creativity and finances

Creativity and Finances and Chipmunk Depression: Use Your Imagination


Not everything this Lady thinks is about money. In fact, most of my mental processes fall solidly into the “creative” camp. Yet, I’ve come to discover that creativity and personal finances are not mutually exclusive. An active imagination can help with managing money and making dreams come true.

Creativity and Finances: NOT Creative Financing

When I Googled “creative financing” just now, I found “creative financing is non-traditional or uncommon means of buying land or property. The goal of creative financing is generally to purchase, or finance a property, with the buyer/investor using as little of his own money as possible, otherwise known as leveraging, OPM (Other People’s Money).” Ummm, no, sorry Wikipedia, that’s definitely not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the creativity required to figure out your own finances in a way that works for you, your current lifestyle, and your future plans.

Creativity, applied to your finances, might mean teaching yourself how to cook to save enough money for a car. It might mean investigating new side hustles for extra income. It may even mean finding ways to rob Peter to pay Paul. It may mean hundreds of different things. Creativity and finances might be misinterpreted as “struggling” or “flailing” and can feel pretty draining after a while. (Trust me, I understand.)

However, if you turn every thing you have done or are doing toward a positive mindset, you might be surprised at how much creativity you are using to help yourself.  You likely have insights on a daily basis about ways to improve your financial health. You may try a new way to save money or cut costs. You might dissect one person’s advice and reconstruct in  a new way to fit your situation. Experimenting with new budgeting techniques or trying new expense tracking apps all count toward my definition of creative financing.

Sure, it’s easy to tally up all your failures. It’s far harder to feel proud of all of your creative efforts.

Bulk Up Your Creative Strength With Imagination Exercises

Ideas equal creativity. Creativity leads to new solutions. New solutions can lead to improvement.

However, if you don’t practice creating new thoughts and ideas every day, solutions and success may evade you when you want them. Truth is, productive creativity isn’t like a faucet. You can’t really just turn it on or off. Having creativity at your beckoned call comes from lots of imagination practice and mental playtime. Your brain needs to be allowed to think differently. Only you can grant that permission.

A  wandering mind is a good thing. An active imagination strengthens your ability to find answers where your might not expect them. So, in the spirit of encouragement, I give you one silly little example of how this Lady exercised her imagination on one random day during her daily commute. Did it solve my financial problems at the time? No. No it did not. But it did help me gain perspective on my own depression and, eventually, led to me to being empowered enough to make some pretty big life changes shortly thereafter.

Exercise your imagination daily and see what happens! For now, just enjoy a silly little story. Because not everything in life is serious and not everything in finances is money.

The Suicidal Tendencies of Woodland Creatures

Last night, I decided to take one mountain road over another because my friend warned me that the first road is littered with deer in the evening hours. Fair enough. I don’t need a deer as a hood ornament or the guilt of wounding a gorgeous creature of nature. And as would fate would have it, as I’m cruising down mountain road #2 at a good clip, who do see as I round the corner to? Yup. A deer. A beautiful doe. She looked at me, I looked at her. We shared a lengthy yet mutual “what the fuck” moment. Fortunately, she was the first to snap back to reality, jerked her body to her left, and took off back into the protective woods.

After a few deep breaths, I was grateful for the near miss.

This morning, I spotted no less than three suicidal chipmunks and one brave-ass squirrel. As I tend to do, my imagination got the best of me. I understand that chipmunks and squirrels have very important places to be. I mean, don’t we all? In fact, I’m usually on my way to somewhere important when they dart out in front of my car. Now, I logically know that they aren’t TRYING to commit vehicular suicide but some small part of me wonders.

If depression is largely a chemical imbalance in the brain, could woodland mammals also be susceptible? I just watched a TV special about canine physiology that proved that dogs experience an increase in oxytocin (the love hormone) when they look into the eyes of their human owner. (Yes, I’m a geek.) So, could smaller mammals also experience hormone-based reactions like love or depression? What if their serotonin levels were off? Would they just want to lie around their comfy nest and pull the maple leaf over their head? Would they only get up when they were really hungry and then gorge on really bad-for-you berries? Would they shun their mate with disdain and grumble “paws off, Alvin. I ain’t feeling it.” Could they sink so low that they contemplate the options of how to end their already pathetically short existence? Would running in front of a car seem like the “easy way out?”

I think all of this on my 40-minute drive to work. Then the caffeine from my morning coffee finally kicks in and I laugh a bit at the fact that my mental processes really are very unpredictable and unique.

In short, woodland creatures who jump in front of my car are out of their minds. However, I may (just may) be a little too much inside my own.

How do you exercise your imagination on a daily basis? What’s the most creative solution you’ve come up with to improve your financial situation? Anyone out there able to confirm or deny the presence of serotonin in chipmunk physiology? 

NOTE: “The Suicidal Tendencies of Woodland Creatures” was originally published June 2015 on a former blog site. 



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