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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Pagan savings challenge
Pagan savings challenge, week fifteen:  secrets

There's been a lot written about the culture secrecy lately.  In the Pagan community, many people are questioning whether a culture of secrecy perpetuates bad behavior, and in the broader United States, the President is seeking to dismantle the culture of secrecy surrounding salaries.

In both of those cases, secrecy can lead to advantage being taken, but secrecy has its place.  When it comes to money specifically, even if we develop a culture in which we all feel comfortable talking about money, we don't necessarily want people to know where we stash our cash.  That's why I was delighted to discover a post on creating a money jar for the Pagan savings challenge, the image for this very post was nicked from Mistress of the Hearth to show what one might look like.

As someone who is saving this money in cash, and particularly since I make a habit of taking pictures of my savings for most of these posts, I appreciate this form of secrecy.  My money is protected by the gods of my household generally, the gods of wealth and thievery specifically, and the best locks and methods of hiding that I can muster.

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Pagan savings challenge, week fourteen:  what women want

I heard an interesting story on NPR about women and investing the other day.  The points which jumped out at me were:

  • Women are more risk-averse when it comes to investing, and testosterone plays a part in the gender difference;
  • Fear of an impoverished old age -- women generally have more time as senior citizens -- adds a layer of paralysis which amplifies the hormonal factors;
  • In heteronormative relationships, women are more likely to let the man control the money, even women who are the primary wage earners; and
  • When they invest for themselves, women tend to be better at it than men.

More than a decade into the 21st century, we haven't reached gender parity in how we relate to money.  How much of that difference is cultural and how much is biological isn't clear to me, but differences there certainly are.

Whatever the reasons, each of us have different strengths.  Gender is one way to describe those differences, but what's important is to recognize that we can support one another in saving for the future (which can include investing).  Some of the ways I have touched upon in the past, such as Pagan investment clubs and community savings groups are more likely to be successful the old-fashioned way, face to face.  Groups of people working together can shore up weaknesses and amplify strengths.

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Pagan savings challenge, week thirteen:  lies we tell

One of the gods I regularly worship is Hermes, who among his other associations is god of the marketplace, and god of lies.  If you've ever purchased a car, the link between the two shouldn't come as any surprise; lies are part and parcel of what makes money work.  In fact, it's reasonable to argue that money is itself a lie, or built on one.

That does not erode money's influence or role as a holder of energy (value), although the fact that some people avoid money entirely is understandable.  Rather than resist the lies, I prefer to use them to my advantage.

Savings, at least for people like me who spend money like it's going to buy happiness, is all about lies and self-trickery.  A friend of mine recently told me that he's hesitant to get a second job because his track record was to be less responsible the more he makes.  For him, that meant socializing, likely with alcohol.  Endorphins running high can make spending easier, with or without alcohol, so I counsel a few well-placed lies to stop behaviors before they start.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • J'Karrah
    J'Karrah says #
    I always round payments UP to the nearest dollar in my checkbook. Meaning a bill payment of $128.35 gets rounded up to $129 in my
Pagan savings challenge, week twelve:  looking back

I called this post "looking back" because, scurrilous wag that I am, I wrote it a week later than the date it was posted.  Oh, the technology!

My week twelve savings:  $78, 15% ($12) of which I added today.

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Pagan savings challenge, week eleven:  reflections

I've imposed some rules upon my own interpretation of the Pagan savings challenge, some of which are probably going to fall before long.

  1. I'm using the smallest bills possible, because I'm posting a picture each week and want that image to express abundance.  The envelope I use is pretty much maxed out as of this week, and my money shrine isn't large enough to support a larger one, but I still like the look of the growing pile of singles.
  2. I'm also replacing the cash entirely each week before I add new, to keep me mindful of the flow of money.  As the numbers grow higher, the practicality of doing so will drop, because . . .
  3. I am performing this savings challenge in cash, because talismans are powerful.  While there are security concerns for this practice, I have put sufficient safeguards into place that I feel confident continuing in this manner, even if I can't comply with the first two for much longer.

These rules are part of ritual which surrounds my savings, the ritual which places this work into religious context.  While I won't be dogmatic about them, I do believe that rooting work with money in one's faith practice will make it more powerful, more successful, and more valuable to the whole person than a wad of cash can be in its own right.

My week eleven savings:  $66, 17% ($11) of which I added today.

