I have a difficult time understanding the level of apathy that so many people have towards money. I’ve never held a “money is everything” attitude, but as I ponder such an audacious statement, I realize it’s not so far from the truth.
Apathy may not be the best word to describe others’ treatment of money. Ambivalence isn’t quite right, either.
People do seem to care about money and they certainly want moreof it, but I don’t see a lot of people making the wise and sometimes difficult choices that will help them actually grow their money and achieve financial independence.
My wife and I were talking about this very thing. I was talking about people wasting money in pointless ways and she said “a lot of people just don’t care about money.” I guess not, but how could they not? Without thinking, I blurted out “But that makes no sense to me, because money is everything.”
I realized what I had said and how it sounded, and I backpedaled a bit. I wasn’t about to launch into a Gordon Gekko style “Greed is Good” speech, but I had a legitimate point.
What I meant to say was that Money is Anything.
Money can become so many things.
- More free time.
- Your children’s education.
- Dinner at a five-star restaurant.
- A life-saving AED for your church or community center.
- Super Bowl tickets
- A well for clean water in a third-world country.
- Retiring some day.
- Two Months in Spain.
- Food and medicines for a no-kill animal shelter.
- A new house.
Money is whatever you want it to be.
Who doesn’t care about a single one of those things listed above? Not anyone that I know. But if I don’t know you and if you literally care about none of the above, I’m sure you can come up with a list of things you truly do care about on your own. I promise you there will be things on your list that money can buy.
Because Money is Everything.
You Should Care About Money
Money is a taboo topic in many circles; most people don’t like to talk about money. I’m not like most people in that regard.
At home, we openly discuss money matters. I want our boys to grow up to be smart with money, and avoiding the topic is not going to get the job done.
There are many reasons I want my boys to care about money and reasons I think you should care about money, too. There are the many facts above — that money can be exchanged directly for many things that can improve your life, the lives of your loved ones, and that of those who may be thousands of miles away.
But there’s more to it than that.
The fact is, there are lots of people that actually do care about money out there and are intent on getting more. Some do noble work or start useful businesses that serve their communities.
Others get more money the easy way — by taking it from those who don’t seem to care that much about money. You don’t want to be on the giving end of a transaction like that, do you?
How can you avoid being among the taken? It starts by caring about money. Not because you’re greedy, but because you care about things other than money, and you understand that those things can be made possible or made better if you become a stronger steward of the money you’ve earned.
When you care about money, and you grow your income and savings rate, you’re more likely to develop a surplus of money. When you have a surplus, you have little need to be greedy, and you can afford to be more charitable without damaging your ability to live the life you want to live.
Without a surplus of money, it’s hard not to be at least a little bit greedy with money. You have to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.
Caring about money isn’t greedy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Caring about money will eventually put you in a position to be less greedy with it.
How to Care About Money
In order to care about money, you must first understand it better. A basic education in personal finance is a must if you care at all about money, and I’ll share some pointers on how to get educated in money matters below.
You must also understand how money enters your life and how it leaves.
Money generally comes to you via earned income from your main job, a side gig, and the returns from your investments. You may receive money in the form of gifts from living friends and family or as an inheritance from the no-longer-living.
Money exits your life in so many ways, and if you’re going to care about money, you really need to get a handle on them.
Taxes are the number one money drain for many high-income professionals. With our progressive tax system, you’ll pay your fair share, but do what you can within the law to avoid unnecessary overpayments. Tax-efficient investing and tax-deferred retirement contributions are two such examples.
Spending is the other primary money thief. Some is necessary, a lot is not, and if you care about money, you’ll monitor your spending. You can track it closely with Mint.com or PersonalCapital.com, track it loosely by using one good rewards credit card and a checking account, or work with a strict budget if you must.
Once you have a grasp on the ways money comes and goes, and the quantity of the flows, you’ll have an idea of your savings rate (calculate yours here). I challenge people to create a wide gap between the two, asking that they aim to live on half their take-home pay.
