I believe money does not exist. Sure, I have held it in my hand, I have worked long and hard hours to pay bills all my life. I have it in my bank account, and I use it everyday to buy food and other necessities. In general, I feel that if you have it, it is meant to be spent. I believe in spending it wisely to provide for my family. Above all, it is a tool. I feel that we often forget this in our day and age. We have created financial systems, institutions, and social norms all based around money. Right now it may even feel as though money controls the world. I believe we must never allow it to do this. Education, people, community, family, friends, honest communication should be valued more than money is right now. The returns from all of those entities will always be greater than any stock exchange share.
My husband and I live, and have lived on a meager budget for many years. Our combined annual gross incomes total less than $50,000. We do not own our home, and we earn an hourly wage. We have manageable credit card debt and student loans. My husband is a canine evaluator at our local shelter, and I am a seamstress /small business owner and Montessori infant /toddler teacher. We both love what we do. We work 88 hours a week. We believe in eating well, supporting local agriculture and working hard. We love being outside, but often cannot find the time. We have a 21 month old son, who we are incredibly grateful for. He was the best unplanned surprise we could have ever asked for. Everyday I look at him and laugh. We are so blessed. We had no idea how we would pay for clothes, medical care, shelter, food, etc. for our son, us and our 3 dogs, when we found out we were expecting. We were incredibly scared, as most new parents are. We even considered the unthinkable, aborting our child. Thanks to our friends, family, and our wonderful community, we have made it work. Of course we, like anyone else these days, get scared we may lose our jobs. But we know that we can all make it by, no matter what. It is in our genes. Our grandparents, parents and others have made it through times like the great depression. That’s why we are here. That is why I believe that money does not exist. People do, and it is in them that I find strength.