It is almost impossible to go through life without conflict over money. It can happen in a thousand ways.
Scene 1 Act 1
Your car won’t start and you have an important meeting to get to. Your good friend who lives down the street is more than happy to loan you their car. After the meeting you come out to the parking lot and discover that the car mirror has been damaged. Returning home you apologize to your friend. However, you are shocked when your friend tells you that you are responsible for the cost of repairs. You argue that you had nothing to do with the mirror getting damaged and furthermore the car insurance should cover it. Your friend doesn’t want to report it to the insurance company, and asserts that you now owe him $500 for a new mirror. It’s at that point that things really begin to heat up.
Scene 1 Act 2
You go to return a shirt which you recently purchased. Although you have the receipt, the store refuses to accept it. They show you that the shirt is damaged. You argue that that’s how the shirt was when you got home. They insist that when you purchased the shirt, it was in perfect condition. The conversation becomes louder and more animated. You begin to feel your blood pressure rise as they threaten to call security.
Scene 1 Act 3
You open the mail and see that you’ve received a $150 ticket for going thru a red light camera. You look carefully at the date and time and realize that it was your spouse who was driving at the time. When you start to criticize their driving, voices get raised. Your spouse points out how many times you’ve gotten parking tickets while you point out her last fender bender. The conversation ends because neither of you are now talking to one another
This used to be my life. Things would be going along smoothly and then suddenly a conflict around money would arise.
No matter what I did to avoid them, they would enter my life as surely as the sun rises in the east. These issues affected my friendships, my health and my family.
That was until my wife and I discovered the “peaceful home fund”. We were once again embroiled around a money conflict. We asked another couple we were friendly with how they handled their conflicts around money. The “peaceful home fund”, they replied. At the start of the New Year they set aside a certain amount of money earmarked for monetary conflicts. Whenever they encountered one of these conflicts, they made a conscious decision to not trod down the road of argument and dispute. Instead, they immediately referenced their “peaceful home fund”.
So for example, when that letter was opened and the red light camera ticket was received, the immediate response would be, “peaceful home fund”.
Emotional upset and bad feelings would be short circuited. Money had already been set aside to cover these eventualities of life.
The blame game would not have a chance to get off the ground.
Of course, when I first heard about the “peaceful home fund” I was a bit skeptical.
“If you keep immediately giving in to avoid conflict and upset, won’t your fund be quickly depleted”?, I said.
Two ideas were pointed out to me. First, wasn’t it worth depleting the fund if in exchange relationships would be maintained and deepened along with a new found serenity. The second idea was a bit more in the leap of faith category. Our friends told us that as they applied the principles of the “peaceful home fund”, monetary conflicts seemed to decline. Without getting into esoteric “spirit of attraction” territory, my wife and I have found this to be true as well. I think that when people sense a spirit of personal responsibility they are more apt to compromise or be forgiving.
Let’s look at the first scenario involving the broken mirror. If upon seeing the broken car mirror our protagonist had immediately referenced his “peaceful home fund” perhaps things might have turned out differently. He might have said to his friend,
“I’m so sorry. I’ll take it in to my mechanic and have it fixed because it’s covered by my “peaceful home fund”.
At a minimum, he wouldn’t have lost a good friend. Beyond that, perhaps his friend, sensing the generosity of our protagonist might have then offered to contact his insurance company after all. Of course, there are no guarantees. But, at a minimum an argument would have been avoided and a friendship would have been saved.
As far as the fund is concerned, you need to determine the amount to be placed in it.
The first year my wife and I designated a $1000 towards the fund. Although we encountered some monetary conflicts that year; our balance at the end of the year was close to what we had started with. Maybe there is something to those “laws of attraction”.
Some people actually open up an actual bank account; while others create a virtual fund which can be referenced when needed. The important thing is to commit to the concept of a sum of money specifically earmarked for the deflation of conflict over money.
Finally, although it’s not the beginning of the year, why not create a “peaceful home fund” today. There will still be times when you need to tap into that “peaceful home fund”. That store is not going to take your damaged shirt back, so just chalk it up to your fund.
I guarantee you that when you walk out of the store, you will feel a lot better than if you had no “peaceful home fund” in place.
About the Author
Moshe Kessler is a husband, father and grandfather. A retired public High School principal, he loves to meditate, journal, and do tai chi and yoga. He blogs at wisdomfromtherooms.com; a daily commentary on 12 step wisdom. His writing has appeared in a both Internet and print publications. He has enormous curiosity about personal growth and transformation; and writing allows him to explore these and other topics of interest.