Finally, know how much money you have. Track your net worth (sum of assets minus liabilities) and aim to grow it. Have goals. Financial Independence is a great one, and there are many steps you can celebrate along the way.
How to Talk About Money
When you care about money and the good things it can bring you, your family, and the human race, you’ll want to talk about money.
Money talk starts at home.
Talk with your partner about money. Have a monthly family budget meeting. Review your net worth from time to time. Calculate how long it will take to pay off your debts and see what you can do to become debt free more quickly.
Talk about your money goals together. Consult with one another for all purchases over a set dollar amount, like $100. If you’re single, write your goals down or talk about them with a confidant.
Delay big purchases for 24 or 48 hours. Maybe a week. Make sure that expenditure is in harmony with your goals.
If you’ve got kids, be honest about the cost of things — not only the toys they play with, but the disposable batteries that power those toys, the electricity that keeps the lights on, and the heating, cooling, and utility bills you pay to live a comfortable life.
I don’t think there’s an age too young to introduce the concept of money to your children. Your children will need to learn about money because money is everything.
How to Learn About Money
There are several books that will pay for themselves a thousand times over. If I could pick three that I’ve read, I’d go with The Millionaire Next Door, How to Think About Money, and The White Coat Investor (for physicians) or The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need (for everyone else). For further reading and resources, see my extensive recommended list.
I do my best on this site to educate people on all aspects of personal finance with a focus on the high-income professional. A few posts to get you started would be:
- 20 Steps to Effective DIY Investing
- Investing Basics for Physicians With Little Time or Experience, Part I
- Investing Basics for Physicians With Little Time or Experience, Part II
You’ll find tons of other great material online if you know where to look. For example,
- The White Coat Investor has beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert tracts.
- Bogleheads has a wonderful wiki and forum.
- Passive Income MD is great for real estate and other passive income sources.
- The Physician Philosopher focuses on behavioral finance and the relationships we have with money.
- See my blogroll for many, many more blogs and a number of great podcasts.
As previously mentioned, be sure to learn about how you personally spend your money. You may be surprised by what you uncover when you track every dollar that exits your wallet, checkbook, credit card, and bank accounts if you’ve never closely tracked it before.
There are many ways to learn about money. Whether you learn best from books, audio, video, or in-person conferences, there’s a medium for you.
Is Money Everything?
“I don’t care too much for money. Money can’t buy me love.” The Beatles
OK, money isn’t absolutely everything. Money can’t buy me (or you) love. Nor can it buy friendship (at least not the true love or true friends you’d want to have).
Money isn’t the cry of a newborn baby or a walk through the woods on a crisp fall afternoon. Money is not the sun rising in the east, setting in the west, or being eaten by the moon in a rare eclipse.
Money is, however, a great facilitator, and having money to spend, give, or save will not only improve your own life, but money can make life better for the people and things that surround you.
To quote Farnoosh Torabi from her talk at FinCon17, “The desire to make more money should not be your goal; it should be your obligation. It should be your responsibility.”
I also like the late Joan Rivers’ take. “People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made.”
If you choose not to care about money, you’re choosing not to care about some of the most important things in this world. Money may not be everything, but money can improve, enhance, or become almost anything.
If you care about yourself, your partner, your neighbors, your children’s future, and the world in which you live, it’s time you start caring more about money.
How much do you care about money? Do you agree with the premise that money can be almost anything? Am I greedy to feel this way?
72 thoughts on “Money is Everything”
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I couldn’t agree more. Maybe the richer you get, the less it matters – but for most of us, money IS everything.
Money is an emotional subject. When you bring up an emotional subject like money and you force someone to actually feel uncomfortable just by bringing up a subject, people will immediately backlash against you.
A company that I used to work for said “we don’t tell you what your prospective salary is when you get placed, we don’t want candidates who just wants money”. At the time, all I could think was ???? You’re a business who operates in a money wanting way but we can’t operate in a money wanting way? The double standard is real in business.
