Why Money is Everything – The Topic Nobody Talks About
I studied economics in college. We talked a lot about money. Outside of the classroom these days, nobody talks about money. I find that beyond strange. It impacts every day of our lives. Directly and indirectly. Fiat money literally makes the world go round. The currency in your wallet, the coins in your piggy bank, and the numbers in your bank account. They have value because we all agreed they have value. I’ve been studying economics for over 20 years and that still boggles my mind.
It’s important that everyone understands the collective agreement the world is making. The agreement that money has value. If this agreement falls apart it will be the end of days as we know it. If that isn’t a marble in the jar with the label “Money is Everything” on it, I don’t know what is.
What Can Money Do For You?
- Buy you a shelter, from a simple shack to a mansion on the beach.
- Buy your food, from rice and beans to fancy dinners at 5-star Michelin restaurants
- It can connect you to energy, technology, and online information
- Allow you to travel anywhere in the world.
- It can pay for your room when you get there, and allow you to experience the food and the culture of those people.
- Give you back your time by paying others to do things for you. Don’t you feel like cutting your lawn today? There’s a kid in the neighborhood who will do it for 20 dollars.
The list of what money can do for you is infinite. When used thoughtfully and intentionally, money can bring a lot of good things to your life.
You Should Care About Money
Money is a source of stress for so many people and they choose to ignore it or not talk about it. Guess what, your money problems aren’t going to fix themselves because you don’t talk about it.
Grow up Peter Pan, Count Chocula, it’s just money. You can improve your relationship with money and it can become a positive aspect of your life.
Stories about greedy folks also turn people off to caring or wanting to think about money. There’s a big difference between caring about money and obsessing about it. As a personal finance nerd, I’m somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.
It’s OK to care about money, in fact, it’s important to make money one of your greatest allies. I listened to The Richest Man in Babylon as a book on tape while mowing lawns in college. It had a profound impact on my life.
Money earned, saved, and invested will grow and multiply as you break from the day and enjoy a meal. Money can make you richer while you nap. That’s something worth knowing a lot about it.
Keep in mind what money can do to improve your life. Having it does nothing. It’s a medium of exchange, best to always know what you’re exchanging your money for.
Care enough to build a good relationship with money. Care enough to build good habits with your money. If you invest time early and often, you’ll need to care less about money over time. One because the habitual nature of your life will do a lot of the heavy lifting. Two because you’ll have more of it!
Money Is a Tool
After you develop a healthier relationship with money you’ll begin to see money as a tool. It’s a powerful tool. It can help you achieve your goals faster, bigger, and better. It’s hard to make progress fast when you’ve constrained and lack capital resources. This is true in business and true in your personal life. Think of money as the ultimate facilitator of ideas, dreams, and growth.
- Money is a tool to unlock your freedom. If you save 25x to 40x your annual expenses, working becomes optional.
- Money is a tool to build a path so you may spend your days as you choose.
- Money is a tool to unlock knowledge and build skills. Invest in yourself and your education.
- Money is also a tool to gain access to influential and interesting people.
Money Can Buy Assets
When you turn dollars into assets you become an owner. When you buy a few shares of the S&P 500 index, you become an owner of the 500 largest companies in America. All those CEOs and employees are now working to make you richer. You can thank money for this.
There is tremendous power when you turn money into assets like stock index ownership. The money is no longer a store of value, it becomes a creator of value. As the businesses in the index grow so does the value of your money.
Modern-day alchemy. Money turns into assets, assets into more assets, assets can really big, and one day turn into freedom.
You can thank money for this.
Teach Yourself the Basic, Nobody Else Will
There is an ocean of information out there and most of it is accessible for free or for very little cost. For some reason personal finance still hasn’t made its way into the school system. No matter, pick up a few books and you’ll be on your own in no time.
Learn the basics of accounting. You are your own small business, even if you work for someone else. Income, expenses, and cash flow are critical components of financial know-how. Learn to walk the walk and take these first steps towards your financial freedom.
Learn about taxes. Taxes are an important factor when operating and optimizing your financial life. Learn the basics, and don’t get overwhelmed. The tax system sucks. Thank the government and lobbyists for that.
Learn about debt and the negative effects of compound interest. Debt can wreak havoc on your life. Learn how to use debt wisely.
Learn about insurance. Health, dental, car, and renters/homeowners insurance are the big ones. Ensure the big stuff, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Go on with your life knowing bad luck won’t put you in the poorhouse.
Seek to master investing and retirement, you’re on a Financial Freedom website after all! As you learn, you’ll realize it’s not that complicated. Wall Street makes trillions of dollars because it appears complicated. It’s a messed up system, but it’s American capitalism right now.
Learn how to invest in index funds. Leave individuals stocks to the wolves roaming Wall Street.
Money Can’t Buy You Happiness
… but Happiness Can’t Buy You Sh!t
I couldn’t write a post about money being everything without using one of my favorite quotes.
Money can’t directly buy you happiness, but it can buy a lot of things, and enable a lot of things that can make you happy. Money can buy you time and freedom.
With more time and enough money, you’ll have all the ingredients to make happiness for yourself. But you still have to make it. You don’t find happiness, you make it.
You have to make choices and make the effort to live a healthy lifestyle. You can’t buy a healthy lifestyle
It takes effort to find your inner curiosity and use it to learn new things. You can’t buy passion.
It takes a commitment to make meaningful connections and relationships. You can’t buy friends or partners.
You’ll need to practice relaxation, mediation, and mindfulness. It can’t buy you total peace of mind, even the billionaires worry about life.
Why Money is Everything Until It Isn’t
The pursuit of wealth and money can be consuming. Most days everything is highly connected to money in one way or another.
Winning the game and achieving financial freedom will allow you to:
- Quit your shitty corporate job
- Remove all the bullshit from work and allow you to do something meaningful
- Enable you to pursue your passions
- Help you live a life of purpose and value
- Pay for life so you can focus on living it, exploring it, and listening to it
However, there will come a time when that extra dollar won’t mean as much. When more income doesn’t mean more happiness. When a higher net worth is nice but doesn’t change your daily life. You have enough. Money is no longer everything. It’s just a thing again. A simple store of value and medium of exchange for goods and services.
One day, hopefully not too late in life you’ll realize that mental and physical health is everything. Your friends and family are everything. Doing good and leaving a lasting legacy is everything.
Your mission is to make money everything so one day it isn’t.