. It’s a gas.
Money. You take it for granted when you have it and realise just how central it is to your daily functioning when it’s out of your grasp. It instils in you a sense of comfort and security knowing it’s at your fingertips should you need it, and causes undue stress and worry knowing that it’s not. It’s so easy to spend and so very difficult to save. It is pleasure and pain and happiness and despair wrapped up in a single concept with a fluctuating exchange rate. It frees you to travel the world and do all the things you’ve dreamed of, and confines you to a desk forty-hours each week hoping to make more of it. It feeds and nourishes you and it leaves you starving. It puts a roof over your head and it puts you on the streets, begging for it.
It’s something I’ve never been good with.
Saving is a foreign concept. When I have an income, be it regular or spurious, my thoughts always drift to all the wonderful things I might buy once payday rolls around. I saw an awesome pair of shoes in that store window. I could use a new dress or two. I’ve always wanted to go to Venice. I’m a dreamer to the highest degree and money facilitates the realisation of my loftiest of dreams.
For nearly a month I was separated from my money. For nearly a month I couldn’t access online banking to see the number that represented my worth in the marketplace, the number that represents my buying power, my ability to realise financially dependent dreams. It was painful. Living off cash, the depletion of funds is visible and presented itself every time I opened my fancy new wallet, which itself was purchased with cash and severely shrunk the stack of bills that would be placed lovingly into its silk-lined compartments.
Once reunited with the plastic gateways to my online accounts, a conceptual world of e-business and internet transfers, able to see my self-worth in a way that only an arbitrary number on the LCD screen of my MacBook could show me. It turns out the plastic in my wallet means nothing after all. I’m still broke. But it’s comforting to know it.
Because knowledge is power. Or so they say.