If you take a look into what we all do for money. We go to work, most people wake up early in the morning or stay up late at night, spend minimal time with family and have to smile in the boss’s face all for that paycheck at the end of the month. Then, depending on how much your paycheck is, you get to do whatever it is you wanted.
This article is somewhat everyone should read and share. Nowadays, people hardly cares about how should they manage their money. Without proper management, only we will face consequences in future. I am going to share this article with my close friends. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article 🙂
Money is ALMOST everything and everything requires money , material happiness requires money in this material world we live in , Money amplifies, enhances life,pays bills and creates positive vibes and solves problems and drives people out of misery.
People have different definitions of success according to the amount of money they desire to have like i have seen people who say if they anyhow make $2k a month they will live happily and then there are people who earn $200k a month but still thrive for more and still does not consider themselves successful. Money is tricky it’s not very difficult to get it but it is not very easy as well.
Money is everything people stop lying and just be realistic you cant take your love on a date with just love, plus love is not even a thing you cant buy anything without money, the world is runned by money and guess what if you dont have it then theres really not much you can do, time is money money is time and time is everything. So there you go.
Money is is must but not everything in this world, there are lots of others things too, most important is happiness.
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Money is everything….and then you die you piece of shit. Good luck taking it with you.
The thing is that all of you FIRE bloggers make money talk way too complex. The truth is that you can automate pretty much everything and not even make a budget or monitor your spending or net worth. You can make investing completely automatic and just check your investments once a month or even once a year. You just need to live frugally and put some money every month to simple investments automatically. It doesn’t need to be more complex than that. You actually don’t need to know your net worth exactly.
And there are actually a lot of people who don’t want retire early. Heck, there are even people who wouldn’t want to retire at all. You can see them everywhere.
And I disagree that making more money is an obligation. If you don’t want much, then you don’t need to make much money either. For example, I don’t want expensive car, big house, boat etc so I don’t need high salary and can still have high (automated) savings rate. And because I’m single, I mostly invest just for myself. And if making more money causes any negative stress, then it isn’t worth chasing after. Health is more important than money.
And, actually, you don’t care about money. You care about things you can get with money. If you could get everything you want without money then money wouldn’t be worth caring about.
I’d be cautious with the generalizations and “you people” commentary. We agree on more than you realize.
I have stated that “budgets are not sexy,” frequently tout the benefits of a simple Three Fund Portfolio, and don’t plan to retire, exactly.
As a physician, I understand and promote the benefit of staying fit and healthy. I don’t care about expensive cars — I drive a beater.
I’ve got a family, so I’m investing for more than myself. But I’m also investing for more than my family — our charitable DAF is better funded than most people’s retirements, and half the profits from this site are donated as well.
I have 19X my expenses now with 2 in college. Torturing myself with decision when to drop OB so I can sleep at night in my own bed. have a good 529 balance and will feel like GYN only will be part time with no 24 hour shifts – but finding the decision to pull the trigger is so hard!! PS call is getting harder as I get older but – is lucrative.
With 19x, your money might work as hard or harder than you some years. If you’re ready to drop OB, I wouldn’t hesitate. Life is too short to torture yourself, either with the decision or with the difficult night call.
I have pulled the trigger. recruiting my replacement! Scary and exciting at the same time. So relieved and happy!!
Hope we get someone to do fulltime OB before another year goes by, would like to sleep in my own bed every night ….. what would that be like? Methinks amazing and awesome.
Many congrats! Like you, I also felt compelled to stay until a suitable replacement was on board and ready to take my place. Best wishes on finding that person sooner than later!
Thanks PoF for another great post.
I’ve been reading FI/RE blogs (yours, Sam’s, MM, Bogleheads, others) for several years now and the thing that just kills me is, by every measure I’ve read, we are FI and have been for at least 5-6 years.
But I sure don’t feel like we’re FI. We’re a family of 6 with 2 in college (soph, fresh), a HS junior and an 8th grader. Our burn rate right now is about 130K/year but we have no mortgage or debts .
