Chronologically, this week marks the halfway point for the Pagan savings challenge. The monetary halfway point is still a few weeks away, if you're following the same arithmetic progression that I am, or well in the past if you're going in reverse.
Given the strong emotional ties made with money, I think a lot more people in our society approach it as animists than they themselves realize. To love money, or to hate it, or fear it, is to imbue it with spirit, or recognize that it has spirit regardless. Why not take the next step, and allow that relationship to be a two-way one?
What have you done for money lately? Do you say prayers, make offerings, keep a shrine? Do you give and take money without thought for the medium itself, but only the necessities and luxuries it can provide for you and your loved ones? Do you use it for magical purposes? Do you thank money for its role in your life, ignore it, avoid it, or curse it?
As I was doing my money work this morning at my outdoor altar (pictured), I wondered how I could incorporate Father's Day into a Pagan savings challenge post. Since I just published a reflection on shaving and fatherhood in a paper I write for, I'm opting to tie my experience with razor shaving into the process.
I know that not everyone is following the savings plan I laid out at the beginning of this challenge, but if you are, you're putting away $24.00 in this, the twenty-fourth week. That's just about a third of my weekly allowance, which is starting to crimp my style! To continue this pace, finding ways to cut expenses is becoming a more and more important priority.
Okay, "heat wave" might be a tad histrionic, but 75 degrees at 10PM is the hottest it's been since I started this challenge, and it saps my will to be clever, so there.
What saps your will to save? Does it rise to the level of things like a family member falling deathly ill or your home being destroyed by some calamity, or does it take less than that? As someone who can have his motivation drained by the heat before it even reaches 80, I think I can understand someone wanting to give up on this challenge for much less serious reasons than the examples I gave. And if you have suffered something as terrible as either of those, may the gods give you the strength to persevere in the days ahead, whether you choose to continue saving or not.
If you're a magical sort of Pagan, you may know that money from farther away can be used for money-drawing and prosperity spells. Foreign money is often used in this way. That makes sense to me as a Hellenist; Hermes isn't god of travel and commerce without reason. I submit to my readers that if money coming from a distance has some added value, then knowing where a particular piece of currency has been is also valuable.
That's right, I'm talking about my currency-tracking hobby, Where's George? by name. I attended a gathering this past weekend. That's when a bunch of hard-core Georgers get together and trade bills with each other, in the hopes that those bills will get to places never before reached -- I myself have seen one of my bills arrive in St Martin thanks to one of these gatherings. These are hobbyists at the top of their heap, some of them having entered over a quarter-million separate bills into the system over the course of many years.
Twenty weeks is more than a third of the way through the Pagan savings challenge, so you're either gathering a head of steam, or you're way behind and giving up in all but name. The rewards for being on track should already be evident, so let's talk about what to do if you're on the other side of that coin. If your savings challenge needs saving, I'm here to help.
First things first: this is a no-shame zone. Not meeting your goal is not failure. The very act of setting a measurable goal is stupendous success in and of itself. Goals are measuring sticks, and if you find this one hard to meet, you now know enough to figure out if it's the goal or your effort that needs adjusting. This is just as important if hitting the goal is effortless -- maybe you're not saving enough!