6 thoughts on money
Have you ever had those random money talks with one of your friends or family in which he/she just says the most simplistic and vague statement? Well, I’ve had and it often resonated as being plain wrong or too abstract to be something of value.
Indeed, it is very difficult to talk about money, as it something so particular and such a sensitive topic for most people. However, I’ve always wanted to expose my ideas about it, and try to reply to what I believe are just vague or unfounded ideas about our method to exchange goods and services.
1) Money’s not important
This one’s a classic and just a plain wrong statement. How can someone defend this when the evidence points otherwise?
When you look at the 10 countries with the highest life-quality in the world, you notice that they’re all rich and developed countries. If we think about it, it makes sense — being rich means having more money to spend, therefore being able to spend it in better care, being able to buy more food and water, being able to invest in education, etc. Thus, up to some degree, there’s a correlation between riches and life-quality.
However, I agree that if we are wealthy but life in a war zone, our life-quality will be miserable. With this I mean to say that money is not the most important aspect of life– but having the best life-quality possible and spending time with our loved ones. Nonetheless, money is important — ceteris paribus, money will improve the most important thing — our and our loved ones’ life-quality.
2) You only think about Money
This one is related with the previous critique. If you disagree that money is not important, then your only concern is money! But as we’ve seen before, having money and savings is correlated with having a better life-quality, up to some degree. On the other hand, money is something which we have some influence and control. We sign a contract stipulating our salary, we have budgets to save and we spend the money. Yet, we can’t control important aspects that affect us and our loved ones. We can’t control a natural catastrophe or a friend’s health (we can advise for a healthy alimentation and lifestyle, but not oblige).
So, we focus our mind in money because it is the clearest and most obvious way in which we can improve our and our loved-ones’ life-quality. But seldom do you find someone who spends 24/7 talking or thinking about money. It may be one of the biggest concerns, but it certainly isn’t the only one.
3) Saving money is useless
This one is personal. I truly believe that regardless of your income level, socioeconomic class, profession, age, whatever, you should save money. Others argue that it makes no sense to save because we’re not using it for its purpose — consumption.
I totally disagree with this opinion. Saving money is not a vague or useless act, but simply postponing consumption. We save today so that we don’t have to care tomorrow — when you decide to no longer work. The only point in not consuming today is to consume tomorrow. You can use the savings either to retire and keep your life-quality (thus, your consumption) or to start a business. Regardless, you’ll be able to achieve one of your financial objectives, with virtually no consequences — and that’s why I believe in saving money.
4) You shouldn’t work for money
As mentioned before, money may influence your life-quality, so I do believe it is important. However, this is the critique I mostly agree with.
I believe that you should define some characteristics behind your motivation to work. Would you like to have a charismatic boss? Would you prefer to work in a foreign country? Would you prefer to work in a specific industry? In a company of a specific size? What about your salary — is it relevant or not?
So, when deciding which company to work for and if you should take a position, I believe we all should make a list of what’s important to us in that company/position. If you don’t want to work in Finance, you shouldn’t take a position in Finance. The same thing regarding your salary — if you don’t care about it that much, don’t apply for positions just because “the pay is good”. On the other hand, if it is something important to you, maybe you should consider positions where the salary is bigger than average. But don’t consider just the pay, but all the diverse characteristics which you’d like. In a nutshell, don’t work for money, but (if you care about it), take it into account.
5) Money doesn’t make you happy
One of the most perpetrated ones, the belief that money doesn’t make you happy. I partially share this concern — if you’re unhappy, having money won’t make you happy. However, if you and your loved ones are happy, with money you can partake in experiences which you wouldn’t be able to in the past, which may be wonderful. At these same time, you can provide some experiences which you weren’t able to before, such as paying college tuition for your children, paying for better doctors or even taking a vacation to somewhere which you’d always wanted to go. So, money doesn’t make you happy per se, but it may contribute to it if used and shared wisely.
6) Money is evil
The binary one. Some argue that money only is pure evil and that it shifts our focus to the wrong aspects. Well, I believe that it isn’t black or white, but a grey area. The general characteristics of money resonate and are the equivalent of its use. Money is like fire — if used correctly, it lights and heats; if used incorrectly it burns and kills. Indeed, money can be used to build a school or to buy guns — it just reflects our purposes and objectives. We should maybe make sure that we used it for good, instead of criticizing it.
These are some of the most common critics/comments I hear about money. I also believe that most of them are blockers of a wealth mentality which everyone should have in order to conserve and profit from our savings and investments.
What about you? Do you disagree? What is your opinion?
Feel free to share with whomever you believe needs it the most.
Let’s achieve success together,