Despite the high burn rate, we’ve got about 35X – 40X that as our net worth and have had for several years, so we should be FI. And the burn rate should trend down in the next few years as we start using up the accumulated 529s instead of helping with dorm costs etc. out of pocket.
When does one *actually* start to feel as if they financially independent? When does it sink in?
(Whispered: Does it ever?)
I’m seriously planning to retire next year, mid-year. But I have this sinking feeling that I’ve forgotten something really, really important. Missed a crucial calculation. Overlooked some huge, lurking cost, etc.
Sounds to me like we might be retiring together in the summer of 2019. One of the reasons I started this site was to further explore what FI really means, be sure we actually have it, etc…
By next summer, barring a major downturn in the stock market(s), which is certainly possible, we should be in that 35x to 40x range, as well. Nothing wrong with a big cushion.
Hi Doc, thanks much for taking the time to reply.
That’s the question, though.
Do you feel like that 35-40X range is enough? Or do you worry (like I do) that you’re “missing something important”?
I guess maybe this is akin to what FinSam calls the fear of not having enough.
But Bog willing we’ll both be retired by next June-ish and enjoying the RE life!
I think it’s more than enough. I really do.
Healthcare will be expensive, the market could plummet, and with an initial withdrawal rate of 2.5% to 3%, you’d still be fine. You’re probably in the top 1% in terms of retirement savings and nest egg to spending ratio. Enjoy what you’ve built.
Money is not everything. Order and rational parsimony is everything. A well integrated personality is everything. Money making is simply the fuel of disorder. Once your needs are satisfied what purpose does it serve? It’s as likely enslaving as freeing.
To me, the best thing about money is that it buys options. When your money is limited, your options are more limited.
I am continually perplexed by the poor money habits of some people I know. It seems like basically their priorities are screwed up. If I don’t have a running car, I don’t buy luxuries. If I’m out of work, all non-essential spending stops. Yet I see folks engaging in these self defeating behaviors regularly. It’s like they are trying to screw their lives up on purpose! And then what slays me is that many of these same people complain about their lot in life and expect other people to bail them out of their situation or otherwise enable them to get the necessities they cannot afford because they chose to spend their money on something else.
Case in point: I have a horse farm and a boarder with history of late-pay went totally dark on me, accruing a large arrears on the horse. I put the horse up for sale but hadn’t sold it yet when she contacted me, wailing about her hard luck in life and how it would kill her to lose the horse – that she hasn’t done ANYTHING with in years. Now mind you she hasn’t had a running car in over a year at this point and is bumming rides to the job she finally landed. She tells me she’s been saving from each paycheck to get the horse’s board bill caught up and wants to make payments. I’m thinking oh, no, she wants to keep me on the hook and will never get caught up and I’m still stuck with this beast.
I stood firm and said I was selling the horse, her arrears are $2500 and future month’s keep is $300. To my shock and awe, she came up with this sum! And STILL doesn’t have a car!
It is true that some folks seem to have a real aversion to dealing with money matters and don’t look at the bigger picture before making spending and savings decisions. I don’t understand why they don’t value their well-being enough to pay attention to this.
As was pointed out above in the comments, if you follow the money, you’ll learn others’ true priorities. And yes, some people’s priorities are not exactly what I would consider well-aligned.
Thank you for sharing!
I think the title was arming me for something a-la Gordon Gekko, but great piece. You’re correct that money is the ultimate tool for anything, be it food or time or respite or a gift to others.
Thanks for the post!
“Greed is good.”
But I think I made a reasonable argument that an apathetic approach to money can be greedy in a different way.
Still love that movie. The followup was kinda meh.
If we’re quoting the Beatles….
The best things in life are free
But you can keep them for the birds and bees
Now give me money.
That’s what I want.
Money = Options = Freedom
There are plenty of people out there stepping over $100 bills all day. Once you start seeing easy money everywhere you look it’s hard not to pick it up.
Money is everything and anything, but I’m grateful for those people who are too lazy or blind to see it.
