This week we consider how we use the resource that too often can determine all other resources in our lives. Instead of bartering for goods and services within our community and with our neighbors, people have been using forms of money for centuries. Although this can be helpful, it can also have it's challenges. This week is simply an opportunity to name and realize our relationship with money. Are there ways we can be more intentional, relational, and joyful about money? Too often money is used with unintended effects, breaks down relationships, and becomes stressful. How can we practice better habits and intentions with our family?
A few options to consider for the week:
1.) Look up the weekly allowance/income of someone from another country. Consider what you could change this week to get an understanding of how others live. (Usually works better over a month. You can also look up what our government considers to be the Poverty line.)
2.) Give up "casual" spending this week. No additional toys, games, videos, snacks, treats, or clothing - for only a week. Take notice of all the times you usually buy things and why you do (personally, coffee shops are my "vice" that support my coffee habit, as well as thrift stores where I often buy too much clothing).
3.) Share your money at least once this week, intentionally. Have you ever paid for someone's meal behind you? One way is to simply leave a certain amount with the cashier that can be applied to the next bill(s). How about treating a friend, and sharing how much they mean in your life? What else could you do with your money to give thanks for the people in your life? What are ways you and your household have done this in the past? What charities and faith groups do you support intentionally? What determines how much money (and time) you give to fostering community and relationships in your life?
4.) Consider only using cash this week. Does feeling and counting money change how we use it compared to shopping online and with credit cards?
5.) For other ideas, google videos and information with Everence, Mennonite Central Committee, iDE and MEDA.