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Pagan savings challenge, week ten:  hardships

This past week has been a tough one on the household budget.  If money flows, then my household was at the top of a hill watching it flow down and away at an alarming rate.  When money is leaving faster than it's arriving, it can lead to some interesting reactions . . . such as a stronger urge to spend what you've got, to stock up for bad times.  Or to choke off the flow entirely and preserve what you've got, even though this will also likely stop the inward flow as well.

It's hard to save money when it feels like you don't have any.

On the other hand, it's a good week for this moneyworking Hellenist to continue saving anyway.  Last week found me saving on Noumenia, and today is the eighth day of the Hellenic month, sacred to my patron Poseidon, who is the financial securer.  I needed this reminder that money's flow cannot be stanched in one direction only, and that security should not be confused with stagnation.

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Pagan savings challenge, week nine: Noumenia

This week, my Pagan savings challenge reflection goes all Hellenic, for today I celebrate Noumenia, the first of the month.  (Specifically, it's the first of Elaphebolion, 698th Olympiad, but I wouldn't have known that without checking.)  It's a time to honor all the gods of the household, and good for fresh starts in my experience.

Have you stumbled in your savings?  This happens, and it's okay.  It's time for a restart.  What that means is your choice, but here are some suggestions:

  • Track your spending.  Are there sacrifices you can make there so that the money is available for saving?
  • Reevaluate.  Are your goals too ambitious?  I think starting with as little as a penny is appropriate, depending on your income flow.  Be honest, and track your spending before you make that determination.  (And if you think you are not saving enough, feel free to bump it up!)
  • Catch up.  If you have missed a week or more, particularly if you're saving more each week like I am, it's probably not too late to add what's been missed to the pot.
  • Remind.  If you're having trouble remembering the weekly savings, try harder.  Write it in your calendar.  Put a reminder on your phone.  Subscribe to my posts so I can nudge you (also available via email, but you'll need to click the link above yourself for that).

For me, the new beginning is a bit pedestrian:  I've run out of singles, so this is the first week for which my savings is not entirely in dollar bills, despite my fondness for George.  I still like the idea of the volume of bills growing faster and faster as the year progresses, though.

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Pagan savings challenge, week eight:  negative savings

My brother once likened debt to a negative savings account.  It's a good analogy:  debt is money you've spent before you saved it, and both will accumulate interest if arranged through a formal financial institution.  Of course, with debt the interest is being paid to someone else.

Paying off debt is a valid way to meet the Pagan savings challenge.  It could take the form of simply using the weekly savings amount to pay off a bill faster, or the money could be allowed to build over the year and used all at once for that purpose.  Either way, it strengthens the discipline of building energy through saving money.

My week eight savings:  $36, 22% ($8) of which I added today.

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Pagan savings challenge, week seven:  parting of the ways

I feel a certain obligation to post weekly about the Pagan savings challenge, if only to remind readers that I am still plugging along, and to cheer on my fellow savers.  This week I did not have a topic at the ready, so when in doubt, do some divination!

Using the Greek alphabet oracle, I drew tau, the parting from the companions now around you.  I drew this tile separate from my daily divination, and despite carefully shaking the jar of letters, I got the same one both times.  Given the growing stream of money that is being diverted from my wallet to my savings, I believe the companions I am parting from are all named George Washington.

However, I am cheered that this parting is not forever, and that my army of Georges will return to me in less than eleven months, ready to do my bidding.  What orders are you readying for your army?

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Pagan savings challenge, week six:  cold and contemplative

I've noted before that I am devoting the money I save during the Pagan savings challenge to buying and installing a fireplace insert.  This week, my family was reminded that this is a really good idea.

We've had all manner of severe winter weather throughout the United States this season, including a cold snap and foot or more of snow in my area.  It was during the cold and dark of that heavy snowfall that my wife realized our heat was no longer on.  We tried hitting the reset button, but no dice.  We called our amazing heating guys, who talked me through several other troubleshooting steps, all which failed to solve or diagnose the problem.  He agreed to come out as soon as he confirmed that the parking lot of his shop had been plowed so he could get the work truck.

It hadn't, and it wasn't until the following morning.  Our fireplace, with some assistance from an electric mattress pad, was our only source of heat.  It was bright, cheery, and reassuringly warm, but it takes a lot of effort for a central fireplace to warm even a modest home.  The fire needed to be rekindled the following morning from cold ashes.  Our house is nearly a hundred years old, but its original primary heat source was a coal furnace, not the fireplace.

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Pagan savings challenge, week five:  park this!

