The Christian Lifestyle: Saving and Spending

0
Art by Alice Hsieh

I want to learn how to use my money better. What are some of your own strategies or philosophies? Thanks! — Anonymous

I never thought a day would come when someone asks me for financial advice. Let me tell you straight up: I have no idea why waiters ask to toss your salad. Perhaps it’s a ranchy and raunchy pick-up line. I also hope that anything I say will not be used to save a sinking ship on the cusp of capital crisis — unless, surprise, it’s a battery-powered submarine. What I’m trying to say is that Taurus and Virgo do not appear in my chart and my Capricorn is only represented in the generational signs.

Theoretically, if you want to save money then don’t spend it. Unfortunately, that is just about one of the most impossible feats of the universe as simple luxuries such as coffee — yes, coffee is a luxury, and you are not entitled to caffeination fueled by labor exploitation — with its creme creme au balsamic vinegar espresso are sinkholes for the green. And unless you’re planting an oak tree, you don’t want to do the daily devil’s deed in the pit of sin: Find out what you don’t need in your life and cut it out. It is very telling if you’re not just dependent on liquid beans, but you also begin to glorify the sounds of the steamy exhaust from the coffee press and how the coffee shop is your life. An occasional cup of caffeine is fine, but you can survive without it.

Conversely, money as an institution is made to be spent and exercised. And under the neoliberal model, it also is something to be hoarded so it never circulates back into the economy, thus destroying any semblance of “trickle-down economics” and creating a polarizing disparity between the upper and working classes. I’m sure you’re aware of this from your classes and are either hyper aware, snapping your fingers or choosing to ignore this reality and rolling your eyes in apathy. Well, whoever you are, you shouldn’t be afraid to spend money, whether that’s on your apartment rent, groceries, Netflix or a book — one that you actually want to read. Be confident in whatever you invest it in and know that paying bills, while groan-worthy, enables you to have shelter and groceries to eat. Don’t forget that having money gives you the privilege to do these things that others might not, so appreciate and own it.