I bought a car last week. Finally tired of pouring money into my aging Volvo, I took the plunge and purchased a brand spankin’ new car – something I have never done in 30 years of car ownership.
Figuring out how to pay for the new baby has kept me up at night (like I need anything else). Serendipitously, I sold the Volvo as soon as I’d put a deposit down on its replacement, but for so little that it won’t cover even half a mortgage payment. My ex and I paid cash for the Volvo 11 years ago (we had just sold a house at a sizeable profit), and I am suddenly facing not only an unfamiliar monthly car bill but paying back what I dug out of my home equity line for the down payment.
And then the day after I brought the car home, something fortuitous happened.
I arrived home after work to a notice from my mortgage company telling me that they’d been taking too much in escrow to pay my property taxes. Exhausted, I didn’t at first comprehend the import of this news – or see the big, fat check at the bottom of the page. And it took me longer to realize that my mortgage payment is being cut by over $100 a month.
The theory of abundance is something that I have advocated repeatedly over the last couple of years to frantic friends who couldn’t see where the money for [the car, the rent, legal fees, the kids’ college tuition] was going to come from. If you’re not familiar with it, it goes something like this: if you live as though the world is a place with unlimited resources that will be made available to you when you need them, you will, in fact, receive when you ask. There is enough money. There are enough jobs. There are unlimited sources of love.
If, on the other hand, you hold to the theory of scarcity, you will hoard the resources you have, believing that otherwise you won’t have access to what you need later. It generates fear and anxiety and a lack of willingness to share what you have or let go of what’s not good enough – the self-fulfilling prophecy of a world with only limits. (How can I let go of this jerk – I’ll never find another man!)
I shouldn’t have been surprised by this unforeseen windfall, but I was. In many ways, I have failed to practice the philosophy I’ve preached. Yes, I reaped a financial bonus, but the real plus was the reminder that no matter how slim the chances may look, there is always another way through.