Redefining Wealth Through Art and Community
As a financial counselor with LSS, I've helped hundreds of people break the cycle of unhealthy spending patterns and manage their debt. Recently, I had the privilege of participating in a community arts event that featured mosaics created out of credit cards, cut up by those I've counseled over the years.
The event's theme was "Redefining Wealth through Art and Community," and the credit card art exhibit featured my collage in addition to one created by people working at the Center for Changing Lives, and community members from south Minneapolis. Another exhibit entitled “I Am Rich Because” displayed various watercolors created by youth throughout the community. The kids were challenged to look beyond their material possessions, and identify their true wealth. Several local spoken word artists also participated in the event with performances based around their various perspectives on the true meaning of wealth.
Pieces of a Broken Past and a Hope-Filled Future
The idea for the credit card mosaic began when a client I counseled asked me for a scissors and cut up her credit cards right there in my office. She then slid the pieces across the desk to me. I remember her hands shaking. When you've relied on credit for so long, it can be scary to make that commitment to a new way of life. Cutting up her credit cards was such a huge step; her commitment to a new way of life. I placed the pieces in a jar and displayed it on my desk. Soon, other clients followed. The jar has become a motivator to others because they see those plastic pieces of someone's financial past and think, "Hey, if they can do it, maybe I can too." After the jar had been filled and re-filled several times, I knew I couldn't just throw them away.
I wanted to create something that would symbolize the freedom that comes from taking control of your finances and getting control of your debt. Life can feel so hopeless to a person who is buried under a mountain of credit card debt, especially when the interest rates are high. There is nothing worse than feeling stuck in that never-ending cycle of debt. Even if you are able to keep your accounts current with minimum payments, often times high interest rates make it impossible to actually pay down your credit card balances. You make your minimum payments and then are forced to continue to use the credit cards to cover monthly expenses.
Get Control of Your Debt with a Debt Management Program!
A Debt Management Program (DMP) through LSS Financial counseling can reduce those high interest rates, and in many cases, save you thousands of dollars on interest and fees and even reduce your monthly payments. Our program allows you to pay back ALL of your debt in less than five years with the convenience of one low monthly payment. DMPs have helped thousands of people take control of their debt and their finances with a long-term solution. Those enrolled in our program also have access to free financial counseling for additional support along the way.
A Symbol of Hope
Every plastic piece of this mosaic represents a real person who had the courage to take control of their financial lives—to face their financial problems and tackle them head on. The art work is a picture of hope and symbolizes the freedom and sense of empowerment that comes from taking control of one's finances and debt.
No matter where you've been, it IS possible to break free from the burden of debt, and create something beautiful, and LSS Financial Counseling can help you get there.
LSS Financial Counseling is a free service available to anyone who is looking to create a long term solution to their financial struggles and successfully manage their debt. Give us a call to schedule a free appointment with one of our certified financial counselors. Call 1,888.577.2227 to schedule a phone or in-person appointment today! Here are a few of the youth pictures from the “I Am Rich Because” exhibit. I just love these! Kids can really help adults put the important things into perspective.