When I was younger, I truly believed that rich people were bad people. I thought that people with a lot of money were always corrupt and used their money to do more harm than good. Because of that, I was determined to grow up and become a poor do-gooder. My income wouldn’t matter. As long as I was doing work that I loved and I was changing the world, I would be happy. It was better than being a rich, evil millionaire making his money off the backs of the poor.
I also believed that love conquered all, that money didn’t matter as long as two people loved each other enough. With love, you can tackle any problem in the world.
Okay, I’ll give you a minute to get your breath back. I’ll wait until you stop laughing.
I’m actually cringing as I write this… But hey, remember the title of this blog.
Now that I’m older, I’ve done a complete 360 and realized that money can be used for good. As I learn more about finances, I’m diving deeper into virtuous things you normally wouldn’t associate with money. I’m learning concepts that have allowed me to grow professionally, personally, and even spiritually.
Wait, what?! Woo-woo stuff in a money blog? Yes, I know. But please bear with me.
It’s never really about money–it’s about how you treat it and how it makes you feel. Really analyzing the way I use my money led me to think about society and life in general. Reading and learning about the many aspects of personal finance has taken me through so many rabbit holes: financial plans, retirement accounts, productivity, frugality, the human psyche, mindfulness, investing in health, environmentalism, conscious consumerism, and even minimalism.
Rich people aren’t necessarily evil. Sure, there are some rotten ones out there who abuse the power that they have because of their wealth, but the same could be said about poor people. I’ve realized how rigid and misguided my thinking was. Money can be a positive force in this world. As with everything else, it is a tool to be used. The question is whether you can use it efficiently or not.
As such, I’ve also discovered empowerment and entrepreneurship. Having money can help you become charitable and allow myriad ways you can be of service to others. You can invest your money wisely so that you can leave a legacy behind for your favorite charity, or create scholarships for students who come from poverty. Being wealthy means you have the power to not only change your life but also help others become better. Your business could employ others who need money to support their families. When you’re financially secure, you won’t be steeped in anxiety so you have the time to spend with your loved ones.
The underlying story about money is how you use it. I don’t want to give it power, so much so that it would control my entire life. I understand that money is not the end all and be all of things. It’s just that having it and not worrying about it gives you agency and control of your own destiny. You have, in short, choices. It’s like a pay-it-forward mentality. You can spend money to help yourself, which in turn would enable you to help others.
So many of these things I would never have thought of if I hadn’t been exposed to the world of personal finance. Normally, you wouldn’t associate money with positive and noble goals, but it has also helped me define my values more clearly as I learn to use money efficiently to fund my dreams and goals. It seems really strange that I feel like I’ve become a better person because I’ve learned to treat my money with the respect that it deserves. After all, it represents a big part of what I do in this world.