As an electrician, my tools are my livelihood. As a person living in this modern world, money is my greatest tool. And just like any other tool, how I use it means the difference between a job well done and me hurting myself.
I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say that money is everything, but it certainly is the biggest doorway in our lives.
The title had me worried! I agree, money is a useful tool that can help you accomplish a wide variety of things. You do have to care about money in order to be a good steward of it. You won’t be able to accomplish nearly as much in your lifetime if you aren’t saving and investing. You can always put certain things on autopilot, but you at least have to care enough to set it up! 🙂
Resonant post, PoF. My recent appreciation for money has been based on the ability to selectively eliminate aggravations from my work and play life. I found medicine is far easier to enjoy if you simply practice it less often, a luxury I am able to implement thanks to money.
I also like the image that FI Journeyman planted above of “greed management,” as if you need to carefully prune your fields of greed so that they don’t overrun your adjacent fields of values and principles.
I did, however, take umbrage that you referenced the Beatles when you could have revisited Cyndi Lauper’s subtle 1983 opus “Money Changes Everything.” We’ll simply have to agree to disagree when it comes to music (except of course Prince; we’ll always share Prince).
The Cyndi Lauper song actually was going through my head as I was writing this, as was Calloway’s “I Wanna Be Rich” but the Beatles reference seemed to be the best fit.
There are so many songs about money, actually, and I think I know why — money is everything.
I couldn’t agree with you more. And no, you are not greedy. Money is so valuable. In fact, I think money is one of our most precious resources, along with time, energy, love, and attention. We need all of these in (adequate amounts) to live a meaningful life worth living.
Just like you mentioned, my wife and I do discuss money, spending, budgeting, and investment strategies every now and then… usually once a month or so. We are trying our best not to buy frivolous material “stuff”, hence our buy nothing challenge. Whatever we do spend, we try to do so intentionally and in a way that aligns with our values.
I fully intend to teach our child(ren) about the importance of money as the grow up as well.
Thanks for a great read.
Looks like you’re thinking about money the right way, Dr. McFrugal. Money can buy time and it can also buy attention, or at least attention-getting objects, if that’s what you’re into.
Money may not buy love, but money can instill confidence, and confidence is attractive — there’s some sort of correlation there, too.
It’s low income potential combined with the inability to delay gratification and the lack of role models both in childhood and in adulthood which leave so many people living payacheck to paycheck with grossly insufficient assets for retirement.
I think that’s a fair assessment. The million dollar quesion is: What can be done to change that?
I’m doing my best, one blog post at a time.
I think you’d have to force people to save more via Social Security deductions.
Dave Ramsey type courses help educate people about making smarter decisions, but the again, you have thousands of professional salespeople as well as peer pressure selling people things they don’t need.
Like many things in life (learning a language, learning to play a musical instrument, etc) the earlier you start the easier it is to learn. I have been writing a book about money and finance for my two children (11 and 13) off and on for the past two years. I think it is a tragedy that we don’t teach this in school. I plan on changing that, at least with my kids. Keep up the good work PoF.
I like money, but I get that not everyone is all about it (my wife). However, it’s still important to build your nest egg and mold your future.
I’ve learned something interesting over the years… the more you care about money over the years, the less you’ll need to care about it later. And that’s one of the best things you can have in life.
Once you reach a position of financial independence and don’t need to really worry about money anymore, it remains important, but just not something that gets in your way.
This is a very nice and open post about a subject everyone loves!
Money isn’t everything until you have none. Doesn’t mean you stab everyone in the back for a nickel, but as the post mentions, can make life just a bit easier and enjoyable. Not only for you and your family, but for those with whom you give back to.
Thanks for sharing!
I think the next level of this and what often gets lost is HOW you make your money is key.
Money is easy to make when you’re willing to sacrifice your time in pursuit of it.
Money mastery is when you don’t have to trade large amounts of your time to earn it.
Time is money; if you can optimize the ratio at which you trade money for time, you’re winning the game.
Good to know that I am not the only one who talks about money and “blurts stuff out”.
