I dream of a different economic system to work within. Until then, I price my services to give me enough, and leave more $ with those who need it.
I really dislike capitalism. I try hard not to use the word hate, since there really isn’t anything stronger, and I want to be careful to leave room for movement, but my feelings towards capitalism might be getting there.
That’s not to say I don’t think that markets and market economies haven’t done anything for me, or millions of other people on this planet. I’m just not sure that the goal of maximizing capital has (which is the point of capitalism) has been a beneficial part of all that.
Capitalism also leads to us generally focusing on ourselves and what we can earn, how we can contribute, what we can do. This individualism is another thing I don’t think is positive for our planet. It leads easily to an infinite growth system, which our finite planet can’t support. I also believe it leads to us thinking we are better/smarter than others, or that our choices are more important. Not that I think these are always/often conscience thoughts, but I believe they often happen.
I dream of a day when we have a different economic system to work within, until then, I decided I needed to use my knowledge and my skills to help people, who often aren’t afforded the opportunity, to make the most of their money, and their lives, within the unfortunate system we’re currently stuck with.
When trying to figure out how much to charge, I’m also thinking about how capitalism sucks, and trying to see how I can undermine the system, even as I live within it. I therefore do not want to think about how much other people charge for similar services; I instead thought about how much to I need in order to live a life that is fine? I’m not looking for an amazing life, I’m looking for one that doesn’t suck, and has some extra stuff so I feel good about it, but I don’t need more then that. I've done some work to figure out what my ‘enough’ number is.
I also recognize that no everyone is going to be able to pay that much, but really the ones that can’t afford to pay, are the ones that I think would most benefit from the work. I also know that most of working with money is about feelings, and often we don’t feel like we can ‘afford’ things when in fact we might be able to.
Since I don’t want money to be a barrier, I use a pay what you can model. I know though that having guidelines for people can also be helpful, so I created a sliding scale with recommended amounts based on household income. I honestly believe that the recommended amount in each income bracket is reasonable, but I also know that sometimes that amount can feel like too much, so I let you pick the amount that feels doable to you right now, and we’ll work to get you feeling comfortable with the recommended amount. I know we might not get there though, and that’s okay.
Folks in the higher brackets help make this a doable proposition for me as I do have an amount I need to be making to cover expenses and help support my family.
Along with ignoring what other people charge, I also don’t think about what ‘value’ people are getting out of working with me. Again, I’m trying only to get what I need. I don’t need to charge more just because you’re getting lots out of this. You keeping your money lets you do what you need to with it. Hopefully you’ll also just take what you need, and leave the rest with others to do what they need with it.
Ya I could take more and give what I don’t need to people who might need it more, but that is me thinking I know best, which I referenced above. Instead I choose to leave as much as I can with others and trust that they’ll do the best they can with it.