Hey, for once the title isn’t some clever, yet obtuse word play. This post is actually about a writing competition. Details are below, and have been announced in other places too, but I wanted to spread the word farther. Feel free to do so yourself.
(If you just want to check into the competition, skip about halfway down or go directly to financialintegrity.org.)
For the curious, let me tell you a bit of my story.
Being labeled a stock investor means that some people brand me with a stereotype. They imagine that I think money is the most important thing, that I strive for luxury, and that money can make all problems go away.
Money isn’t everything, it is less powerful than people, and sometimes problems will arise that can’t be fixed by either. Money must be balanced with the other elements of life. But, if you don’t have enough, then living in today’s world can be difficult. That’s the way we’ve built our society. I look forward to a more equitable system, but this is the one we have right now.
An old confession for some and a new confession for others, I don’t have enough. Well, maybe I do, but my net worth is not at the comfort level I have calculated and witnessed, so for now I am tighter with my money than I like. From my experience, an awareness of myself, and from a frugal lifestyle, I believe that my net worth will claim to and through the “enough” level soon. That does not mean that my needs or wants will change, or that I will abandon my frugal ways. A lot of things will get fixed and replaced, there’ll be more charitable contributions, and I’ll take more vacations, but I don’t aspire to a mansions, limos, or yachts. A nice cruising sailboat, maybe about a 36 foot Westerly, or a Dragonfly Trimaran 8 meter would be nice, but I am human and I digress.
I learned my frugal ways from my parents, and have a new appreciation for the sustainability of such a lifestyle because of our current crises. My awareness of myself is largely self-taught through lots of reading, introspection, commiseration, and meditation. Knowing what’s “enough” though is something I learned from the 9-step program developed and popularized by Joe Dominguez and the Vicki Robin in seminars and the book, Your Money or Your Life. Those lessons reaffirmed many of my ingrained habits, helped me identify my values, and helped me calculate how much money I need to live that lifestyle.
Life takes interesting twists and a couple of years ago I was asked to join the board of The New Road Map Foundation, aka financialintegrity.org, the non-profit organization that was funded by the original seminars and that continues today to encourage financial literacy, integrity, and independence. I am not their poster-child. Others are more sterling examples. One thing I noticed when I joined was the diversity in people’s experiences as they journeyed towards their individual goals. I wrote about my story in Dream. Invest. Live., not because it was the best approach, it isn’t, but because it was simply another example. The other stories are more engaging and educational, but many of those people didn’t have the time, energy, or incentive to write their story.
Working towards financial goals, or becoming less fearful of money, can benefit from reading lots of stories. Someone has written something you can learn from. I took an entire book to write about mine experience, and continue this blog because I am not done. The stories don’t have to be as long as my book. Last year’s entries in New Road Map’s competition proved that. Birds will two bells and kids with cookie jars weren’t part of my experience, yet I learned from their few hundred words.
There’s room for more, and a demand for more because more people are looking for insight, encouragement, and instruction.
What’s your story? Writing it down probably won’t cost you much, and others may find it invaluable. Besides, you might get a check for your efforts. Ask a writer. Getting a check for writing is a great feeling.
Here are the instructions, slightly paraphrased from the original. The full details are on the site financialintegrity.org.
FinancialIntegrity.org (The New Road Map Foundation) is holding its second annual writing competition.
Around the world people are aligning their spending with their values. They’re trusting their own choices more than what the advertisers put forth. People are emphasizing financial integrity. Stories are being made, as real people make real choices and experience the bumps and bruises and triumphs of transforming their relationship with money. We want to hear those stories, and share them on the FinancialIntegrity.org web site. Whether you’re downsizing, scaling back, making progress through the 9-Step program, or just becoming aware of your financial situation, you have a story to tell, and we’d love to hear it.
Our goal is to make financialintegrity.org home to a vibrant community where members can find – and give – support and encouragement, no matter where they are on their financial journey. We invite you to join in through our writing competition. No submission process: simply upload your story to the website by the end of February 2011. No entry fee. No subject restrictions, other than that the story – or poem – should be about financial integrity. No word limit, though shorter is usually sweeter (under 500 words is best). A few hundred words that others will find entertaining and useful is what we have in mind, but feel free to surprise us, too.
This year, winners will be chosen in four categories, and a member of the FI community is contributing cash prizes for each! It’s also possible to win in multiple categories. So, a poem could sweep the competition if it was the best poem, the most useful, the most engaging, and was about following the 9 steps.
* Most Useful (specific hints or advice) $60
* Most Engaging (inspiring or entertaining) $60
* Best Lesson from the 9-steps (Financial Integrity Program) $60
* Best Poem (any format) $60
Remember that content is more important than style: What will inspire and help others striving for financial integrity?
In addition to the NRM Board members, we are pleased to welcome to the panel of judges last year’s winners ( Colleen, Candice, and Jeff). Winners will be announced the day after US Tax Day 2011 (mid-April.)
All stories will be owned by the author, but by entering the competition, you grant New Road Map Foundation and FinancialIntegrity.org rights for use on the web site, and in any communications, advertisements, and fund raising literature. The use of Creative Commons Copyright is encouraged.