I actually think that it is usually greedy to be a poor steward of money. I like the model of money being the medium of exchange between human capital and financial capital. If we waste the human capital that we have been blessed with, then we have taken a gift that could have bettered our lives, those of our loved ones, and the world – and squandered it. I say that is usually greedy because the biggest reasons for squandering money are being selfish. That could be selfishness about the time/effort to bother with making money. It could also be selfish to not put in the time/effort to spend money wisely.
With that screen name I’m really hoping you’re a psychiatrist 🙂
I also like your analogy about selfishness, in how it relates to both lack of effort and immoderate spending.
Thanks Freedom Fiend. I am actually an intensivist which is simply a different kind of loonie 😉
I don’t want to be too harsh on those indifferent or apathetic to money, but when you really think about it, money squandered and wasted is a lost opportunity to do something better with it. I appreciate your points.
I read it more as those who don’t make any kind of contribution to society with their lives – the kind of person who could work but refuses to do anything, the cliche of the stoner wastrel.
Obviously there are people who work really hard with their human capital but don’t or can’t make much money from doing so. No judgement for that at all.
I agree 100% with your assessment. Money is why we study for years and years to land a high paying job. It is ingrained in us from a young age. It might not be talked about openly, but it is the driving motivation. Money is a wonderful thing as long as greed and dishonesty are managed. Working hard to buy your freedom is a healthy goal.
The idea that “money is everything” can certainly be taken too literally and too far, but far too many people don’t seem to care about money enough. Indifference is more innocent than greed, but it’s less than ideal.
Absolutely nailed it with this post POF! BTW, I’m getting excited for the cruise. Another thing that money can be :o)
Thank you Mrs. WoW.
And, yes, the cruise to Cuba. That’s sneaking up on us isn’t it?
See you next month!
Congrats on your most click-baity title yet!
I would echo what xrayvsn says above- money can be everything as your argue, but it should not be valued above all. At the end of the day, the relationships around us, how we spend our time, and what others would say about you as a person are all things that are more important than money, and don’t even require money to fully maximize.
Yeah, that was some serious clickbait, but you bit, so I guess it worked!
I agree that money may be everything, but it’s not the only thing.
What is money? A few commenters hit on my favorite definition. It’s what you trade your time for, or trade your “life energy” for as Vicki Robin says in Your Money or Your Life.
Having this understanding of money is the bedrock and makes learning how you make it, how it is taxed, where it goes and how much of it you have more tangible.
I agree with your larger point that money is the means of consumption. It allows you to purchase needs, luxuries and ultimately your time, the truly limited resource in your life.
Being open to appreciating different concepts of what money is, freely talking about it and learning how it effects your life are all necessities to gaining Financial Independence!
Money is security. Financial independence is really financial security in old age. The only way to achieve this is to understand money.
Money buys options, it’s a store of value that can be used in exchange for the things you actually value. So in a way it’s everything, without it you have no options. But in another way it’s nothing, as if you never actually spend it you have nothing really. It’s a balancing act to ensure the proper options through every stage of your life without during a rich man who never experienced life.
Could not agree more! I need my wife to read this post…
It truly is all about an abundance mindset over a scarcity (or apathy) one.
One can go overboard though, and lose track of what’s important in life. Finding a balance between your money making endeavors and time with loved ones is key. If you can swing a heavy bat with passive income, then you’ve got it made in the shade. (Thank you, Tim Ferriss!)
I have also found it a bit puzzling that people will go to great lengths to make money and showcase what it can buy, but actually protecting what you have and using it as a tool is not very high on the priority list. I hope that these types of conversations will continue to normalize the topic of money, because like it or not, money has a huge impact on how we live our lives.
Nice post here PoF. I wrote a piece a while back titled “Money Is Everything … Until You Master It. Then It’s Nothing At All.” I have a similar thesis to yours: that we should worry about money. We have an obligation to worry about money. And that those who don’t take the time to learn how to use it (and master it) will eventually spend a lot of time worrying about it. By spending the time up front to learn how to properly manage it, you can ultimately put it in its proper place: an invaluable tool that you can employ without a whole lot of effort. Like learning a golf swing: at first you have to work really hard on all the minute details. But eventually the motions are committed to muscle memory, and the swing just does its thing. Joe
That post deserves a link.