This week I received an unpleasant surprise in the mail:  a parking ticket.  Apparently I had failed to hit the meter quickly enough one time while waiting for the Maetreum of Cybele's day in court, but the ticket itself didn't manifest until four months later.  What would have been a $65.00 fine (outrageous in its own right) has now been hiked to $115.00, plus the usual warnings about me never being able to park in this town again.

Honestly, the things we go through for our work . . .

Approaching this in the context of the Pagan savings challenge, the money that the city of Albany is demanding is more than eight times what I have tucked away during this project.  However, in just ten weeks (that's less than a season), I'll have that socked away, and five dollars to spare.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Cities lose more money from parking meters than they make in fines and collections. People are unable to vote for freedom to park
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I think it's one of the effects of "running a government like a business" -- since municipalities usually collect more in meter fe
Pagan savings challenge, week four:  praying over money

Not every Pagan prays, but I do, so I have included it in my own practice of the Pagan savings challenge.  Each week I recite this original prayer:

Xaire, Poseidon Asphaleios,
guide the tides around me
so that my efforts here
will secure my future.

As pictured here, I wrote the verse on the envelope where I'm storing the money; I may add additional prayers if I'm so inspired.

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Pagan savings challenge, week three: flow

When it came time to make the weekly donation to my Pagan savings challenge envelope, instead of just adding the money, I also replaced the cash that was already in there.  I've been reading The Soul of Money, particularly a very thoughtful passage on the flow of money, so I decided to incorporate that into my weekly offering to help me explore the idea.  I will replace the entire amount each time I add the weekly allotment.

This week, the growing pile of cash is pictured on my shrine to Hestia, for the hearth is going to get an upgrade with the assistance of this money.  Fireplace insert, here we come.

My week three savings:  $6.00, half of which I put there today.

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Pagan savings challenge, week two: challenges

This morning, when I went to set aside this week's allotment for the Pagan savings challenge, I was faced with another sort of challenge:  I couldn't find the envelope with the money in it.  I was being practical, I thought, by not leaving it out in plain sight; even if robbers don't break into my home, out of sight is out of mind, so I will be less likely to spend it.

Note to self:  there's a very fine line between out of sight and out of sight.  It does me no good to not know where the money is in the first place!

But there are some interesting lessons here.  I did find that envelope, but if I had not, it would have meant the loss of one dollar.  The same error in six months' time would have meant coming up with $351, a much larger chunk of change.  Money compounds over time, but it starts out slowly, like an avalanche, a wave, or the movement of a continent.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Vintah Montoya
    Vintah Montoya says #
    I decided to do this challenge this year, as well. I've always been good at saving up for something when I have the proper motivat
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    This is the spirit with which I was hoping people might adopt this challenge. Thank you.
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    This is a good idea, especially for people who have never learned how to divert part of their income into saving and investment.
Pagan savings challenge, week one:  Q&A

My Pagan savings challenge post generated a lot of discussion on the Witches & Pagans Facebook page.  I thought it would be appropriate to share some of the questions and comments, in the form of a Q&A.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pagan Savings Challenge

My posts in 2014 are finally going to start focusing on one of the most important money topics, debt.  However, before we talk about what we owe, I'd like readers to join me in expanding what we save.  I'm laying down the gauntlet:  can you raise as much energy as I?

Fans of the internet may be familiar with this post's graphic, which I believe originates here.  This is a simple, elegant way to save money, and one that should work well for Pagans.  If you're the sort that includes magic as part of, or in conjunction with, your worship, then as I said, it's simply raising energy so you can work your spell.  If your Pagan path has no truck with that sort of thing, pick an appropriate deity, force, or cause, and make this an offering.  I will continue to refer to it as raising energy, because you can just as easily use this energy for an offering as for magical work.

This is going to require discipline.  Money is quite tangible energy, and the bigger the pile, the more tempting it will be to use some of it.  Depending on your money boundaries, you may need to set up systems to ensure that you put the money away, as well as hold onto it throughout the year.  Here are some suggestions.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jan Nerone
    Jan Nerone says #
    I'm with you! 2014 is going to be a breakout year for me, personally, professionally and financially. Making an actual savings pla
  • Jason Hatter
    Jason Hatter says #
    I have started doing this, though I started with the most expensive savings first; this year I worked a bunch of holiday days at w
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    You are not the only one using a different savings model, and I welcome that diversity, Mr Hatter! I hope you will check in as th

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