I am thankful for my bills

It sounds weird, I know. But I am. I’m not just thankful that I have money to pay them, I am thankful that someone thinks I can handle this responsibility and holds me accountable for it, every month. There are of course times that I wish these institutions were like my boss or my mother and a little more understanding.. but at the same time, my bills are things that I knowingly signed up for. I made the decision to move out, knowing that I would have to pay rent each month, more or less for the rest of my life… as well as utilities and internet and such. I knew when I started driving that I’d have to have insurance, and that the freedom of being able to go wherever I wanted, when I wanted, so long as I had gas, would cost me a monthly payment.

I’m someone who likes guidelines. I like knowing where the boundaries are. In fact, I’ve been known to push peoples’ buttons just so that in the future, I have that knowledge of what that person’s fuse is. Maybe that’s why I appreciate the hard lines of my bills so much. Ironically, appreciating my responsibilities is like a positive affirmation. Appreciating the fact that I am able to meet these responsibilities means that I will continue to be responsible when these bills have all been paid – and at that point, my investments in myself will really be paying off.

Of course, that’s not to say I’m fabulously wealthy and have a bunch of money to burn. I do live in an apartment. I have been shopping for a house but that’s just not in my 21-year-old budget. I drive a car that’s 8 or more years old and I regularly maintain it. This last year has been a  bit difficult for me. Between launching my own business and taking classes without changing my work schedule, I also decided to take on some more financial responsibility (in order to help my credit support buying a house in the somewhat-near future). So, no matter how thankful I am for my bills, I still had to curb my spending habits and teach myself some new tricks. Here are a few of the things I learned so that you can try them, yourself.

  • I always run up a monthly budget of how much inflow I will have (I round this down) and how much my regular bills cost me (I round this up). I also include some variables like gas and groceries. My new trick for this year was to specify how much fun money I was allowed between paychecks. This is the same theory behind building in some junk food into a new diet – allowing yourself SOME freedom to buy things when you are on a budget prevents you from going cold turkey and completely splurging.
  • the “3x rule” – if I find something I think I need, I wait until I have felt that ‘need’ three times before I allow myself to buy it. Especially because I have access to just about every electronic do-dad, every book, and every piece of music I could possibly want, this really helps cut down on extraneous spending.
  • pay yourself. Sometimes this is extremely difficult to do. Trust me, I know this more than anyone else. I have several ways I do this – both electronically and physically – but the important thing here is to save a little something from each check. This is the most rewarding thing I have ever done and although I have ended up using a lot of these little savings for emergency bills as they’ve come up, that is exactly why it is important to save my money. I never know when I will need a little extra financial help.

I hope sharing my experience and lessons learned helps someone out there, especially with the fast approaching holiday. Please have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! Namaste ❤

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The Price of Tarot: Pt 1

In today’s world, the dollar is the driving force behind everything we do. We may not like it, but we need money to buy food, clothes, and shelter. Some of us may be lucky to have a garden or to make our own clothes or build our own homes, but those things have to come from somewhere. Most of us rely on (hopefully) steady jobs and hobbies here and there to make our living. A few of us soldier it alone in their own businesses. Some of us slave; others play to make our living. Money is a driving force in our life and thus some people feel like we are a slave to it’s value and how much we bring in, even identifying ourselves by this number. The more pride we have in our jobs, the less this number matters – unless we feel it matches or outweighs our ‘gross annual income’.

It doesn’t take long for tarot enthusiasts to encounter the idea of selling their services as a reader. In some cases, it is inevitable. Well, can you blame us? If we love what we do for free, it only makes sense that we should be able to make our living off if it. Take, for instance, those who may see a reader but have bad luck with them, or can’t afford them, so they dig into their own resources and purchase their own deck. Eventually, they say, this is easy, I can charge x and whip out a reading and make some serious money doing this!

Or, take into consideration the skilled but sheltered reader, who reads for others and refuses payment, but is repeatedly told that she knows what she’s doing and could really make a living doing this. She probably approaches the subject very carefully and considers everything before she takes the leap into the world of business.

Which category do you fall under?

I never anticipated charging for my readings. But lately, I’ve become aware that the service I provide does tax me. It’s not something I want to just give freely now. I’m looking for people who want to take me seriously – and are thusly willing to pay me for my time – so that I can practice my art seriously. I have had tools at my disposal for some time now, even especially lately, thanks to a wonderful Theresa Reed, and now… now I am ready, I think, to slowly ease myself into the pool of professional tarot readers.

This is the first in what I hope will become a substantial series about the dreaded, the often misunderstood, the rarely used and abused, money & tarot issue. I want to take this blog on a journey as I build and prepare myself for the future career I dream of.

Below I’ve listed just a few of my concerns I have about what I’m doing. These are small snippets around which I’ll be building the continued series, so take them as sneak peaks for the future. I’ve also got a few people I’ve asked for advice in this area so there will be mini-interviews as I trek onward and upward.

  • I currently have a small website set up that offers 3 different reading options. I sell a $5 reading that uses between 3 – 5 cards but I feel like I still give an awful lot of information, about the same that I’d give for a $15 or 9-card reading. I’m not sure why I feel this way because although I narrate what the cards mean and how they influence each other, I have way more to talk about with a bigger reading than the smaller reading. I don’t want to cut out my customer and not give them the answer they’re looking for, but at the same time, I feel like I should charge a bit more. I definitely haven’t got the right prices in place for my services.
  • Which brings me to my next area of unease. I’m not out to make a buck – but I’d certainly like to pad my income a bit. Honestly, I’d be really happy right now if I could use the proceeds from my reading service to pay for my internet usage, so that I can start saving for school. I don’t have the experience to justify $100/hour like Christine does, but I don’t think I should be selling myself short. I LOVE my work but I don’t want to grow weary of it because I feel like I’m not making enough. I’m also not satisfied with the mentality that people will pay me above and beyond my set prices ‘because I’m worth it’… I’m certain SOME people will tip me, eventually, but I can’t plan on it.
  • Reading in public. Whoamg. Huge personal issue for me. I did a reading for my dad this weekend and I was so nervous it took twice as long as it normally did because I was hesitating about everything I said. I really would benefit from having people I can practice in person with so I can work over my fear of people judging me while I get my tarot groove on and get those questions answered. So what I’m hoping to do is to try reading at my local New Age store – but I’m not sure how soon I can try that because I’m going to spend most of this month working overtime at my day job.