Money Is Everything … Until You Master It. Then It’s Nothing at All.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks PoF. Joe
The biggest issue is when the “money is everything” philosophy starts turning to the dark side and becomes “money is the only thing.”
I used him in an example before but John Getty epitomizes that last statement. The richest man in the world was so obsessed with money that it was never enough to have what he had and he became a prisoner because he was afraid of losing it (installed a payphone in his house for guests for example because he didn’t want to pay for phone calls himself)
Money is a tool but just like any tool it can harm the user if not careful.
Financial responsibility is the best thing to teach to kids so they don’t become a burden to society or you later as adults. I try to instill that in my daughter.
It is important to convey that what they have now is a result of hard work and hopefully they continue that tradition.
Money can be seen as everything yes but should not be valued above all.
I’m not trying to channel Vince Lombardi here. Money may be everything, but it’s not the only thing.
I watched the movie based on J. Paul Getty and his grandson’s kidnapping — All the Money in the World. It’s fascinating how some people can’t let go of the habits that got them to a point of far more than enough.
I hope that doesn’t describe me, but to an extent, it does. Of course, I’m worth millions, not billions.
I find that if you make the connection that money is really time (it’s a store of value of your labor, which is time), it can side-step so many of the taboos and assumptions people have with money and the evils of money.
Great point, Jim. People have no qualms about discussing time (or their lack thereof). When you equate the two, it should be no big deal to talk about money, too.
It is interesting how we are a society obsessed with income and achievement and yet money is still a taboo topic. I give talks to help change this. Even I get a little squeamish when people (including my own kids) ask my income.
Also it is odd to me that people find personal finance and investing difficult and boring and so they avoid it.
I know scrub techs who kill themselves adding overtime onto a 12 hour shift but then go lease a car or avoid the “free money” 6% match on our 401k.
I grew up very poor. Many around me were limited or small-minded. Now that I have more understanding and resources I live a more full life. I have more options. I help myself and my family more but also am in a position to donate time and money to others. Money isn’t the most important thing, but it is a very important tool.
I see my obligation not to make more money necessarily but to fully live up to my ultimate potential and to serve others when doing so. Money often follows from that process.
“I see my obligation not to make more money necessarily but to fully live up to my ultimate potential and to serve others when doing so. Money often follows from that process.”
That’s a great statement, WD. You’ve clearly got a firm grasp on money and its place in your life.
This is spot on, POF.
Money isn’t everything, but it is a tool to achieve most anything. And, honestly, money will tell you everything you need to know about someone’s passions and priorities. Follow the check book and you’ll see what people care about. Unfortunately , most people are too short sighted to care about their future.
And also on the point about talking about money… Being in academics I can’t help but at least introduce the idea to my residents. That way if they choose a different path, it must be willful ignoreance and not because they weren’t exposed to the ideas.
Thanks for being a light to many.
Money is a tool. You are spot on, my friend.
And seeing how people use that tool will indeed point to what matters to them, or at least what they think matters the most.
Thank you for spreading the money message.
Great article. Money is everything alright! Love the idea about discussing every purchase over x amount of dollars with your partner. I am definitely going to try instigate that! Let the financial discussions flow.
Thank you, Rohan.
It’s a good habit to get into, and can be the start of a larger conversation about money as a couple.
I think it’s crucial for couples to be on the same page with financial goals and to honor agreements made with each other. Money deceptions and irresponsible behavior by my then-husband was a huge factor in the failure of our marriage. Perhaps for women more than men, money = security, and when one’s spouse is making money disappear and being dishonest about it, it destroys the sense of security. This was especially true in my case because his behavior meant inability to pay the mortgage and other bills, leaving me to cover everything with a paycheck too small to cover everything. Whoops.